Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Homemade Yee Sang for Chinese New Year (魚生)

Yee Sang, Yusheng, 魚生 or Prosperity Toss is enjoyed throughout the 15 days of Chinese New Year.  It is a symbol of abundance, vigor and prosperity as the fish tossing in this salad means 余升 and 年年有余.  The waiter would add each ingredient and says an auspicious phrase related to that ingredient and then everyone would stand up and toss the yusheng together while saying auspicious wishes.  It is believed that the higher you toss, it would bring you higher growth in wealth and fortunes. This dish is mainly enjoyed by the Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia.  I talked to Chinese from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan before and they have no clue what is 魚生.  Whereas if you mention this dish with people from Malaysia or Singapore, everyone knows what it is.  This dish is a must have and very popular during Chinese New Year, in fact, it only served during or around Chinese New Year.  You can order it in a restaurant or "to go" the ready made packet to bring it home.

We living in the U.S. or overseas have no such luck as in order it in a restaurant or buy it at a store.  But fear not, we can enjoy Yee Sang (魚生) too.  Frankly it is not difficult to make at all.  The only tedious part is the slicing of the vegetable thinly.  I made this easy version so it would be easy for all of us.  :-P  Everything can be bought in the Asian store such as ground toasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, wonton wrapper (or better yet the ready to eat fried wonton crackers), pickled ginger, ready to eat jelly fish etc.  I used jelly fish because we don't eat raw fish in the house.  Of course you can use any raw fish you like or smoke salmon, etc, etc.  You can even add pomelo or other ingredients you can think of.

I actually have thinly sliced romaine lettuce underneath the cilantro, scallion, pickled ginger and seaweed.  My plate was too small thus I had to pile everything up a level.  My carrot was actually got covered underneath too.  If you have sharp eyes, you will notice that my crunchy doesn't really look like fried wonton.  Well, you were right, because I was out of it and thus I used the spring roll wrapper.  It was crispy but turned soft quickly when mixed together as it was very thin you see, so the wonton skin is recommended.  I tried to make the nam yee cracker from scratch but failed as it turned soft when cold.  Later I did toast them in the toaster oven to crisp it again for the yee sang when the spring roll crunchy turned soft.  And it worked!

This simple yee sang is delicious, try it yourself and feedback to me ya!

Today is also the 7th day of CNY, which is everyone birthday, so Happy Birthday to all of us! 人日快乐!

Sauce recipe adapted from Lily's blog with slight modification.  Thanks Lily!

Ingredients for Yee Sang:

  • 1/2 Korean radish (the round one) or jicama or both, finely shredded
  • 1 large carrot, finely shredded
  • 3 scallions, finely shredded
  • A bunch of cilantro, take just the leaves
  • 4 pieces of romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 1 packet of jelly fish, ready to eat, seasoned per packet instruction, cut
  • Some red pickled ginger strips (store bought in bottle, Wel-Pac Kizami, you need to get this red one for the color even though it's more expensive)
  • Fried crunchy wonton skin, crushed before adding
  • Some seaweeds, torn into small pieces

Yee Sang sauce:
  • 1/3 cup canola oil + 1 tsp. sesame oil.
  • 1/2 cup ground toasted peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Sauce, mix well together:
  • 6 Tbsp. LKK plum sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. LKK Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. 5 spice powder
  • 2 tsp. lime juice


1.  Take the wonton wrapper, cut into strips and deep-fried until golden brown.  Drain on paper towel.  Set aside to be use later.  Or skip this step if you buy the ready to eat fried wonton crackers.

2.  Wash and prepare the vegetable by thinly slicing them.  Set aside.

3.  Prepare the combined sauce for the yee sang.

4.  Arrange the jelly fish and all the rest of the veggies on a round plate.  Prepare the sauce, oil, peanuts, sesame seeds and crunchy on the side.

5.  When ready to "lao sang", add in the peanuts, sesame seeds, and then the sauce and oil.  Lastly, crush the crunchy and place it on top and then "lao sang" or mix it well together with chopsticks.  Enjoy!


Belinda @zomppa said...

I never heard of it before, but it looks beautiful and I hope it got tossed way up!

busygran said...

WoW! Yours is so elaborate and full to the brim! Mine was very simple because in the past I used to make a lot and had too much leftovers because there were other food.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

人日快乐! Homemade yee sang looks very good!

mycookinghut said...

Gong xi ca cai!!

Crystal said...

Thank you for sharing! I love learning about different cultures and I find this so interesting.

I had no idea that jellyfish were edible, too!

daphne said...

What a great idea! We have a store bought packet with what u have done..and I placed fresh radish and carrot...together with smoked salmon! I think yours looks great! Oh oh and LO HEI!! HUAT HUAT HUAT :)

tigerfish said...

Herby Yee Sang with those cilantro and scallions! ;p

Home Cooking said...

looks so yummy ^_^

Smoky Wok (formerly Tastes of Home) said...

Impressive that you made yee sang at home hehe..Looks beautiful and vibrant, the hallmarks of a good yee sang.

Anh said...

Happy New year! I came across Yee Sang in KL and became so addicted to it!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Thanks Belinda. It's divine too!

Busygran, where got elaborate? A simplified version only.

Thanks Ju.

Thanks mycookinghut, you too!

You are welcome Crystal.

Thanks Daphne, next time can make your own, very easy only. ;)

Haha Tigerfish, I found them so fragrant, especially loved the cilantro (and I think I need to add more, LOL!).

Thanks sweet and spicy.

Oh really Jen, thanks so much. Your comment made me happy. :)

Happy CNY to your too Anh, Anh now you can make your own too. ;)

Unknown said...

i used to enjoy yee sang so much when i was living in hong kong, it is not part of cny meal...i kinda miss it.

Beachlover's Kitchen said...

wow!! your yee sang look pretty!! I miss Msia style yee sang.

WokandSpoon said...

Home-made yee sang! Lovely. I'll have to bookmark this for next year.