“While Yu Sheng, Raw Fish Lo Hei symbolises Increase in Abundance, 余升捞起, Abalone Lo Hei symbolises Guaranteed Success, 包你捞起! Instead of the Yu Sheng 余升，I called it, also, the Bao Sheng 包升 (Guaranteed Increase in Abundance) OR 包生 (Guaranteed Productivity), to whom it may concern (like me).. ha”
I LOVE Yu Sheng (鱼生 = 余升)! Yu Sheng dish is my favourite dish which only can be taken “meaningfully” once a year during the Lunar New Year. This “Chinese Salad” dish is my long waited dish throughout the year, indeed.
I love its pleasant sweet taste, crunchy texture which created not only from the crunchy crackers, but also the raw shredded carrot and raddish. This significant Chinese New Year dish to be taken as appetizer, usually before proper meal. I find it helps to open up my appetite, so that I could enjoy even more on the festive feast!
Each topping of ingredients says something about themselves. These are what you have to have in your Yu Sheng dish, and have to shout out loud during the ceremony of topping and tossing:
Fresh raw fish slices –
Says: 年年有馀- Nian nian you yu.
Shredded red carrot –
Says: 鸿运当头Hong yun dang tou.
Shredded green radish –
Says:青春常驻 Qing chun chang zhu.
Shredded white radish –
Says: 步步高升 Bu bu gao sheng.
Ground Pepper –
Says: 大吉大利 Da ji da li.
Cinnamon Powder –
Says: 招财进宝 Zhao cai jin bao.
Olive Oil –
Says: 多多油水 Duo duo you shui; 财源广进 Cai yuan guang jin.
Mashed peanut –
Says: 金银满屋 Jin yin man wu.
White sesame –
Says: 生意兴隆 Sheng yi xing long.
Pok Chui crackers –
Says: 翩地黄金Pian di huang jin.
Honey Plum Sauce –
Says: 甜甜蜜蜜 Tian tian mi mi
When all ready… Toss it WELL. Toss it HIGH –
Says: 捞起! Lo Hei! Which means “tossing to raise good luck and becoming success” in Cantonese.
P/S: Some also add pamelo pieces for more juicy taste, for adding auspicious value (大吉大利). Also, squeeze lime juice from 2 limes on the raw fish right before topping onto the dish, for the same or even more auspicious value!
And, since we used abalone, I say: 年年包有余 Nian nian bao you yu. :)
Bring home a pack of Abalone Yu Sheng gift pack from New Moon brand:
Raw fish slices, especially Salmon fish, are usually the ‘main lead’ of Yu Sheng. This year, we tried Abalone Yu Sheng (鲍鱼生). I tried two methods, i.e. uses the canned whole abalone (New Moon brand), shred and top on the raw shredded carrot and pear, during Chinese New Year Eve dinner with my family; and uses the ready-packed Abalone Yu Sheng which nicely packed in the gift pack from New Moon brand. It costs about $48 each pack. This nice golden gift pack consists of all the usual side ingredients for Yu Sheng and a small can of sliced abalone.
It is good to give to your parents, parents-in-law, relatives and friends as Lunar New Year gift when visiting them, too. Its golden colour box, about the size of art drawing block, looks very presentable and elegant. It is to be opened up from the front middle just like a treasure box, to me. This Yu Sheng pack is not only good-looking from the pack, its ingredients are good quality and delicious, too!
By the way, it comes with a free big serving plate for the tossing ceremony – “Lo Hei”. It saves you the trouble for getting a big enough plate separately. You do not need to collect the free plate separately at the store’s customer service counter using the purchase receipt as proof. It is already packed inside the gift pack nicely! So convenient… (laughing).
This is our CNY eve’s Yu Sheng prepared by my mum, which used whole abalone, shredded later. This Yu Sheng dish was rather special as we used cashew nuts instead of Pok Chui crackers, and shredded pear instead of white raddish. Well, no special meaning, just to try it out (but I think it was because my mum has forgotten to get the radish and crackers, even though she did not tell us…laughing)! Anyway, taste not much different though. Still as delicious, and in fact, more juicy and sweeter due to the juicy pears.
The Yu Sheng dishes I had this year, were mainly home-made. I got the ready-packed side ingredients and crackers (extra pack of crackers @ S$1 per packet) from the supermarkets, which costs about $13 – $18 per pack. What I did was just to shred the carrot and radish, and get fresh raw Salmon slices. It is not a difficult task to shred the carrot and radish, but remember to drain them. We do not want the juice to be extracted later on to the Yu Sheng dish and make it too wet and watery while eating.
If you think it is still much to do to prepare the shreds at home, get those ready shredded carrot and radish packs which are also available at some supermarkets (about $3 per pack of all 3 colours).
Today’s 15th day of Lunar New Year for Lo Hei ceremony. It’s also the last day of Chinese New Year aka Chinese Valentine’s Day (元宵节). Still manage to have one more Lo Hei this year. Home made it! Not too sure if we’ll have it this evening (vegetarian day), but I’ve already had 7 “Lo Hei” this year, both during celebrations outside and home gatherings. Not only get to eat this delicious festive food, I hope these frequent tossings during the ceremony will bring me more good luck, and a fruitful year of 2009! :)