A toss of every year in nearly lunar new year so called Yee Sang or prosperity toss of elements of life, crispy, sweet, sour, bitter, cooked, raw, etc. mixed together in a friendship manner, family, business of abundance, prosperity and vigor.
The tradition of serving Yee Sang started since the Song Dynasty and this tradition continually celebrate until today.
In South East Asian countries probably Yee Sang brought here together with the immigrants from the China mainland, mostly Cantonese that settled earlier in Malaysia and Singapore.
The significant sequence of tossing Yee Sang:
There are three part of wishing during the tossing ceremony, which firstly is for the New Year, secondly is for prosperity and wealth in the business and third is for family and happiness.
All ingredients for special tossing ceremony are ready and the sequences as follows:
As all ingredients ready, all of the participants gather around, ready with chopsticks and offer New Year greeting:
- Gong Xi Fa Chai means ‘congratulation for your wealth’. And followed by saying Wan Shi Ru Yi means ‘may all your wishes be fulfilled’.
Then star putting the fish into the bowl with every participant around the table say:
- Nian Nian You Yu means ‘abundance through the year’. It is the fish symbolize the abundance through the year as word ‘fish’ in mandarin language sound like abundance. We found fish throughout the year, no seasonal. Here mostly we use salmon, as the yellowish color of the salmon as prosper color and the taste is also good.
Next step is to add the pomelo flakes to the sliced fish and say:
- Da Ji Da Li means ‘good luck and smooth sailing’. It is from the sourness of the pomelo or lime, lemon and believes that make the fish more tasty and valuable nutrients
Following step is to add pepper powder and say:
- Zhao Chai Jin Bao means ‘attract wealth and treasure’. It is from the pepper dashed over the hope of attracting money and valuables. It makes tastier dish and give hint to the life itself.
Following step is to drizzle the oil and say:
- Yi Ben Wan Li means ‘to encourage’ the valuables and money to flow in from every directions, it comes from the oil drizzled over the salad will smoothen everything as salad dressing. And toss the salad more and higher and cycling the ingredients make more profits, it means ‘make 10,000 times profit with your capital’, or event more than that. The say: Cai Yuan Guang Jin means ‘numerous sources of wealth’. The profit will come from every directions and unlimited time. Non-stop!
Next step is to add the shredded carrot to the salad and say:
- Hong Yun Dang Tou means ‘good luck is approaching’. It is from the shredded carrot that symbolizing a blessing of good luck. Majestic color of carrot is also to replace the red color character.
Add in the shredded green radish or cucumber into the salad and say:
- Qing Chun Chang Zhu means ‘forever young’. It is by adding the shredded green radish that symbolized eternal youth, green, progress, fresh forever.
Add in the shredded white radish and say:
- Feng Sheng Shui Qi means ‘progress at the first stage’ as well as say: Bu Bu Gao Sheng means ‘reaching higher level in every step’ while still tossing the salad.
And now start adding the condiments to the salad as toppings or crisp, crunchy taste. First add in the chopped toasted peanuts and say;
- Jin Yin Man Wu means ‘household filled with gold and silver’. It is when adding the chopped peanuts to the salad; this is symbolizing the gold and silver pouring to your household.
Second condiment to be added is the toasted white sesame seeds and say:
- Seng Yi Xing Long means ‘prosperity for business’. The toasted white sesame seeds are symbolizing the time to prosper for everybody’s business.
Next step is to add in the plum sauce/honey and say:
- Tian Tian Mi Mi means ‘may life always be sweet’. Add the plum sauce generously to the salad is symbolizing generosity, sweet life and family.
Last step is to add the crisp ingredients like crispy pillow/crispy noodles and say:
- Man Di Huang Ji means ‘floor full of gold’. Golden pillow and crisp are symbolizing gold.
Toss the Yee Sang higher and ceremony finish and the salad may divided to everybody involved to enjoy.
|About the image above: sample of Yee Sang condiments|
Yee Sang Recipe
Makes 4 servings
300 grams of sliced fresh salmon
100 grams of jelly fish, soaked and shredded
100 grams of sliced sea bass
200 grams of pomelo flakes
2 pieces of lemon wedges
white pepper powder to taste
¼ cup of salad oil
½ cup of shredded carrot
½ cup of shredded green papaya
¼ cup of shredded cucumber
¼ cup of shredded green onions
½ cup of shredded white radish
½ cup of chopped toasted peanuts
¼ cup of toasted sesame seeds
½ cup of plum sauce
1 cup of crisp-fried wonton skin (square)
½ cup crisp-fried white noodle
½ cup crisp-fried yellow noodle
½ cup crisp-fried green noodle
1 thumb of fine julienned ginger
1 tablespoon of julienned pickled ginger
2 pieces of julienned red chilies
2-3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
1-2 tablespoon of honey
½ cup of fresh coriander leaves
1½ teaspoons of five-spice powder
To prepare the yee sang: prepare the ingredients separately or arrange them artistically on a platter and presented in front of the guest or family. To toss the yee sang you may follow the sequence of tossing yea sang.
Gong Xi Fa Chai – Happy New Year.
The colors in the yee sang represent the beautiful life and prosperity.
Avoid the black color in the yee sang.