The Chinese zodiac divides years into a twelve-year cycle, each of those twelve being represented by an animal. This year 2014 is the year of the Horse.
A traditional dish on new year’s dinner table is Yee Sang, a raw fish salad. It is usually served as the appetizer due to its symbolism of “good luck” for the new year. Some would consume it on the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, although it may be eaten on any convenient day during Chinese New Year (1st to 15th Day). All diners at the table then stand up and on cue, proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying various “auspicious wishes” out loud. It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the diner’s growth in fortunes, thus diners are expected to toss enthusiastically.
This year, I decided to make my own Yee Sang. It was my first try and I was pleasantly surprised with that homemade dish. The diners at my dinner table tossing my homemade Yee Sang that night was just me and my guest. I may not have all the right ingredients for this dish but nevertheless we had a great ‘lo hee’ (prosperity toss). It was a quiet but meaningful celebration for me this new year, a time of reflection and appreciation of family and friends, no matter how far or near.
|The above is my homemade yee sang as compared to the traditional yee sang as shown below.
|Yee sang, yuu sahng, Prosperity Toss, lo hei|
|Place of origin:|
|Original – created in 1930s by Cantonese community in Singapore and Malaya.|
|raw fish (most commonly salmon), shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments|
|Consumed during Chinese New Year|