Tossing a raw fish salad (called Yu Sheng) with chopsticks whilst simultaneously shouting auspicious phrases is a customary tradition amongst Chinese during Chinese New Year as it symbolises prosperity. More often than not when you purchase Yu Sheng from restaurants, they can be very costly. Especially given that it consist of really affordable ingredients. So why not try preparing Yu Sheng yourself this year?
Ingredients for Yu Sheng
1. Raw fish – 年年有余, Nian Nian You Yu (“Abundance throughout the year” )
Arrange the sashimi slices in the centre of a large platter. This represents abundance and excess through the year, particularly for all the good stuff like prosperity.
2. Pomelo – 大吉大利, Da Ji Da Li (“Good luck and smooth sailing”)
Signifies luck and auspicious value.
3. Pepper – 招财进宝, Zhao Cai Jin Bao (“Attract wealth and treasures”)
This is thrown into the mix as a wish for wealth.
4. Vegetable oil – 一本万利, Yi Ben Wan Li (“Make 10,000 times of profit with your capital”)
Vegetable oil is drizzled in a circular motion over the mixture as a symbol of welcoming money and for it to “flow in from all directions”.
5. Carrots – 鸿运当头, Hong Yun Dang Tou (“Good luck is approaching”)
Indicates blessings of good luck.
6. Green radish – 青春常驻, Qing Chun Chang Zhu (“Forever young”)
Stands for eternal youth.
7. White radish – 步步高升, Bu Bu Gao Sheng (“Reaching a higher level with each step”) & 风生水起, Feng Sheng Shui Qi (“Progress at a fast pace”)
White radish is also used to usher in good business prospects.
After the main ingredients come the condiments:
8. Crushed peanuts – 金银满屋, Jin Yin Man Wu (“Household filled with gold and silver”)
Crush your peanuts and sprinkle them over the dish, this symbolising wishes for a household to be filled with valuable possessions.
9. Sesame seeds – 生意兴隆, Sheng Yi Xing Long (“Prosperity for the business”)
Here comes the sesame seeds which come after the crushed peanuts, representing hope for a business to flourish and grow.
10. Golden crackers – 满地黄金, Man Di Huang Jin (“Floor full of gold”)
This symbolise great wealth.
11. Plum sauce – 甜甜蜜蜜, Tian Tian Mi Mi (“Sweet and loving relationships”)
Now, pour your plum sauce all over the dish, representing hope for stronger ties with those around you.
You can now start tossing your homemade Yu Sheng and exchanging auspicious Chinese phrases!