Of all the Chinese New Year dishes, I particularly enjoy eating Yusheng 鱼生. Admit it, it’s not because it is symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor.
Here are 8 reasons why you should like Yusheng.
1) It’s for Dieting
This colourful dish seemingly gives people the impression that it is super healthy because it is made of ‘raw vegetable and fish’. Yah, right.
My perpetually-on-diet colleague Nancy (name changed to hide her identity) says “It’s Healthy Chinese salad”. Whatever you call it Nancy, but please remove the oil, excessive plum sauce, preserved vegetables to lessen your guilt. And don’t eat up all my crispy crackers!
2) It’s for Fun!
While your mother always tell you NOT to play with your food, YuSheng is probably the only one where you can have all your fun can have. Toss it high, nevermind, mummy will think its fine.
In fact, the higher you go, the more prosperity it brings supposedly.
3) It improves your Chinese!
Have you tossed Yusheng with a table full of Chinese teachers? If not, find one. That’s when you can improve your Chinese by leaps and bounds by sprouting four words by four words of prosperity and health.
恭喜发财 and 万事如意 is way too cliché, So How about 16 words of 七星高照，八方来财，九九同心，十全十美?
4) It can be a Game
Or play a game where you have to connect the last word with the first word of the next one… 一帆风顺， 顺利福气， 气势如虹，鸿运当头… Now who says eating Yusheng is boring?
5) It can help impress others
I am always particularly impressed with serving staff who can remember what every ingredient in the Yusheng. Nevermind if the waitress are making them up, as long as it sounds good and overly rehearsed. So to impress your prospective mother-in-law, maybe go memorise every item and its meaning yah? Don’t anyhow anyhow.
6) It can build relationships
Also Yusheng is probably one of the rare dishes where more than 10 people can ‘prepare’ together. Even if they toss the vegetables with that very same chopsticks they have eaten with. Ewwwww.
7) It tells you about the eaters
I love to observe people tossing yusheng as it shows the dynamics of the group. A very close knitted group of family and friends would probably cheer their hearts out and toss it as high as possible. While a more cordial and overly polite group, who barely toss it above 10 centimeters, probably needs more interaction.
8 ) It is just freaking delicious.
Steps to Lo-hei
1. Fish 年年有余
2. Pomelo or lime 大吉大利
3. Pepper 招财进宝
4. Sesame oil 一本万利, 财源广进
5. Carrots 鸿运当头
6. Shredded green radish 青春常驻
7. Shredded white radish 风生水起
8. Peanut crumbs 金银满屋
9. Sesame seeds 生意兴隆
10. Plum sauce 甜甜蜜蜜)
11. Fried Crisps 黄金满地
12. Toss the salad 步步高升 Huat ah!
Happy Chinese New Year!