In Malaysia and Singapore, the Lunar New Year celebration isn’t complete without a big platter of yu sheng, or yee sang, also known as prosperity toss salad. The dish’s Chinese name translates literally as “raw fish”, which refers to the recipe’s featured ingredient. Fish is a holiday must-have because the Chinese word for fish is a homophone for abundance, or surplus. And that isn’t the only ingredient traditionally included for its auspicious meaning. Alex Au-Yeung, the chef and owner of Phat Eatery in Katy, Texas, includes sweet chile sauce, representing strong and affectionate bonds among loved ones; ginger, symbolizing health and longevity; and crispy fried wonton strips, denoting wealth and prosperity. True to the eclectic cuisines of Malaysia and Singapore, Au-Yeung’s recipe also draws inspiration from throughout Asia and includes ingredients like Japanese-style seaweed salad. During the Lunar New Year dinner, friends and family grab chopsticks and gather around the table to collectively toss this salad together. It’s said that the higher it’s tossed, the more good fortune the new year will bring.
To make the wonton strips, Au-Yeung recommends slicing and deep-frying them at home, or buying them premade at your local Asian grocer.
- 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 6 oz. sashimi-grade salmon or smoked salmon, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fried wonton strips
- ½ cup pomelo, peeled and diced
- ¼ cup pickled ginger, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup pickled radish
- ¼ cup Japanese-style seaweed salad
- ¼ cup sweet chile sauce
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- ½ Tbsp. sesame seeds
- ⅛ tsp. finely ground white pepper