Saturday, 9 February 2008

K-popped! Trio reunites for Yee Sang

Rooster, who has been residing in Beijing, is back in Malaysia for the Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) holidays, and so we all went for a reunion "yee sang" lunch.

Many have asked us what is "yee sang"? It's a dish served only during the CNY season and can be simply described as a Chinese-style raw fish salad. "Yee sang" literally means "raw fish" in Cantonese but since "fish" also sounds like "abundance", it could be interpreted as "increase in abundance". Thus "yee sang" is considered a symbol of abundance and prosperity.

Colourful "yee sang" - a symbol of abundance and prosperity

The dish comprises slices of raw fish (sometimes raw fish is substituted with jellyfish), shredded vegetables, crunchy bits, colourful rice noodles, pomelo, etc. It is accompanied with a sweet and sour sauce.

"Yee Sang" with a generous serving of sweet & sour sauce

The dish is served as an appetizer to raise "good luck" for the new year. It is usually eaten on the 7th day of the Chinese New Year (but nowadays, people eat it before or after CNY). In a celebration known as "lo hei", you stand up around the table and proceed to toss the ingredients into the air with chopsticks while shouting out auspicious wishes. It's a loud and messy affair. Fun too! :-)

Everyone tosses the "yee sang" with chopsticks

Toss it up high while shouting auspicious wishes.
"K-popped! Hwaiting!"

The modern "yee sang" dish originated in Malaysia and is now also popular in Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

This is what the dish looks like after all that tossing,
shouting & eating.

After having our fill of "yee sang" for our appetizer, we had seafood for main course. Here's what we ate at our reunion lunch.

Sang har yee meen - Gigantic fresh prawns with egg noodles.
Absolutely yummy. This is the signature dish for
the restaurant we went to.

Drunken lala - shellfish cooked in Chinese wine
and chili padi (Bird's Eye Chili Pepper) added
to spice things up.

Steamed fresh-water cat fish cooked
to perfection in light soy sauce.

Leafy green baby kailan
stir-fried with garlic.

Of course, Chinese tea to wash everything down.

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Joe said...

Mmmm... they look so yummy

fraulein said...

The dishes look yummy, who cooked them ? Hope u had a good LNY ; )

Orchid said...

hi fraulein, the restaurant chef cooked the dishes. We went to a Chinese restaurant. :-)

fraulein said...

oops, i just realised it was a restaurant after reading the caption
sorry !

Anonymous said...

Sorry but raw fish sounds nasty!!!
Well, I celebrated anyways, I got duck at the only REAL asian restaraunt in Arizona, Lao Ching Hing. At least we both ate the heads of animals that live near the water. Yum yum yum I love duck!

Anonymous said...

Hello! Happy new year!
I don't like Yeesang and I only eat the crackers in it every year. Hehe.

cymm said...

hi... is this Greenview around SS2? The plates looked familiar =)

Orchid said...

cymm...yes we went to Green View in SS2. You are good. :-)

Liz said...

Yeah the huge prawns were wicked...and pricey too. The Yee Sang was OK, a little too sweet for my taste.

Anonymous said...

Hi K-popped........this is interesting, followed your blog. Last was China, now at your home ground.....:-) food glorious food! yummy..........

vrosemarie said...

That was interesting... Whenever I eat some of this food (or just stare at it strangely, thinkin to eat or not to eat), I have no idea what they're called... :)

blinkable said...

Wah another gathering ;) I dont like or eat yeesang *haha* But I reli wana taste the leafy green baby kailan stir-fried with garlic *yummy* How has the angpows collection going for everyone?? ^^

ladida said...

at 1st, "chinese-style raw fish" sounded nasty. But then I thought of sushi & said "why not?" I luv, LUV sushi. YUM! :)

Rooster said...

There actually isn't that much 'sashimi' in yee sang (bummer). You'd be lucky to even get a sliver.

I think most people don't like it cuz of the plum sauce dressing and the preserved ingredients. Which is great for me cuz I end up with tonnes of yee sang to finish off! hee hee!


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