easy yee sang recipe

For us, Chinese New Year is not really a big deal these days. When I was little and my ah gong was still alive, it was the hugest deal. But now, it’s low key – we try and teach the kids what it means and drum up some level of excitement with ang pows, but mainly, we just eat some good food, bake some peanut cookies, and call it a day.

If we can, we’ll get together with some friends for a CNY meal. This year, I made a traditional CNY salad, called yee sang (or ‘prosperity toss’). Also known as lo hei in Cantonese, it’s essentially a salad of raw fish and vegetables. At the beginning of the meal, everyone will reach in with chop sticks and toss the salad. The higher you toss, the more prosperity will come your way in the new year!

Other delicious things we had at our CNY lunch included Hainan chicken and roast pork, both homemade by my friend. We also had a store bought red velvet cake, but check out the custom CNY and rooster cake toppers from Pretty Creations!

Anyway, yee sang comes in various levels of complexity, and you can make it as complex as you’d like. Or if you’re like me, as easy as you like. Here’s probably the simplest yee sang recipe you’ll find, and it tastes just as good. You’re welcome 🙂

Yee sang (lo hei)
4 large carrots
2 large cucumbers
1 large daikon (white radish)
250g seaweed
250-350g smoked salmon or fresh salmon (sashimi)
Pickled ginger
1 lime
6-8 sheets wonton skin
Oil for shallow frying
4 tbs plum sauce
1 tbs hoisin sauce
a few drops of sesame oil
  1. Julienne the carrots, cucumber and radish and place around the outer edge of the serving plate. Add the seaweed next to the julienned vegetables. Place small amounts of pickled ginger and slices of lime around the plate.
  2. Slice the smoked/sashimi salmon and place in the centre of the plate.
  3. Heat oil in a shallow frying pan and fry the wonton skins until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain.
  4. Mix the plum sauce, hoisin sauce and sesame oil in a separate bowl.
  5. When you’re ready to serve, crumble the wonton skin across the salad, and pour the sauce over.
  6. Invite everyone to yee sang – remember the higher you toss, the more prosperity you’ll receive in the new year!
Serves 6-8 as a starter.

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