Happy Year of the Tiger! 新年快乐！万事如意 ！
During our trip to Singapore in December and January, my mum ordered yusheng, a popular “salad” that’s supposed to be good luck when eaten during Lunar New Year.
It has lots of different fruits and vegetables like carrots, radish, shallots, pomelo, ginger, yam. Usually these are shredded into long strips. Raw salmon is a popular topping.
The different ingredients are symbolic. The fish (yu) sounds like the “yu” word in the saying 年年有余 (nian nian you yu), which means abundance through the year. The sweet plum sauce is supposed to represent 甜甜蜜蜜 that life will be sweet. In a restaurant, the server will utter all these various auspicious sayings as they place the specific item on the plate.
When the dish is ready, everyone takes a pair of chopsticks, and the “lohei” begins. It essentially is a tossing of the yusheng ingredients, while saying various good luck wishes. The higher you toss, the better.
As a kid, I never liked eating yusheng. There was too much ginger in it for me. I would grudgingly eat a few mouthfuls for good luck and look forward to the next course. But I love it today. It’s fresh and tasty and has a great blend of ingredients!
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