My First Yee Sang – A Chinese New Year Dinner

“We have a dinner tonight, you come, okay!”, said Amanda – my director.

I nodded because according to Jo Lyn, you can’t refuse free meal! Hihihi. Turned out, that night dinner was special. It’s not just a usual dinner at a restaurant which serves steak or pasta, it’s a special Chinese New Year Dinner! My first Yee Sang!

Yee Sang (or Yusheng or Lo Hei) refers to a salad with 27 ingredients later mixed together. It contains raw fish (usually salmon), white raddish, carrot, red pepper, turnips, red pickled ginger, sun-dried oranges, key lime leaves, Chinese parsley, blablabla, blablabla, five spice powders, and several sauces. Do I remember all of this from the dinner? Nope, Wikipedia comes in as a help. Hihihi.

See the shrimp crackers on top of this Yee Sang? Oh it's so yummy!
See the shrimp crackers on top of this Yee Sang? Oh it’s so yummy!

At first, all of the ingredients are prettily arranged at a big round plate and then there comes the fun part. Everyone’s standing, holding special chopsticks in their hand then mixing the Yee Sang together while silently mentioning some wishes for the new year. Funny thing is, I was so amazed by this new experience that I got totally blank and didn’t know what to wish. I was just busy playing my chopsticks, mixing the vibrant color of ingredients in Yee Sang! LOL.

Yee Sang usually comes with a set of eight courses. YES, EIGHT! That includes the Yee Sang itself and two desserts. The set has seafood, duck, bacon, fish, tofu, mushroom, abalone, sticky rice, and other things I lost focus on because it felt like an endless course to eat! Everyone was pumped up in the first to fourth course and then moved really slow afterwards. Hahaha.

Some of the eight course dish.
Some of the eight course dish.

In between the dish, we stood and did a toss. We pushed our glass, counted one to three then we all shouted “Yaaaaaaaaaammm……….. seeeeeeeeng!!!” with an eager – dramatic face. Believe me, if I write the toss following the one we did at the dinner, this post would be filled with the letter ‘A’ for the past three lines. It was long, full of spirit, loud, and created a big smile (and big relieve) to us! And imagine a room full of round tables with around 6-12 people per table and each group did the toss after the other! Such a frenzied-fun night it was!

We spent almost 4hours for the dinner that night. Eight courses (in which I tasted them all eventhough for the last four dishes, I took only a small bite). One Yee Sang. Two desserts. Several Yam Seng. And endless laugh. It was memorable!

Hopefully I can get a chance to have Yee Sang again next year. And as Yee Sang is also called the Prosperity Toss, I wish you a prosperous year ahead filled with happiness, gratitude, and healthy body and mind. Happy Chinese New Year, UberFriends!

Smile! 🙂

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