Wednesday 20 February 2013

Tossing the Yu Sheng (Lo Hei) for Good Fortune

The tradition of Lo Hei or Lo Sheng stems from the phrase’s Cantonese meaning of ‘tossing up good fortune’ using Yu Sheng or Fish Salad that symbolises ‘an abundance of wealth and long life’. The word hei or ‘rise’ is in reference to a thriving business and thus, its popularity with businessmen during the New Year. Consisting of white and green radish, carrots, capsicum, turnips, red pickled ginger and such, this dish is usually served as an appetiser where families and friends gather to toss the ingredients while saying auspicious well wishes out loud to bring in good luck. It is also believed that the higher you toss, the greater your fortunes will be. - credit Your Singapore website

Yu Sheng (or Lo Hei) can only be found in Singapore and Malaysia.

The list of ingredients and the meaning of each

When putting the Yu Sheng together, you offer New Year greetings.

Gong Xi Fa Cai means "Congratulations for your wealth" and Wan Shi Ru Yi means "May all your wishes be fulfilled".

When adding the raw fish is added (usually salmon), which symbolises abundance and excess through the year, you say Nian Nian You Yu, which means "Abundance through the year", as the world 'fish' in Mandarin sounds like the word 'abundance.'

When adding the pomelo or lime to the fish, this is adding luck and auspicious value.  You say Da Ji Da Li, which means "Good luck and smooth sailing."

Pepper is then added over in the hope of attracting more money and valuables.  You say Zhao Cai Jin Bao, which means "Attract wealth and treasures."

Then oil is poured out, circling all the ingredients and encouraging money to flow in from all directions.  You say Yi Ban Wan Li, which means "Make 10,000 times of profit with your capital" and Cai Yuan Guang Jin, which means 'Numerous sources of wealth."

Carrots are then added, indicating blessings of good luck.  You say, Hong Yin Dang Tou, which means "Good luck is approaching."

Then the shredded green radish is placed symbolising eternal youth.  You say, Qing Chun Chang Zhu, which means "Forever young."

Then the white radish is added - prosperity in business and promotion at work.  You say Feng Sheng Shui Qi, which means "Progress at a fast pace" and Bu Bu Gao Sheng, which means "Reaching higher level with each step."

Then, the condiments are finally added.  First, peanut crumbs are dusted on the dish, symbolising a household filled with gold and silver.  You say Jin Yin Man Wu, meaning "Household filled with gold and silver."  Seasame seeds quickly follow symbolising a flourishing business.  You say Sheng Yi Xing Long, which means "Prosperity for the business."

Deep-fried flour crisps (in the shape of golden pillows) are added with wishes that literally the whole floor will be filled with gold.  You say Man Di Huang Ji, which means "Floor full of gold."

I managed to record the process of putting together the Yu Sheng.  Enjoy!

After the Lo Hei has been tossed it is served on plates and it is eaten.  There must be no salad remaining on the original dish, if there is, the luck will not flow consistently throughout the year.


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