For the past years, celebrating the Chinese New Year for me means wearing red on that auspicious day, sharing a delicious meal with my family and receiving ang paos (red money packets) from the elders. I have to say that living in Manila, the celebration normally just lasts for two days max. After that, life pretty much goes back to normal.
When Paul and I moved to the Lion City a year ago. We arrived exactly right after the Chinese New Year and one thing we noticed was that the celebration seems to last longer than what we were accustomed to. We would still hear the dragon/lion dance trucks in almost every corner, office buildings would have those huge kiatkiat plants, people would be in red and restaurants are still busy hosting CNY lunches/dinners. I had my first taste of what CNY was like here in Singapore during my company lunch wherein I had my first Lo Hei.
I'm pretty sure, a lot of you Manila folks have that same question right this minute. Well, lets go back in time, shall we? During the 1960s, 4 master chefs created this New Year's dish called Yu Sheng Salad as a symbol of luck and prosperity. This has since been part of every single CNY celebration in both Singapore and Malaysia.
Basically, the Yu Sheng salad consists of shredded carrots, white radish, red peppers, red pickled ginger, turnip, dried orange peel, sesame seed, chopped peanuts, pepper and cinnamon, cooking oil (optional), plum sauce and the star of the platter -- the fresh salmon.
What a lucky new year! I was so happy to find out that I won my very first Yu Sheng Salad from fellow blogger Camemberu's contest. She gave away a Norwegian Salmon Majestive Havest Yu Sheng by Tung Lok Restaurant which we were able to enjoy at home. This retails at S$78 and is good for 10 pax... or in our case, 5 hungry people.
Curious on how to do your own Lo Hei as home? Here's how:
3. Add in shredded pomelo and/or lime while saying Da Ji Da Li (Good luck and prosperity)
4. Sprinkle Pepper and Cinnamon and say, Zhao Cai Jin Bao (Attract wealth and happiness)
6. In case it's not in the platter yet, add the shredded carrots and say Hong Yun Dang Tou (Good luck is approaching).
7. Add shredded Green Radish and say Qing Chun Chan Zhu (Eternal Youth) and toss in the white radish and say Bu Bu Gao Sheng (Reach higher level with each step)
8. Pour in all remaining ingredients including the nuts and sesame seed. Say Jin Yin Man Wu (Household filled with gold and silver) and Sheng Yi Xing Long (Prosperity for the business).
11. Enjoy your Yu Sheng salad!
Going back to the special Norwegian Salmon Yu Sheng from Tung Lok, I love how fresh the salmon was. It came in a beautiful pink box which makes it perfect for gift-giving. Most of the major ingredients have been arranged in the platter and for those who needs a little guide, they have added in a mini booklet that you can refer to.
It's not too late to celebrate the Chinese New Year! Why not try your very own Yu Sheng Salad at home.