When celebrating Chinese New Year, there are mandatory items like cookies, mandarin oranges, red packets as well as Yee Sang. While we may be familiar with Yee Sang, how many of us actually know the origin behind this festive must-have dish? Well, we’ve done our research, and turns out, Yee Sang actually originated from Seremban! Who knew this colourful, auspicious dish is made in Malaysia? Read on to find out more.
Yee Sang: A Prosperity Dish That’s Made In Malaysia
Dubbed the Prosperity Salad, Yee Sang contains a myriad of elements. You can find raw fish, cucumber and carrot strips, pickled ginger, pomelo, peanuts, pillow crackers, vegetable oil, five spice powder, and plum sauce. Of course, over the years, there have been many new renditions of Yee Sang but ultimately, the traditional value remains closely intact. Tossing Yee Sang as high as up into the air while uttering auspicious greetings is believed to bring in more fortune and good luck. That is why we always end up making a mess on the table. But hey, anything for prosperity right?
Now that you know what’s inside a Yee Sang, let’s find out the origin of this dish. Are you ready? Yee Sang was first created by Loke Ching Fatt, a Cantonese immigrant from China for his humble catering business (Loke Ching Kee) based in Seremban, in the 1940s.
He created this dish to pivot his business as Malaya was undergoing a recovery period from World War II. Loke started off by creating a version of Yee Sang that incorporated not only Cantonese but both Teochew and Hokkien cultures as well, which were prevalent in Malaya at that time.
Toss That Yee Sang High Up!
Photo: dragoni_my (Instagram)
Interesting right? Now that you know Yee Sang is proudly made in Malaysia, you can use this fun fact to strike up conversations during your CNY house visits. The next time you’re at a restaurant that serves Yee Sang, remember to toss it as high as you possibly could so that you start the year off with an abundance of luck! Gong Xi Fa Cai, foodies!
Featured Image Credit: indoindians.com
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