Happy Chinese New Year! I hope everyone raked in their red packets! Having spent my first Chinese New Year in Singapore, I got to experience the “lo hei” or “yu sheng” phenomenon here in Singapore.
The dish is loosely called “Prosperity Toss” in English and is essentially a lucky and flavorful salad. There are a ton of different variations but here are some basic ingredients and its associated meaning:
- Salmon sashimi or Abalone brings prosperity
- Shredded carrots references approaching good luck
- Shredded green radish symbolizes eternal youth
- Shredded white radish represents professional advancement
- Peanut crumbs meaning your house will be filled with silver and gold nuggets
- Sesame seeds for successful business
- Honey or plum sauce to ensure your life is sweet
- Pepper attracts wealth
- Limes or pomelos symbolizing smooth sailing for the year ahead
- Drizzled oil encourages money to flow in from all directions
- Crunchy crispies for more prosperity (because you can never have enough prosperity!)
Once all the ingredients have been placed, sprinkled, and poured on the dish, everyone picks up a pair of chopsticks to “lo” (mix) all the ingredients together. The higher the mix, the better!
Chinese New Year is a very auspicious holiday and you can never have enough luck or prosperity. During the first 3 days of the new year, we had “lo hei” three times!
Every ingredient is associated with a meaningful and lucky Chinese phrase, here’s a how-to video if you’re interested in seeing more! Fun fact: we did not know how to do this properly had had to watch the video for our first round.