A toss for luck

We’ve all had our fair share of salads – Caesar, Greek, Waldorf, Potato, just to name a few. But have you ever had one that supposedly will bring you good fortune and prosperity? Like a lucky salad of sorts? Or Yee Sang as this auspicious dish is otherwise known as.

I don’t really know much about the history of this dish, except that it was popularised in South East Asia in the 1960s. We’ve served it at our family table for as long as I can remember and I have always been told that the dish supposedly brings those who consume it prosperity, abundance and luck ( hey we could all use any of that in our everyday lives).

There are probably lots of variations in terms of what goes into the salad itself but it usually consists of the following: sliced raw fish, shredded veggies (we use lettuce and carrots), an assortment of pickled and preserved vegetables ( ginger, radish, turnip to name a few), peanuts, sesame seeds, crunchy crackers, cinnamon, oil, sweet plum sauce and salt & pepper.

But what really sets it apart from other salads is that everyone plays a part in the final assembly of the dish by a communal tossing of all the ingredients using chopsticks! Or Lo hei as its otherwise also known.

So when our friends showed up this afternoon at our doorstep with a colourful little box with the words “Yee Sang” emblazoned over it, we knew we were in for a real treat!

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We laid out the ingredients onto a tray, took our positions at the table, did a backward countdown from 5 and began tossing the salad with our chopsticks.

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Food flew in all directions as we tossed enthusiastically, while simultaneously uttering auspicious phrases to each other. The end result was a very messy table, a very yummy salad and a real fun experience! Oh and hopefully lots of luck too in the new year!

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