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The Origins of Yee Sang

17 February 2013 1,064 views 5 Comments

The Origins of Yee Sang

The Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated holidays in Asia. It is celebrated in many countries with significant Chinese population like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Chinatown elsewhere. The tradition is inherited by generations since the migrations of their ancestors from different parts of China.
yee sang 1
In Malaysia and Singapore, Chinese New Year is celebrated with a unique raw fish salad named “Yee Sang” or Prosperity Toss. The salad of shredded vegetables with sweet sauce, condiments and topped with strips of raw fish and sprinkled with lime. Traditionally the carp fish is used as the raw fish but now salmon is a more popular choice.
yee sang tossing
You need to mix and toss the salad and say out loud “auspicious wishes”. Your growth of fortune will depend on the height of your toss and there should not be any leftover of the salad. Yee Sang is served in most Chinese restaurants and pre-packed for take away in restaurants, supermarkets and hypermarkets. The origin of the modern Yee Sang is a hot debate between the two countries. Singapore claimed it started since 1964 in Singapore’s Lai Wah Restaurant while Malaysia claimed it started since 1947 in Seremban’s Loke Ching Kee. However, I never recall any yee sang activities while I was in Singapore in the 1980s and the question remains unsolved.



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  • Meitzeu said:

    YUMMY! :)


  • Tony Teh said:

    Never liked Yee Sang
    Tony Teh´s last [type] ..NBA Slam Dunk Contest continues to suck


  • cutebun said:

    Hmm apparently when I celebrate CNY in Kuching, we never yee sang one. only like 4 yrs ago once and that’s it. suka suka type XD


  • kianfai87 said:

    hmmmm let me ask u one thing silly which is not related from the post but related towards yee sang.

    do people usually drink Sake right after finish yee sang?

    Or drink Hot chinese tea right after finish yee sang?

    my experience here is finish hot chinese tea when I termakan a pcs of raw salmon from yee sang, it boil my throat and yee sang in my belly and eventually half cooked the salmon in it.

    I know it sounds abit “wai” and yah . . . conclusion is I encourage people drink something warm right after yee sang, all I see is people drink Ice Chinese Tea nowadays lol
    kianfai87´s last [type] ..Cloud Atlas (2012)


    Wilson Ng Reply:

    Hi Kianfai,

    This is a very good question. Most of the people will drink hot chinese tea because yee sang is commonly served in Chinese restaurant but I don’t mind the sake.



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