April 24, 2024

PlacesAndFoods

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Yu Sheng Originates from Seremban Malaysia

The Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in Asia. In Malaysia and Singapore, we (Malaysian Chinese) celebrate with tossing of Yu Sheng or Yee Sang. This unique celebration is originated from Seremban Malaysia but strongly claimed by Singapore.

ming ren xuan yu shang with truffle and blue fin tuna

This is my second time writing the origin of yu sheng as I wrote the first story 10 years ago. Yu Sheng is prosperity toss and usually it is made 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.

There are also yu sheng that comes with abalone, jelly fish and many other ingredients. Recently, I had yu sheng with truffle and it was really tasty.

For the yu sheng, 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. Yu sheng is served in most Chinese restaurants and pre-packed for take away in restaurants, supermarkets and hypermarkets.

In 2023, you can find yu sheng in some parts of Australia and even Canada. Yu Sheng has been commercialised to various Asian cities around the world and no longer exclusive to Malaysia or Singapore.

The origin of the modern Yu Sheng is a hot debate between the Malaysia and Singapore. 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.

The updated version is Seremban’s Loke Ching Kee restaurant owner is Mr. Loke Ching Fatt and he is the grandfather of Malaysia transport minister Anthony Loke Siew Foke.

Source: https://twitter.com/adrianlimcheeen/status/1616420821282721792

Let me be honest, I never recall any yu sheng activities while I was in Singapore in the 1980s and the question remains unsolved. Even our Singapore relatives never heard of Yee Sang only until 1990s and out of sudden, it has become a Singapoean food.

yee sang with truffle

While Singapore claiming Yu Sheng started by them as well as bakuteh, do you think they started it?

I think it is important to have the right information on the origin of yu sheng rather of ‘claiming’ it. Other than that, there is no harm enjoying yu sheng wherever you are during Chinese New Year.

Yu Sheng Is Originated from Seremban Malaysia is a fact and not a fictional story. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

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