Prosperous Yu Sheng Fish Salad at Singapore Festival

Lohei Yu Sheng

Singaporeans believe the seventh day of January marks the occasion for people to gather and enjoy Lo Hei Yu Sheng, a tasty fish salad and popular specialty served every Chinese New Year on the Lion Island. It is associated with the hope of enhancing luck and good things in the New Year. Yu Sheng in Chinese stands for a prosperous life, indicating wealth and longevity. It is a salad dish made with pieces of salmon, julienne-chopped radish and carrot, grapefruit wedges, roasted peanuts, roasted sesame and plum sauce. Each ingredient is prepared carefully for them to bring good luck and wealth. Fish indicates prosperity of the upper class; grapefruit indicates good luck and wealth; white radish indicates a successful business and a promotion; cooking oil indicates cash inflow.

The raw ingredients are put in a large bowl alongside seven more representatives of good wishes for the New Year including great happiness and advantages prosperity for the whole year, achieving thousands of desired things, wealth and prosperity, and so on. Family members or business partners stand around a table and use chopsticks to mix and tumble the ingredients for the dish as high as possible and speak their wishes for the New Year out loud. This mixing is known as ‘Lo Hei in Singapore, meaning prosperity’. Lo Hei Yu Sheng fish salad expresses the wish to thrive and experience prosperity in the New Year and has become an indispensable dish at every spring welcoming party organised by Singaporeans.