Yusheng Or Prosperity Toss: The Chinese New Year's Lucky Salad

In Singapore and the Chinese community in Malaysia, one of the most important traditions to celebrate Chinese New Year involves preparing a salad called Yusheng or Prosperity Toss. We invite you to discover this culinary specialty, which is enjoyed with an astonishing ritual.

What is Yusheng?

In Chinese, the term "yusheng" literally means "raw fish." It is the main ingredient of this salad, placed at the center of the dish.

However, the culinary specialty called Yusheng also has a symbolic significance, due to the ambiguity of the Chinese characters yu and sheng. There are two homophones in Chinese pronounced yu. One means "fish" and the other "abundance." As for the character sheng, it has two meanings: "raw" and "life."

For the Chinese, Yusheng is therefore a highly symbolic dish, meant to bring abundance and a long life to those who eat it. This is why this specialty is consumed during the Chinese New Year, especially in Singapore and within the Chinese communities of Malaysia and Indonesia.

What are the ingredients of Yusheng or Prosperity Toss?

The Yusheng or Prosperity Toss is a salad made with raw fish and other ingredients believed to bring good fortune:
- Raw fish symbolizes abundance and even excess wealth.
- Chinese pomelo or lime represent luck.
- Pepper and cinnamon attract wealth.
- Oil also symbolizes profits and money.
- Carrots signify good fortune.
- Green radish represents eternal youth.
- White radish stands for success at work and career advancement.
- Sweet plum sauce adds sweetness to the dish and life.
- Crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, and golden crackers are symbols of business prosperity and a home filled with gold…

What is the tasting ritual of Yusheng or Prosperity Toss?

Yusheng, or Prosperity Toss, is an unusual culinary specialty in more ways than one. It is prepared for Chinese New Year, and each ingredient has a symbolic value. But that's not all!

Enjoying this lucky salad comes with a whole ritual during which diners add the ingredients one by one and exchange wishes.

Once all the lucky ingredients are placed in the dish, the diners grab their chopsticks and toss the ingredients as high as possible. That's why this Chinese New Year tradition is also called Prosperity Toss.

How to follow this tradition?

If you want to celebrate Chinese New Year like they do in Malaysia or Singapore, start by gathering the ingredients listed earlier. Don't worry if you can't find everything. There are several variations of this lucky salad: so you can adapt its composition based on the ingredients available in France.

For my part, I replaced the green and white radishes with green lettuce and pink radishes, and the Chinese pomelo with a pink grapefruit. To symbolize sweetness, I swapped the plum sauce (a sweet and sour sauce available in Asian stores) for a vinaigrette made with honey and balsamic vinegar.

Once you have prepared all the ingredients, don't panic if, like me, you don't speak Chinese! You just need to play the video below to strictly follow the Yusheng or Prosperity Toss tasting ceremony:

Don't be afraid to spill over the plate and drop some ingredients on the tablecloth. It's part of the traditions and joys of yusheng! Thanks to this ritual from Singapore and Malaysia, you will start the Chinese year with the best of luck while having a lot of fun.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Audrey Vautherot
Tags: Yusheng, Prosperity, toss, Chinese, Chinese New Year, salad, Singapore, Malaysia, ritual, culinary, Sweetness, radishes, radish, Pomelo, fish, chinese year, chopsticks, tablecloth, listed, France, balsamic vinegar, lettuce, plum sauce, honey, sauce, Asian, vinaigrette, sour, gold, crackers, Chinese characters, homophones, RAW, Limé, Cinnamon, carrots, signify, Green, eternal youth, White, Sweet, plum sauce, sesame seeds, Chinese community,
In French: Yusheng ou Prosperity Toss : la salade porte-bonheur du Nouvel An chinois
En español: Yusheng o Prosperity Toss: la ensalada de la suerte del Año Nuevo chino
In italiano: Yusheng o Prosperity Toss: l'insalata portafortuna del Capodanno Cinese.
Auf Deutsch: Yusheng oder Prosperity Toss: der Glück bringende chinesische Neujahrs-Salat
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