Lo hei (Yusheng) is a Teochew-style raw fish salad. It is often serve as a appetizer during our reunion dinner as it symbolize good luck for the new year. Yesterday was the seventh day of Chinese new year which the Chinese call it “Renri“, some will choose to Lo hei on this particular day.
I find it interesting how every ingredients in Lo hei has its meanings:
Step 1: All at the table offer New Year greetings.
Words: 恭喜发财 “Gong Xi Fa Cai” meaning “Congratulations for your wealth” or 万事如意 “Wan shi ru yi” meaning “May all your wishes be fulfilled”.
Step 2: Fish, symbolising abundance or excess through the year, is added.
Words: 年年有馀 Nian nian you yu .
Step 3: The pomelo is added over the fish, adding both luck and auspicious value.
Words: 大吉大利 Da ji da li.
Step 4: Pepper & Cinnamon Powder is then dashed over the ingredients in the hope of attracting more money and valuables.
Words: 招财进宝 Zhao cai jin bao.
Step 5: Then oil is poured out, circling the ingredients to increase all profits 10,000 times and encouraging money to flow in from all directions.
Words: 一本万利 Yi ben wan li and 财原广进 Cai yuan guang jin.
Step 6: Carrots are added to the fish indicating blessings of good luck.
Words: 鸿运当头 Hong yun dang tou.
Step 7: Then the shredded green radish is placed on the fish symbolising eternal youth.
Words: 青春常驻 Qing chun chang zhu.
Step 8: After which the shredded white radish is added – prosperity in business and promotion at work.
Words: 风生水起 Feng sheng shui qi and 步步高升 Bu bu gao sheng.
Step 9: Chopped Peanut bits are dusted on the dish symbolising a household filled with gold and silver. As an icon of longevity, peanuts also symbolise eternal youth.
Words: 金银满屋 Jin yin man wu.
Step 10: Sesame seeds quickly follow symbolising a flourishing business.
Words: 生意兴隆 Sheng yi xing long.
Step 11: Deep-fried flour crisps in the shape of golden pillows is then added with wishes that literally the whole floor would be filled with gold.
Words: 遍地黄金 Bian di huang jin.
Step 12: All toss the salad an auspicious 7 times with loud shouts of “lo hei” 捞起 and other auspicious New Year wishes.
Words: Lo hei 捞起 which is Cantonese for “tossing luck”.
Wishing everyone a prosperous year! Huat ah!