Yee Sang (Raw Fish Salad) – the Prosperity Toss for Chinese New Year


What a week it has been, I’m over my food quota for the month! Lots of cooking, delicious traditional Chinese festive food, sweet treats, laughter, firecrackers and more fabulous street food of Penang. Starting with the 10 dishes reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year at my paternal grandparents house, steamboat lunch on 1st day of Chinese New Year and dinner at my 2nd Aunt’s house.


One of the dishes I’ve prepared is Yee Sang (Raw Fish Salad), a popular Chinese New Year dish in Malaysia. This dish, also known as Yu Sheng 鱼生, literally means “raw fish” but since “fish (鱼)” is pronunced is the same as abundance (余) in Mandarin, therefore this Yee Sang dish is used to symbolise an increase in abundance, prosperity and vigor for the year. This dish usually consists of strips of raw fish (commonly use salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments.

Often served as an appetizer, the base ingredients are first placed attractively on a round plate with side ingredients such as the fish, the crackers and the sauces to be added before serving. All diners at the table then stand up and on cue, proceed to toss the Yee Sang into the air with chopsticks while saying various “auspicious wishes” out loud. It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the diner’s growth in fortunes, thus diners usually toss very enthusiastically!


I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #15: Auspicious Dishes for CNY (January 2012) hosted by Wen of Wen’s Delight

Yee Sang (Raw Fish Salad) - the Prosperity Toss for Chinese New Year
Prep time
Total time
Yee Sang (Raw Fish Salad) is served during Chinese New Year in Malaysia as a symbol of increase of abundance
Recipe type: appetizer
Serves: 8-10
  • 200g White Radish - finely grate
  • 200g Carrot - finely grate
  • 200g unripe Mango - finely grate
  • 50g Spring Onions - finely grate
  • 200g Sweet Potato - finely shred
  • 2 Red Chilli - finely shred
  • 75g Pickled Papaya - finely shred
  • 20g Pickled Ginger - finely shred
  • 8 Kaffir Lime Leaves - finely shred
  • 200g Pomelo - peeled and separate the sacs
  • 100g Salmon Sashimi slices
  • 50g Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 70g Roasted Peanuts - grounded
  • 200g Plum Sauce
  • 3 tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 3 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • 10g Chinese Five Spice Powder, put into a red packet
  1. Deep-fry shredded sweet potatoes in hot oil until crispy. Drain well on kitchen paper.
  2. Mix well the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Arrange the other shredded ingredients attractively (different colours) on a big, round serving platter.
  4. To serve, pour the seasoning over the arranged ingredients and sprinkle on five-spice powder, sesame seeds and peanuts.
  5. Everyone toss the Yee Sang using chopsticks, as high as possible while saying ‘prosperity greetings’ out loud to wish everyone for the year.


  1. Sigh, I haven’t had Yee Sang in many, many years! I always assumed it would be too difficult to make at home but you’ve showed me differently. Thank you. Hope you and your family have had a wonderful New Year (sure sounds like it).
    shaz recently posted..Muhibbah Malaysian Monday Round Up 19My Profile

    • Now you can enjoy yee sang anytime, don’t have to wait until CNY. but yee sang is more fun with all the chopstick toss in big group. it’s kind of strange to me eating alone 🙂 Yup, we had a great CNY with lots of feasting

  2. Happy Chinese New Year to you!:) I wanted to attempt DIY this for this CNY, but sighs, never really gotten to it :p
    I must copy down your recipe coz it really looks so good! I usually buy from the stores, but sometimes they are just so overpriced!
    I have not had my share of Yee Sang yet this year, and yours is just way too tempting;)
    Is it easy to make? 😉

    • Gong Xi Fa Cai to you! Still in time to make Yee Sang, a few more days to 15th day. This recipe is easiest for me, just need to grate the veggies. Only deep fry the grated sweet potato. Other recipe require putting food colour which i dont like. Original recipe calls for cooking the sauces together, but i dont borther and still taste the same.

  3. Looks just divine. What a festive treat. Anthony 🙂
    firefoodie recently posted..Slow Roasted Leg of GoatMy Profile

  4. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Shannon! Here I was thinking CNY had been so crazy for me and it looks like you’ve been even busier …. feasting! The yee sang looks great, so much better than the store bought ones with all sorts of colored I-don’t-know-whats.

    • Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too! I’m so late with my greetings, too much feasting and too long break, so lazy to get back to normal days. Yup this yee sang is good, but i forgot to add in pomelo.. Haha

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