Google animated Doodle celebrates a Cantonese-style raw fish salad Yusheng, Yee Sang, or Yuu Sahng (魚生), also known as lo sahng (Cantonese for 撈生 or 捞生), on February 18, 2021.
What is Yee Sang?
Yee Sang ordinarily consists of strips of raw fish (sometimes salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among different ingredients. It has elective names, for example, Lou Sang, Yee Sang, Yu Sheng, Jyu4 Saang1, Lo Hei, Prosperity Toss.
There is additionally a vegetarian version of this dish, where the fish is supplanted with soy “fish”, which resembles salmon. Yusheng literally signifies “raw fish” yet since “fish (魚)” is generally conflated with its homophone “abundance (余)”, Yúshēng (魚生) is deciphered as a homophone for Yúshēng (余升) which means an increment in abundance. Accordingly, yusheng is viewed as a symbol of abundance, prosperity, and vigor.
This ritual follows its inceptions to the Chinese creation myth of goddess Nu Wa, who is said to have made humanity on the seventh day of the new year. Chinese fishers and sailors recognized this symbolic day of rebirth by joining the leftovers of the new year’s celebrations to make yu sheng—a salad as thrifty as it seemed to be tasty.
By the 1930s, Chinese immigrants brought the Yu Sheng tradition to Malaya, selling fish salad with ginger and lettuce out of hawker carts. However, it wasn’t until the 1940s, when Seremban chef Loke Ching Fatta included a twist, that the recipe was adapted to the Yee Sang known today.
Fatta consolidated exactly 30 ingredients along with his signature sauce to create the dish currently loved by numerous individuals during the Lunar New Year.
While versions of it are thought to have existed in China, the contemporary version was made and promoted during the 1960s among the ethnic Chinese community and its consumption has been related to Chinese New Year celebrations in Malaysia and Singapore.
The Malaysian Chinese debate the purported Singaporean origins of the dish and have pronounced it a Malaysian heritage food by the Malaysian Department of National Heritage. One sure thing, however, is that this dish has its roots deep in the Southern part of China.
Yusheng is frequently served as part of a multi-dish dinner, frequently as the appetizer because of its symbolism of “good luck” for the new year. Some would consume it on Renri, the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, albeit practically speaking it could be eaten on any helpful day during the Chinese New Year period (the first to the 15th day of the first lunar month).
Today, the common form of yusheng is the qicai yusheng (七彩鱼生; “seven-colored raw fish salad”) served in local restaurants during the Chinese New Year period.
Additionally referred to as facai yusheng (发财鱼生; “prosperity raw fish salad”) or xinnian yusheng (新年鱼生; “Chinese New Year raw fish salad”), this present colorful interpretation of yusheng has an uncertain origin.
In any case, there are two contending cases to the origins of the modern take on yusheng: first was supposed to be developed by a Malaysian named Loke Ching Fatt in Seremban, Malaysia during the 1940s; the second was said to be made during the 1960s by chefs Lau Yoke Pui, Tham Yui Kai, Sin Leong, and Hooi Kok Wai, together known as the “Four Heavenly Kings” in the Singapore restaurant scene.
The recipe generally incorporates ingredients, for example, destroyed white and green radish and carrots, ginger slices, onion slices, crushed peanuts, pomelo, pepper, the essence of chicken, oil, salt, vinegar, sugar, and more.
One of the most widely recognized combinations of Yee Sang incorporates raw fish, ginger, shredded carrot, radish, pomelo, leek, topped with condiments like crushed peanuts, all mixed all together with a few unique oils and spices. Yet, there is no incorrect method to make Yee Sang, as the dish has infinite varieties.