Friday, February 7, 2014

Recipe: "Lucky 8" Scallop Yee Sang (Yusheng 鱼生)

Yee sang 鱼生, also known as yu sheng or lo hei is a prominent dish found during the Chinese New Year celebration as it is a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor. Traditionally, yee sang is tossed and eaten during the 7th day of CNY (during Renri) but it is now enjoyed up to 1 month before the actual celebration. Yee sang is usually made from strips of raw fish (commonly salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and other pickled ingredients. You can also buy them in supermarkets now, whereby you can simply assemble the ingredients on a plate and top it with raw fish.

"Lucky 8 "Scallop Yee Sang

On Day 7 of CNY this year, we decided to make our version of a healthy yet delicious scallop yee sang, which is made from fresh vegetables and fruits. I called this "Lucky 8 Yee Sang" as it is made from a total of 8 ingredients and in the centre, there are 8 large Hokkaido scallops. The 8 ingredients are carefully selected so that they blend harmoniously with one another. It is also common to choose ingredients of differing colours.

Instead of Chinese crackers (pok chui), we used Tam Tam crab flavoured snack since it is similar in shape and easier to get hold of. Just before tossing, crushed cashewnuts, oil and plum sauce is poured over the salad.

Each of the ingredient is added to the salad for a special meaning, I'll list out a few here but you can read the full list on Wikipedia.
* Oil is poured circling the ingredients, hence encouraging money to flow in from all directions. 一本万利 Yi Ben Wan Li meaning “Make 10,000 times of profit with your capital”.
* Carrots are added indicating blessings of good luck. 鸿运当头 Hong Yun Dang Tou meaning “Good luck is approaching”.
* Crushed nuts symbolizes a household filled with gold and silver. 金银满屋 Jin Yin Man Wu meaning “Household filled with gold and silver”
* Plum sauce, is generously drizzled over everything. 甜甜蜜蜜 Tian Tian Mi Mi Meaning “May life always be sweet”.
* 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. 满地黄金 Man Di Huang Jin meaning “Floor full of gold”

This is akin to eating a raw salad, very refreshing and appetizing, thanks to the plum sauce and lemon juice dressing. We love the vibrant colours, and enjoyed eating it very much, especially since it features my favorite scallops! :)

So, have you tossed a yee sang yet this year? If yes, where and did you like it? Would you consider making your own at home?

Our kids enjoyed tossing and eating this yee sang very much! Next time I will have to double the amount of scallops :D

Tossing to a great year!

Lucky 8 Scallop Yee Sang 鱼生
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: under 1 minute
Serves 4

1/2 carrot, peeled and julienned
2 lettuce leaves, julienned
1/2 small yellow pepper, julienned
1/3 Japanese cucumber, julienned
1/3 Korean Shingo pear, peeled and julienned
4 strawberries, thinly sliced
3 slices pineapple, thinly sliced
8 Hokkaido scallops

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp crushed cashew nuts
1-2 packets Tam Tam crackers
Salt, to taste

For the dressing
2 tbsp plum sauce
1-2 tsp lemon juice

1. You can julienne and slice all the vegetables beforehand, however for the pear and strawberries, it is better to do it closer to serving time.

2. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the scallops for about 30-40 seconds, until cooked. Remove and immediately blanch in a bowl of iced water for 10 seconds. Drain and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Season with some salt.

3. Mix plum sauce and lemon juice together, until you get a sauce of pouring consistency.

4. Arrange the julienned vegetables and fruits on a large plate in an attractive manner. Then, place the scallops in the centre of the plate. Oil, crushed nuts, crackers and plum sauce should be served in separate bowls at the side. Just before tossing, add the crackers, drizzle oil in clockwise direction, crushed nuts and finally pour over the plum sauce. For the plum sauce, add about 1/2 of the amount first (add more after tossing, to taste).

Note: Your kids can help arrange the cut vegetables and fruits, as well as crushing the nuts (using a rolling pin+ziplock bag).

I am linking this to the Little Thumbs up "Lemon" event organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Grace from Life can be Simple. You can link your posts here.

If you enjoyed reading my posts, LIKE me on Facebook! You can also follow me on Instagram (@babysumo) for more photo updates. Thanks :)

*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's Facebook page on 10 February 2014.


  1. Oh healthy version.. me likey! Guilt-free :D

  2. Hi Yen, 恭喜发财!Love this healthy version yee sang too!

  3. I wonder if I can get Devil to make this for our Weekend Kitchen, hehe... ;)

    1. Hmmm I think you make and I take photo is easier.... :P

    2. Hehe I'm sure both of you can make it! It's sooooo easy - just need to cut all the ingredients and then scallops require less than 1 min cooking. CK will have fun styling and photographing this, I'm sure. And if u need any help with the tossing, I'm just a phone call away. Hehe!

  4. A lovely version of yee sang! Yum!
    Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  5. that's the beauty of homemade food! scallops! oh yum!!!! so brilliant just to incorporate good and fresh ingredients into home cooked food isn't it?

    hope you had a good start tot he new year

  6. Oohhh, scallops in yee sang!! This is something new :) I love how bright and colourful your yee sang looks. I never paid much attention to the meaning of why we actually do lo hei but now after reading the explanations, it all seem clear to me :) Thanks for sharing with us your lucky 8 yee sang!!

  7. So clever of you to use Tam Tam crackers:)

  8. Very neat, not like what I had. LOL!!!

  9. that looks excellent, with much, much fatter slices of scallops compared to what we'd get in commercial yee sang :)

  10. oh...that's really a different Yee Sang!

  11. I absolutely love Yee Sang salad! And adding scallops is such a great idea! :D

  12. the platter is so pretty! And I love the strawberries and the scallops - all your favourites eh? And the video so cool.. tiny hands tossing to an even better new year! yay!

  13. Your yee sang dish looks really good! I like that you add fruits into it, great idea! Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and family!

  14. Healthy version with vibrant colours! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  15. Hi Yen,

    Your very fruity Yee Sang looks fantastic. After seeing your, I tend to like your version with these great servings of fresh fruits!


  16. Beautiful and healthy yee sang, love it ^^


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