Yee Sang Salad





Every Lunar New Year, we gather as a family to feast, offer each other well-wishes and sometimes, aggressively gamble our red-pocket money (I can hear mahjong tiles clacking against the table just thinking about it). Although we can’t go back to see our grandparents this year in Malaysia and China, there are particular dishes that help me feel connected with our families overseas.

Yee Sang (or Yu Sheng in Mandarin) is a Malaysian staple and is essentially a sashimi salad (Yu = "Fish" and Sheng = "Raw”; Yu Sheng also phonetically sounds like the Mandarin term for abundance). Each ingredient plays on the language in a similar way and including them in the dish symbolises a wish for things like prosperity, health, luck and happiness. 

The aim of the game is to toss the salad as high as you can - the higher you go, the greater the blessings you’ll receive in the New Year. We scream out “huat ah!” and heaps of other different Chinese proverbs as we toss, wishing for a year of happiness and prosperity. 

I can't say for certain if it works but it's always a deliciously good time. It's super easy to make, so why not give it a go at home with your own family and friends, and create some mems?



  • 360g Salmon/ocean trout sashimi

  • ½ daikon, peeled and julienned

  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned

  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled and julienned

  • 1 continental cucumber, deseeded and julienned

  • 1 nashi pear or apple, julienned

  • ½ pomelo, or 1 grapefruit, peeled with pith, membrane removed, torn into pieces

  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly

  • 1/2 bunch coriander, leaves only (optional)

  • 2 tbsp pickled ginger, julienned

  • 1 pack of Changs crunchy noodles

  • ½ cup crushed roasted peanuts (give them a bash lightly with a rolling pin)

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


Sweet life dressing:

  • 1 cup plum sauce

  • 2 tbsp honey

  • 2 tbsp lime juice

  • 2 tbsp peanut/grapeseed oil

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • ¼ tsp five spice powder



  1. Your best friend is a julienne peeler, you can find this in most stores for a couple of bucks. Put all the salad ingredients (except the last 3 crunchies and the sashimi) on a big platter in separate piles.

  2. Mix the sweet life dressing together and set aside.

  3. To assemble, lay the sashimi on top, sprinkle the crunchy “gold” noodles, peanuts and sesame seeds all over the salad. Pour the dressing on top.

  4. Give chopsticks to everyone, toss the salad as high as you can while shouting well wishes for the year. Gobble it up once it’s all mixed through and you’ve had a good laugh.


Recipe by Daiwen Zhang. Follow her on instagram here, or 

Ingredients for Yee Sang Salad

Fresh Herbs Coriander Bunch

$0.99 ea

Carrot Loose Each

$0.60 ea

Cucumber Telegraph Each

$1.50 ea

Pear Nashi White Each

$1.75 ea

Ayam Sesame Oil 210ml

$5.99 ea