~ Lou Hei Yee Sang ~
Lou Hei Yee Sang is a popular appetiser during the Chinese New Year, paticularly on the 7th day of the Lunar calendar. It is also a day known to be everyone’s birthday when celebration of tossing together this big dish of Yee Sang with raw ingredients, each symbolises an auspicious means. There may be many versions of Yee Sang. In this version that I am sharing, I tried to prepare as much freshly homemade ingredients as possible.
Yee Sang typically includes raw fish slices and finely shredded ingredients arranged on a big plate to symbolise freshness and being lively. Lou Hei means toss to rise to a greater height in all aspects of life. I think it is a brilliant idea. As everyone, family, relatives or friends gather with loud cheers and shout out the auspicious words when tossing the Yee Sang at the same time, it gives good energy to begin the new year. The more people, the merrier.
In this recipe, I included 18 items, a homonym for guaranteed prosperity. Practically, a little planning with some thoughts are required as some of the ingredients can be purchased & prepared in advance and some fresh ingredients are best prepared an hour before serving in order to make a reasonably good plate of Yee Sang for Lou Hei.
Some of the ingredients are to be added/poured onto the plate first and there are a few of the items to be added to the plate in sequential order before tossing begins. The following are the 12 steps that I learnt :-
1. As everyone get ready for the toss with chopsticks in hand, we wish everybody, “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (Congratulations for being prosperous) and “Wan Shi Ru Yi” (May all your wishes granted).
2. As the raw fish slices (alternatively, any ingredients with the homonyms of fish) are added to the Yee Sang dish, it symbolises Nian Nian You Yue (Abundance and excess in wealth through year after year).
3. As the lime juice is squeezed on to the abalone slices, a cheer for “Da Ji Da Li” (Good luck and smooth sailing in all you do). Pomelo is another ingredient that carries the weight for good luck.
4.Five spice powder and plum powder dashed onto the dish to attract more wealth with a cheer of “Zhao Cai Jin Bao” (Attract wealth and treasures).
5. The pouring of oil and plum sauce in a circular direction on all ingredients attracts all sources of wealth to follow “Cai Yuan Guang Jin” (prosperous with all kinds of wealth) and “Tien Tien Mi Mi” (good relationship with partner & a contended family).
6. Carrots “Hong Yun Dang Tou” for good luck blessings.
7. Green radish symbolises “Qing Chun Chang Zhu” which means staying young and youthful always. That means health blessings.
8. White radish for “Bu Bu Gao Sheng” symbolises a wish for prosperity in business and promotions at work.
9. Grounded peanut dusted on the dish symbolises “Jin Yin Man Wu” literally translated into gold and silver filling u he household.
10. Sesame seeds “Sheng Yi Xing Long” symbolises a flourish in business.
11. Crispy crackers in pillow shapes “Man Di Huang Jin” which means gold is everywhere on the flour.
12. Everyone toss high with 7 times of loud shouts of “Lou Hei”.
Homemade Yee Sang is indeed an appetising starter with a tangy sweet and sour refreshing taste. As it brings everyone together cheering as all are tossing on the dish, the positive energy is something that you probably appreciate for a new beginning of a year.
Lou Hei Yee Sang Recipe (Serves 10) :
A. Ingredients on the plate :
1. 100 grams White Radish (thinly shredded)
2. 100 grams Green Radish (thinly shredded)
3. 100 grams Carrot (thinly shredded)
4. 100 grams Purple Cabbage (thinly shredded)
5. 80 grams Chinese Parsley or Cilantro (roughly chopped)
6. 250 grams Pomelo (peeled and pulped)
7. 100 grams Yam Strips (1/2 medium size yam shredded, marinated with beetroot juice & lemon juice and deep-fried)
8. 75 grams or 1 1/2 Candied Persimmon (thinly sliced)
9. 1 pack, 25 slices Mocked Sliced Abalone or Raw Fish of choice.
10. 100 grams Jelly Fish
11. 1 Lime (cut into squeezable shape, vertically)
12. 50 grams Peanut (toasted & crushed/grounded, placed in a small bowl)
13. 30 grams Sesame Seeds (toasted, placed in a small bowl)
14. 1 teaspoon Five Spice Powder (placed in an ang pao packet)
15. 1 teaspoon Plum Powder (placed in an ang pao packet)
16. 1/2 cup Olive Oil
17. 3/4 cup Plum Sauce
18. 1 pack Pok Chui or Crispy Sticks (alternatively, deep fry wantan skin 1cm x 2cm)
B. Ingredients for deep-fried yam strips :
1. 400ml Cooking Oil
2. 1 Beetroot (cut into cubes)
3. 100ml Water
4. 2 tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
AMC Healthy Cooking Method :
1. Boil cubed beetroot and water to extract red colour juice in an AMC 16cm Benjamin Pot unit. Turn Navigenio on automatic mode, “A”. Activate Audiotherm on 80°C or “Carrot Window” for 5 minute. When Audiotherm beeps, turn off Navigenio & Audiotherm. Let cool.
2. Marinate yam strips in an AMC 16cm Combi Bowl unit with the beetroot juice and lemon juice for an hour.
3. Add cooking oil into an AMC 24cm 3.5 litre Pot unit to deep-fry the marinated yam strips. Heat up the cooking oil on Navigenio heat level “6” up to 50°C or “Meat Window”. Activate Audiotherm for readiness indication.
4. When Audiotherm beeps, turn off Navigenio & Audiotherm. Remove the 24cm Pot lid and add yam strips into the pot with heated oil. Cover pot with an AMC Rim Ring and a 20cm Pot Lid. Continue to deep-fry the yam strips for 10 minutes on Navigenio heat level “3”. Drain the yam strips on kitchen towel to reduce the oil stucked on them.
5. Remove pomelo skin & tear into small pulps by hands on gloves.
6. Cut candied persimmon and purple cabbage into strips with AMC Santoku knife.
7. Strip the green & white radishes and carrot with a thin shredder.
8. Chop roughly, the Chinese parsley/cilantro (around 1/2 inch).
9. Arrange all the ingredients onto a big plate and serve fresh.
Tips : Handle the AMC Santoku knife with care as it is reall sharp! I lost part of my thumbnail while trying to chiffonade the purple cabbages.