Lou Hei! The present Doodle observes Yee Sang, a Malaysian raw fish salad traditionally appreciated on the seventh day of the Lunar New Year. With chopsticks close by, families throw the ingredients that make up Yee Sang high over the table while they shout “Lou Hei” and wish each other favorable luck for the year to come—the higher the toss, the better the fortune.
This ritual traces its causes 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 consolidating the leftovers of the new year’s festivals to make yu sheng—a salad however thrifty as it might have been tasty.
By the 1930s, Chinese immigrants brought the Yu Sheng convention to Malaya, selling fish plate of mixed greens with ginger and lettuce out of hawker carts.
In any case, it wasn’t until the 1940s, when Seremban culinary expert Loke Ching Fatta added a contort, that the recipe was adjusted to the Yee Sang known today. Fatta consolidated exactly 30 ingredients along with his particular sauce to design the dish currently cherished by numerous individuals during the Lunar New Year.
Perhaps the most well-known combinations of Yee Sang incorporate crude fish, ginger, shredded carrot, radish, pomelo, leek, finished off with toppings like crushed peanuts, all blended altogether with a few distinct oils and spices.
However, there is no incorrect method to make Yee Sang, as the dish has infinite varieties.
Here’s to Yee Sang and thriving in the Lunar New Year!