DIY Yusheng - Chinese New Year raw fish salad

Updated: 22 Jan 2013
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Yusheng (鱼生) is a Chinese-style raw fish salad. It usually consists of strips of raw fish, mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients. Yusheng means raw fish, but it’s pronounced the same as another word that means increasing abundance, which is why raw fish salad is eaten on Chinese New Years.

Today, this dish is served as an appetizer to raise 'good luck' for the New Year and is usually eaten on the seventh day of the Chinese New Year. In a celebration known as "lo hei" (Cantonese 捞起), families and friends gather around the table and, on cue, proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying 吉祥话 (auspicious wishes) out loud to mark the start of a prosperous new year. 



130g (1/3 lb) of fresh white fish, sliced thinly
2.5 cups of finely shredded white radish
2.5 cups of finely shredded carrot
1 and a half red peppers, sliced thinly
1 inch fresh ginger, sliced very thin
4 sprigs of fresh chinese parsley
1/4 cup of finely shredded sweet pickled ginger
1 tbsp of five spice powder
8 fresh kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1/4 cup of chopped peanuts
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Chinese shrimp crackers for garnish

1 1/3 cup of plum sauce
2/3 cup of water
1 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1/3 cup of sugar
salt to taste

1 tsp of vegetable oil
1 tsp of sesame oil
1/4 tsp of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of white pepper
1/8 teaspoon of five spice powder
Juice of half lemon and salt to taste


1. Put the shredded white radish and carrot into two separate bowls. Soak it with cold water. Leave it for 15 minutes.

2. Add all the marinate ingredients listed into a bowl, stir well. Then add in the sliced fish. Mix well, and then set it aside.

3. For the dressing, add water to the plum sauce first. Stir well. Heat the vegetable oil over a weak flame. After 2 minutes, add the plum sauce mixture with sugar and salt. Stir the contents as they cook. Once the sugar and salt dissolve, the dressing will be ready. Let it cool.

4. Start to lay the sliced fish onto the centre of a large plate.

5. Pour away the water from the bowls containing the shredded radish and carrot. Drain the bowls by pressing the radish and carrot against the bowls with the back of a spoon.

6. Lay the shredded radish, carrot red pepper and Chinese parsley around the fish, making sure that you arrange them in few distinct stacks. You may add more varieties of vegetables for a more colorful presentation and personal preferences.

7. Sprinkle the sliced ginger and lime leaves onto the fish in the centre. Next, mix the chopped peanuts, sesame seeds and the five spice powder together. Sprinkle this mixture over the vegetables.

8. Pour the dressing over all the items on the plate. Garnish the plate with the shrimp crackers. The YuSheng is now ready to be served and “lo hei” (捞起).




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