Even if I am not Chinese, I can always feel the Chinese influence in our country especially here in Cebu. This influence is so strong in me that I love watching dragon and lion dances, and the fireworks. I even eat tikoy and wear red during Chinese New Year. I also read my Chinese horoscope. I am definitely not Chinese but I love celebrating the Lunar New Year with them. This year, I will be celebrating the start of the Year of the Rooster at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. I recently previewed the Chinese New Year Menu at the hotel's Tin Gow Palace that featured Yee Sang or Prosperity Toss and I learned something that might just make me luckier in 2017.
Yee Sang for Prosperity, Good Luck and Health
Yee Sang, yusheng, lo hei or prosperity toss is a popular Chinese New Year Tradition among Chinese communities in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It is served as an appetizer and it is basically like a salad. It has several ingredients and each has their own meaning. Before people can eat this dish, they have to toss it. All diners will have to stand up with their chopsticks then toss the Yee Sang while shouting "Lo Hei" which it means scoop it up. Tradition dictates that the higher you toss the Yee Sang, the luckier and more prosperous you will become.
Yee Sang: Meaning of Ingredients
There are so many ingredients for this dish and they actually have a meaning. A typical Yee Sang will have fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, crackers, pepper, oil, and sauce. Here are the meanings of each ingredient:
- Fish symbolizes abundance as the word for fish in Mandarin sounds like "Abundance". Eat the fish to have a really abundant and prosperous year.
- Lime or Lemon is for Good Luck and Success. Eating this will help you achieve everything that you aspire throughout the year.
- Pomelo means "Smooth Sailing. For a trouble-free Year of the Rooster, eat the pomelo.
- Pepper and Cinnamon to attract wealth and treasures. These powdery ingredients will make you a magnet for money and valuables.
- Oil is poured to the ingredients to bring money from all directions. It will bless you with 10,000 times profit with your capital. Your 100 pesos will turn into 1 Million if it happens. ;)
- Carrots mean "Good Luck is approaching". The Chinese word for Carrot sounds like their word for red which also makes this ingredient a ward against bad luck.
- Shredded Green Radish symbolizes eternal youth. You will be strong and energetic in the year to come.
- Shredded White Radish is for promotion at work and progress in your business. Bu Bu Gao Sheng meaning "Reaching higher with each step".
- Ground peanuts are sprinkled on the dish to symbolize a household filled with gold and silver.
- Deep-fried flour crisps shaped like golden pillows is added for more prosperity. It means that your floor will be filled with gold.
- Sesame is added for a flourishing business. Sheng Yi Xing Long meaning "Prosperity for the Business".
- Plum Sauce is drizzled over everything which means "May life always be sweet".
Tin Gow Chinese Set Menu with Yee Sang
You don't need to buy and prepare all those ingredients to have your 2017 filled with luck and prosperity. All you have to do is go to Tin Gow at the Cebu City Waterfront and Casino from January 23-31 and avail of their Chinese set menu. The Chinese Set Menu is good for 10 people. These sets are designed by Chinese Master Chef Jimmy Low.
- Chinese Yee Sang (Prawn)
- Chinese Tikoy and Mango Sago
- Golden Soup with Crabmeat
- Steamed Live Garoupa with Garlic Sauce
- Deep-Fried Spareribs with Salt and Pepper
- Deep-Fried Prawns with Tomato Sauce
- Steamed Beancurd with Minced Prok
- Yong Chow Fried Rice
- Good Luck Yee Sang (Salmon)
- Spring Roll and Siomai
- Green Vegetable Beancurd Soup
- Deep-Fried Garoupa in Ginger Sauce
- Stir-Fried Malaysian Chicken
- Braised Beancurd with Shrimp
- Deep-Fried Pork in Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Egg Fried Rice with Chicken
- Ginseng and Longan with Radish
- Homemade Tikoy
- Chinese Yee Sang (Salmon)
- Siomai, Prawn Roll, Cumbi Chicken, Asparagus with Shrimp
- Double Boiled Fish maw and Scallop Soup
- Pork Knuckle with Sea Cucumber and Abalone in Oyster Sauce
- Steamed Live Crab with Garlic
- Stir-Fried Bamboo Shoot, Black Mushroom, and Taiwan Pechay
- Chicken Fried Rice with Asado in Hot Pot
- Chinese Tikoy with Fruit Platter