Lou Hei! The present Doodle observes Yee Sang, a Malaysian raw fish salad traditionally delighted in on the seventh day of the Lunar New Year. With chopsticks close by, families toss 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 starting points 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 mariners honored this emblematic day of resurrection by joining the extras of the new year’s festivals to make yu sheng—a salad as thrifty as it was tasty.
By the 1930s, Chinese foreigners brought the Yu Sheng tradition to Malaya, selling fish salad with ginger and lettuce out of seller trucks. Yet, it wasn’t until the 1940s, when Seremban culinary expert Loke Ching Fatta added a wind, that the formula was adjusted to the Yee Sang known today. Fatta joined about 30 fixings along with his particular sauce to create the dish presently loved by numerous individuals during the Lunar New Year.
Quite possibly the most widely recognized mixes of Yee Sang include raw fish, ginger, shredded carrot, radish, pomelo, leek, topped with fixings like squashed peanuts, all blended completely with a few unique oils and spices. In any case, there is no incorrect method to make Yee Sang, as the dish has infinite variations.
Here’s to Yee Sang and prosperity in the Lunar New Year!