The symbolic significance of yusheng, and where to get halal versions
by Safiah Alias Jan 26, 2017
Yusheng is a messy affair when people play with food, but it is not just something to play around with, the ingredients in this Teochew-style raw fish salad are quite healthy and if mixed with the right sauces, can be very delicious! It is also a time for family, colleagues, and friends to squeeze together around a round table (which is why Chinese tables are always round) and say out their wishes while doing this Prosperity Toss.
According to Wikipedia,
Yusheng literally means "raw fish" but since "fish (魚)" is commonly conflated with its homophone "abundance (余)", Yúshēng (魚生) is interpreted as a homophone for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, yusheng is considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor.
The halalfoodhunt.com team was invited for a Yusheng toss by the kind folks at The Ramen Stall. We were joined by some of our FRIENDS with halalfoodhunt.com Cardholders and we had a lot of fun with the Marketing team tossing the salad high up in the air and enjoying the taste of abalone and salmon. It felt weird to ask for the things that you want in life by tossing a salad (because as a Muslim you usually ask for it in private to God) but it was enjoyable and I felt immediately closer to the people who were tossing with me. Bryant asked us to toss the salad higher and higher but using the mega chopsticks we had it was quite difficult! haha See this mega long chopstick!
If you will be joining your colleagues or friends in yusheng tossing this coming weeks, here's a handy guide to inform you what all the ingredients mean in the Chinese culture.
• Lime : “Good luck and smooth sailing”, meaning adding luck and auspicious value.
• Salmon (fish) : “Abundance through the year”, as the word "fish" in Mandarin also sounds like "Abundance", symbolizing abundance and excess through the year
• Abalone (bao yu) : which has a parallel meaning of "assurance" (bao) of a "surplus" (yu) in the year ahead. It is thus popular for New Year meals amongst businessmen.
• Sesame/ 7-flavour powder : “Reaching higher level with each step”, rise joint by joint like sesame flowers on the stem, meaning prosperity in business and promotion at work
• Scallop oil/Sesame sauce : “Prosperity for the business”, symbolizing a flourishing business.
• Sweet & Sour sauce : “May life always be sweet and full of Happiness", generously drizzled over everything
• Fish Skin/ Red& Green Roe : “Floor full of gold and silver” , a household would be filled with gold and silver.
Currently we know of two places where you can get your halal yusheng. If you know of any others do comment below!
1. The Ramen Stall
The Ramen Stall is located at 787 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198755.
For their full address, contact details, and updated opening hours, you can refer here.
GREAThai is located at 430 Upper Changi Road, Singapore 487048. For their full address, contact details, and updated opening hours, you can refer here.
You can pre-order this for takeaway. Just call 67027707 or PM them on facebook or you can email them at info@GREAThai.com.
Happy New Year folks! All the best to the rounds of questioning by the relatives, and never-ending music on the radio or TV! Soak up this season to spend quality time with family and friends and put those phones away! :D
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