Vegetarian Yu Sheng

Just came back from...
hawaiian night
I'm stuffed with Hawaiian food &
Asian potluck.
This is what I made for vespers:::
Yu Sheng "Lo Hei" = abundance + growth
This is a must-eat dish in the Singaporean or Malaysian house. Chinese New Year at home (in Singapore) would never be complete without eating this. Now that I'm here in the US, there's no choice but to DIY. I made this dish 2 years ago but I vaguely remembered what was done. Hence, I had togo back to my old sources to come up with this...
AND, not to boast, i LOVE it!!! It's my keeper recipe.
~YUM~ ;p
Yu sheng lo hei
So, what is Yu Sheng Lo Hei?
Just like turkey in the US, there is a central dish in the dinner festivities. Lo hei is basically a shredded veggie salad featuring yu sheng raw fish. Today, you can make it vegetarian by using agar strip or vegetarian coconut fish. Basically everyone grabs a pair of chopsticks and starts tossing the salad by lifting the ingredients up in the air and then dropping it down onto the plate (don't forget those chants in Chinese...or at least start yelling out some good wishes or something positive like that). The higher you're able to lift the ingredients, the wealthier (or is it luckier?) that you will be. This can create quite a bit of havoc on the table given you'll often miss the plate underneath, but it's all part of the experience. Actually, every ingredient in the salad is supposed to represent something, be it prosperity, fortune, or whatever
For example, these are some of the yusheng ingredients and symbolism......
Cooking oil:May all things happen according to your wishes :油水多多
Green Lime :Best of luck and best of prosperity :大吉大利
The Spices of Life' - A packet of pepper powder and a packet of 'five spice' powder ::May good luck be ahead of you :::一本万利
Savoury flour chips fried to golden brown :::May the ground you thread on be covered with yellow gold :::满地黄金
8 Steps to Present the Yu Sheng
Meanwhile, we must be particular about the way we present the dish. Whenever a waiter hold out a type of ingredient, he would say something auspicious. There are 8 steps to bring forth the meaning of getting wealthy.
1st step: Say Gong Xi Fa Cai 恭喜发财 (getting rich) and Wan Shi Ru Yi (to be smooth sailing) when putting down the Yu Sheng on the table.
2nd Step: Say Da Ji Da Li 大吉大利 (to be very auspicious) when adding limejuice to the ingredient.
3rd step: Say Nian Nian You Yu 年年有余 (to have a surplus every year) and Long Ma Jing Shen (to enjoy great health) or nian nian you yu ( abundance ) when placing fish onto the main plate.
4th step: Say Yi Ben Wan Li 一本万利 (business to be flourishing) or dao di man tang ( abundance everywhere) when putting pepper and five-spice powder to the Yu Sheng.
5th step: Say You Shui Duo Duo 油水多多 (business to be flourishing) or shun shun li li ( everything flows smoothly) when adding golden cooking oil and sauces to the Yu Sheng.
6th step: Say Jin Yin Man Wu 金银满屋 (to obtain abundant wealth) when sprinkling the golden peanut powder.
7th step: Say Sheng Yi Xing Long 生意兴隆 (business to be flourishing) when sprinkling the sesame powder.
8th step: Say Man Di Huang Jin 满地黄金 (to obtain abundant wealth) when adding the thin golden membrane. A waiter who follows the eight steps above will be managed to please the customers to a great extent. Before he leaves the table, he will say with a broad smile, May everyone here see their fortune rise higher with each toss.You won't be able to resist it when you are told to start mixing the dish by tossing it in the air - the higher the better!
ok, after talking so much about it, here's the recipe in brief terms::
1 white radish
5 carrots
3 cucumbers
1 packet of vegetarian gluten & red strands ( this is an essentail for my yusheng. that i bought from 99 Ranch Market at Roland heights) OR vegetarian mock fish seasoned with sesame oil and vegetarian oyster sauce. If don't have, use coconut agar strips. If non-vegetarian, use fresh raw salmon fish
4 stalks Chinese parsley, cut into 1/2 in lengths, remove stems
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup dried lemon or orange skins, chopped fine
kaffir lime leaves, 4, choped fine
0.2 in fresh ginger, chopped very fine
thin strips of fried yam/ taro
egg roll skin, 3, cut into squares and deep fried
pomelo pieces, 1/2
grinded peanut, 1 tablespoon
1 cup plum sauce, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 T sesame oil, pepper, five spice powder, 1/4 t sugar, 2T honey, 1/4 c vegetable oil
1. Prepare the radish, carrots and cucumber using the shredder. Remove the skin of radishes and carrots but leave the skin of the cucumber on. Wash the cucumber and start grading. Grating by hand is tedious. If you are making large quatities, there is a hand-operated machine called Benriner that can be purchased. It makes grading easier and saves time.
NOTE: It is important to squeese all the water from the vegetables. Alternatively, you can microwave it to dry up the moisture.
2. Place all the ingredients nicely in a circle.
3.Just before eating, use the 8 steps to present to guest and they will be delighted. If not, place the mock fish in the center and the rest of the vegetables radiating from it. Sprinkle sesame seeds, fried chips and parsley.
!kung hei fat choy!

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Disclaimer: All the recipes posted are for my personal references and/or adapted from mentioned instructors or books. They/I reserve the rights to it. Please remember to cite your sources! Thank you.