Ask any Chinese family what Chinese New Year means to them, and you are bound to get varied answers. After all, for most Chinese families, the act of ushering in the Chinese New Year is so much more than a celebration of Spring’s return; it’s an opportune moment to rid ill-tidings, bad luck, and fetch in prosperity.
A staple festive dish amongst its arsenal of symbolic offerings, the traditional Yusheng (or otherwise known as the ‘Prosperity Salad’) is a messy affair on the dinner table, meant to be tossed high and mixed around with many people present — the higher you toss, the better your luck in the new year. Traditionally, the salad comprises raw fish slices (salmon sashimi), shredded vegetables, and served with an assortment of toppings and sweet plum sauce. Each ingredient is symbolic and is accompanied by an auspicious greeting.
Read on to find out five unorthodox (and equally mouthwatering) iterations of the traditional prosperity salad and where to grab them.
1) Dragon Chamber‘s Majestic Yusheng
Renowned as an immersive speakeasy restaurant that boasts an interior reminiscent of old-time Chinatown gambling dens as well as a menu bridled with guerilla-style offerings, Yusheng from the Dragon Chamber also sees an eccentric and majestic makeover. In true Dragon Chamber fashion, the dramatic Yusheng comes with a crustacean offering added to the mix.
2) Andaz Singapore’s Healthy Yusheng
With a colourful assortment of fruits and vegetable — such as kale, beetroot, Japanese cucumbers, green apples and pomegranates — added to the mix, this year’s Yusheng offering at Andaz Singapore is made to be indulged heartily without an iota of guilt. And to top it off, the Yusheng comes with delectable Scottish smoked salmon and is adorned by a myriad of healthy and uncommon seeds — think chia or flax seeds.
3) Zafferano’s Yusheng With An Italian Flair
Infusing contemporary Italian flair to the traditional Yusheng, Zafferano Italian Restaurant & Lounge‘s Yusheng is an otherworldly affair comprising a colourful medley of shredded greens — daikon, beetroot, celeriac and capsicum — along with pickled ginger, candied Amalfi lemon, and balsamic vinegar marinated onion. Head chef Andrea De Paola also dresses the prosperous salad with a trio of sauces (sesame seaweed, black truffle and honey, and sweet plum) and adorns it with saffron crackers, shaved black truffle, Hamachi and Hokkaido scallop carpaccio.
4) Candlenut’s Peranakan-inspired Yusheng
To usher in the Year of the Rat, the Michelin-starred Candlenut is reinventing the traditional Yusheng with a homage to Peranakan roots. The vibrant Peranakan-inspired Yusheng “Lo Hei” Platter contains familiar favourites, such as the shredded greens and golden pillow crackers, as well as new additions, such as the green mango slices, arrowhead chips, and a homemade plum dressing that combines a touch of gula melaka and ginger flower.
5) The Fullerton Hotel’s YuSheng with Cranberry Cheese
Arranged in the silhouette of the meek zodiac animal, Yusheng from the Jade restaurant at The Fullerton Hotel contains all the quintessential hallmark ingredients of the festive prosperous salad although this time, Executive Chef Leong adds a touch of surprise with a creamy yet fruity cranberry cheese. Why? It’s the zodiac Rat’s favourite snack, duh!
6. (BONUS) The St. Regis Singapore’s Traditional Yusheng
For those who are seeking the traditional version of the prosperous salad, Yusheng from The St. Regis Singapore offers a generous topping of quintessential ingredients (of pomelo, peaches, carrots, snow pear, and plump slices of Norwegian salmon) that are meant to be doused in the tangy Yusheng sauce of sweet plum, passionfruit, orange and apple sauce as well as a mildly salty dressing of fermented beancurd sauce, mayonnaise and garlic.