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Lo Hei 101: What To Say When You’re Adding Yusheng Ingredients (With Hanyu Pinyin!)

For your easy reference this Chinese New Year.

For your easy reference this Chinese New Year.

For your easy reference this Chinese New Year.

So what if you failed Chinese in school? That’s still no excuse for being that person who only hollers “Huat ah!” at every lo hei session during Chinese New Year. You probably know by now that there’s a system, and that it’s customary to say auspicious things in Mandarin each time you add an ingredient into the massive heap.

Returned your chengyu knowledge to your Chinese teacher already and have no clue about what to say? Fret not. We take you through the process of preparing yusheng — step by step, chengyu by chengyu — so you can up your huat quotient at lo heis this Chinese New Year.

1 of 13 Huat’s up? Start by greeting everyone else at the table.

Say: Gong xi fa cai/ wan shi ru yu
What it means: Wishing you happiness and prosperity, and may all your wishes come true.

2 of 13 Add raw fish or abalone

Say: Nian nian you yu
What it means: Abundance through the years. The Chinese words for fish ('yu'), abalone ('bao yu') and abundance ('yu') sound similar.

3 of 13 Throw in bits of pomelo, lime or orange slices.

Say: Da ji da li
What it means: Good luck and prosperity. Oranges, ‘ju zi’ in Mandarin, sounds like ‘ji’ (luck). Limes and pomelo are here for the partay just 'cos they resemble orange slices.

4 of 13 Cinnamon powder, pepper and other spices

Say: Zhao cai jin bao
What it means: Ushering in wealth and prosperity (these are usually packed in little red sachets, like ang pows, to symbolise luck and wealth).

5 of 13 Oil

Say: Cai yuan guang jin
What it means: May wealth flow in from everywhere. You should drizzle the oil in a circular motion to signify moolah coming in from all directions.

6 of 13 Plum juice

Say: Tian tian mi mi
What it means: May life be sweet and blissful. Yup, like plum juice.

7 of 13 Shredded carrots

Say: Hong yun dang tou
What it means: Good luck will come your way.

  • 8 of 13 Shredded green radish

    Say: Qing chun chang zhu
    What it means: May you have eternal youth.

  • 9 of 13 Shredded white radish

    Say: Bu bu gao sheng
    What it means: May your work and business progress by leaps and bounds.

  • 10 of 13 Chopped or crushed peanuts

    Say: Jin yin man wu
    What it means: May your household be filled with gold and silver.

  • 11 of 13 Sesame seeds

    Say: Sheng yi xing long
    What it means: May your business thrive and prosper.

  • 12 of 13 Pok chui crackers

    Say: Bian di huang jin
    What it means: May your house (or specifically, your floors), be filled with gold. The crunchy golden parcels represent pieces of gold.

  • 13 of 13 Toss the yusheng

    The higher, the better the year ahead. Huat ah!

    Graphics: Pyron Tan

    Main photo: Monti. Additional photo (above): SO/ Sofitel Singapore
    Yusheng platters pictured are available at SO/ Sofitel Singapore (from $58++) till Feb 7, and at Monti (from $88+ per pax, or additional $8 per pax with CNY set meals) till Feb 3. More info at https://www.sofitel-so-singapore.com/ and www.monti.sg.

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