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Healthier Yu sheng for a Healthier Chinese New Year!
February 14, 2015

Chinese New Year is just around the corner! A festive celebration filled with abundant traditional Chinese delicacies that are hard to say no to. The annual celebration wouldn’t be complete without Yu Sheng, an appetizer that consists of raw salmon and various brightly colored finely shredded vegetables doused in oil and seasonings eaten to signify an increase in abundance and prosperity.
 
With the amount of vegetables, you would think that this is certainly a healthy dish. But don’t be fooled! A typical serving of Yu Sheng may pack similar calories to main dishes due to the amount of oil, plum sauce, and crackers added to it. A serving of Yu Sheng (around 387 grams) can contain up to 561 calories with 42.6 grams of fat and 15.5 grams of sugar! Here’s a short guide to make a healthier Yu Sheng that won’t ruin your diet!
 
USE LESS OIL Oil is high in fat and calories. Reduce the use of oil to cut down on the fat and calorie content significantly.
 
ADD MORE FRESH VEGETABLESVegetables are healthy and very low in calories. Make your Yu Sheng healthier by adding more fresh vegetables and limit the other more calorie-dense ingredients.
 
USE LESS PLUM SAUCE AND PICKLESPlum sauce and pickles generally contain a lot of sugar. Don’t be too generous with them in your serving of Yu Sheng.
 
LIMIT THE FLOUR CRISPSWhile it gives your Yu Sheng a great texture and crunch, flour crisps are deep-fried and hence contain a lot of fat. Try to limit them to reduce the calorie. You can also swap the crisp with whole-wheat crackers that’s healthier.
 
SWAP THE NUTS Some Yu Sheng has peanuts in it. You can swap them with unsalted roasted peanuts to reduce the calorie and sodium content.
 
By making these small modifications, you can make your Yu Sheng considerably healthier. Whether you’re making them yourself or eating them at a restaurant, if you follow these tips you’ll be guaranteed a joyous New Year celebration that won’t ruin your diet!
 

SOURCE:
Health Promotion Board. (n.d.). Spring to health for this Chinese New Year. Retrieved January 11, 2015, from http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/6888 & Hui Jun, C. (2011, February 3). CNY Calorie Survival Guide. The Straits Times.

Image courtesy of www.lensaindonesia.com.