kake: The word "菜單" (Chinese for "menu") in various shades of purple. (菜單)
[personal profile] kake

Earlier this week I posted about 端午 (Duānwǔ), the fifth day of the fifth month in the Chinese calendar. Today's character is 五 (wǔ), the Chinese character for "five".

Note that although 五 (wǔ) is pronounced identically to the character 午 (wǔ) in 端午, it's a different character with a different literal meaning. The fifth month of the lunar year can be referred to as either 五月 or 午月, but while 五 on its own means "five", 午 on its own means "noon".

There's only one word containing 午 that I've ever seen on a Chinese menu — 午餐肉 (wǔ cān ròu), or Spam/luncheon meat — a popular ingredient in Chinese hotpot! So I've decided to cover 五 instead today. I hope this isn't too tenuous a link with Monday's post...

The two main contexts in which 五 is used on menus are 五香 (wǔ xiāng), which is "five spice", and 五花肉 (wǔ huā ròu), which is literally "five-flower meat" and means pork belly. As I mentioned in my post on 花, the name 五花肉 refers to the five alternating layers of meat and fat that should be present in this cut of meat.

Here are some dishes with 五 in the name:

五香牛肉wǔ xiāng niú ròufive-spice beef
五香牛腩wǔ xiāng niú nǎnfive-spice beef brisket
五香花生米wǔ xiāng huā shēng mǐfive-spice peanuts
五花肉燉蘿蔔wǔ huā ròu dùn luó bobelly pork stewed with daikon
五: radical 7 (二) Cantodict MandarinTools YellowBridge Zhongwen

Characters mentioned in this post:
If you have any questions or corrections, please leave a comment (here's how) and let me know (or email me at kake@earth.li). See my introductory post to the Chinese menu project for what these posts are all about.

Date: 2011-06-08 07:45 pm (UTC)
pulchritude: (1)
From: [personal profile] pulchritude
Spam tastes surprisingly good in 火鍋! :P

Date: 2011-06-08 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ex_pinetree696
I'm not a big fan.

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