May. 18th, 2011

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

蠔 (háo) is the Chinese character for "oyster", though I should perhaps say that it's a Chinese character for "oyster". There are quite a few Chinese words for this bivalve, including 海蠣 (hǎi lì), 牡蠣 (mǔ lì), and 蚵 (hé). However, 蠔 is by far the most common term I've seen on Chinese menus in London; I've only seen 海蠣 on two menus, both of them from Fujian restaurants, and I've never seen either 牡蠣 or 蚵.

I am a great fan of oysters. [personal profile] bob often brings half a dozen back for me when he goes to our local farmers' market on the weekend, and I usually just shuck them and eat them raw. I did cook some last week, though, and I'll be posting about that on Friday!

Another common menu word with 蠔 in the name is 蠔油 (háo yóu), or oyster sauce. You may also sometimes see 蠔皇 (háo huáng), which is often translated into English as "superior oyster sauce".

Here are some dishes with 蠔 in the name:

蠔油鮮竹卷háo yóu xiān zhú juǎnfresh beancurd skin rolls [竹卷] with oyster sauce [蠔油]
蠔皇叉燒包háo huáng chā shāo bāocha siu bao [叉燒包]; the 蠔皇 is a reference to the oyster sauce in the filling
蠔仔肉碎粥háo zǎi ròu suì zhǒucongee [] with baby oysters [蠔仔] and minced [碎] pork []
豆腐火腩生蠔煲dòu fu huǒ nǎn shēng háo bàobeancurd [豆腐], roast pork [火腩], and oyster [蠔] claypot [煲]; the 生 (shēng/raw) probably refers to the oysters being added to the claypot at the last moment
蠔油鴨掌háo yóu yā zhǎngduck feet [鴨掌] in oyster sauce [蠔油]
椒鹽炸生蠔jiāo yán zhà shēng háodeep-fried [炸] oysters [蠔] with spiced salt [鹽]
蠔煎háo jiānoyster omelette

蠔: háo radical 142 (虫) Cantodict MandarinTools YellowBridge [No working Zhongwen entry]

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.

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