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

First things first — happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

This week's character isn't related to the Mid-Autumn Festival, but it is tangentially related to one of last week's characters, 蛋/dàn/egg. 粥 (zhǒu) is the Chinese character for congee (rice porridge), and one of the most popular ways of serving it is with pork and century egg — 皮蛋瘦肉粥 (pí dàn shòu ròu zhǒu). Note the 瘦 (shòu) character here — this indicates that the pork (肉/ròu) is of the lean variety, rather than the fattier cuts that are used in many other Chinese dishes.

Here are some other flavours of congee I've seen listed on menus:

生魚片粥shēng yú piàn zhǒucongee with sliced fish (生/shēng usually means "fresh" or "raw" in the context of a menu — here, it most likely means that the fish is added in at the last minute so it doesn't get overcooked)
滑牛肉粥huá niú ròu zhǒubeef congee (滑/huá means "smooth/slippery", and I'm not sure what it indicates in this context)
滑雞粥huá jī zhǒuchicken congee
豬紅粥zhū hóng zhǒupig's blood congee (literally "pig's red congee") — the translation on the menu was the rather euphemistic "Chinese red pudding congee"
蠔仔肉碎粥háo zǐ ròu suì zhǒubaby oyster and minced pork congee

Finally, while rice congee is the most common type of congee in Chinese cuisines, it's sometimes made from other grains, particularly in the north of China where rice is less of a staple food than in other regions. For example, Baozi Inn, a small Northern Chinese restaurant in London's Chinatown, offers 小米粥 (xiǎo mǐ zhǒu) — literally "small [小] grain [] porridge [粥]" — which is made from millet.

粥: zhǒu radical 119 (米) Cantodict MandarinTools YellowBridge Zhongwen

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: 2010-09-22 09:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eatlovenoodles.blogspot.com
Fish congee is my favourite. To be honest, I just call it yu pian juk (I'm going Canto on you) but I guess the 生 (fresh) comes from the sliced fish being added in at the last minute so as not to overcook it.

Happy mid-autumn festival!

Date: 2010-09-22 12:07 pm (UTC)
shuripentu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shuripentu
Hurrah! Canto-speakers (and Canto-basic-communicators :P) unite! ^_^

Juk is one of my favourite foods, and very versatile too. It's good for breakfast (especially if it's cold out), good if you're ill (the rice has been boiled for so long there's practically nothing left for your digestive system to bother with), and just good all round.

All the online recipes for juk suggest that you just boil the rice in water, but my grandmother says good juk is made with pork stock - plenty of pork bones laying about the average Chinese restaurant I reckon.

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