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

As you'll know by now if you followed my link to Red Cook's stirfrying series in Monday's linkspam, the Chinese character for "stirfry" is 炒 (chǎo). Kian, the author of the Red Cook blog, divides stirfrying techniques into three main types: plain stirfry (清炒/qīng chǎo), moist stirfry (滑炒/huá chǎo), and dry wok stirfry (煸炒/biān chǎo).

清炒 generally incorporates just one vegetable per dish, often a leafy green or a gourd-style vegetable. A vegetable dish described as 清炒 alone is likely to be very plain, seasoned only with salt. Other flavourings may also be used, and different characters/words are used to denote this; for an overview, see my post on mix-and-match green vegetable dishes.

滑炒 involves several different ingredients, and results in a dish with a sauce; the fourth post in Kian's series has more on this. As he points out, this is the technique used to create dishes such as fish-fragrant aubergine (魚香茄子/yú xiāng qié zi).

煸炒 uses more seasonings and more ingredients than 清炒, but ends up less saucy than 滑炒. One subtype of 煸炒 is 乾煸 (gān biān), or extreme-heat stirfry, used in dishes such as dry-fried green beans (乾煸四季豆/gān biān sì jì dòu).

Here are some dishes with 炒 in the name:

茶樹菇炒臘肉chá shù gū chǎo là ròutea tree mushrooms with Chinese ham
蛋炒飯dàn chǎo fànegg [] fried rice
韭菜炒豬紅jiǔ cài chǎo zhū hóngpig's blood [豬紅/"pig's red"] stirfried with Chinese chives [韭菜]
乾炒牛河粉gān chǎo níu hé fěndry-fried [乾炒] beef [] ho fun [河粉]
肉絲炒麵ròu sī chǎo miànstirfried [炒] noodles [] with shredded [] pork [] (a.k.a. pork chow mein)
青椒炒兔肉qīng jiāo chǎo tù ròurabbit [兔肉] stirfried with green peppers
蕃茄炒蛋fān qié chǎo dànstirfried eggs with tomatoes

Finally, don't confuse 炒 (chǎo) with 抄 (chāo), which as mentioned in my post on 手 (shǒu/hand) is used in the Sichuan name for wontons: 抄手, literally "crossed hands", referring to the way they're folded. Another similar character is 沙 (shā), which is used in combination with 金 (jīn/gold) to denote the use of a salted egg yolk coating ("golden sands"); see my post on sweetcorn with salted egg yolk for more. You can tell them apart by remembering that 炒 has the fire radical, 抄 has the hand radical, and 沙 has the water radical.

炒: chǎo radical 86 (火) 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: 2011-04-20 11:23 am (UTC)
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pne
Curiously enough, I think "sand" is usually spelled 砂 in Japanese, with the "stone" radical.

I think the two may simply be variant characters (sort of like "color" vs "colour" in English), rather than two separate characters that happen to be pronounced the same and that mean (roughly?) the same thing.

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