kake: The word "菜單" (Chinese for "menu") in various shades of purple. (菜單)
Kake ([personal profile] kake) wrote2011-08-17 05:30 pm

Reading Chinese Menus: Dishes: 紙包蝦 — zhǐ bāo xiā — paper-wrapped prawns

Description follows.

[Image: Three long, deep-fried, rice-paper-wrapped cylinders sitting on a white paper doily on a white plate. The pink-orange colour of the prawn filling is visible through the wrapper.]

I have no recipe to offer you for today's dim sum dish. I tried to find one in my cookery books and on the internet, and failed on both counts. So instead, have a photo of it (above), and an encouragement to order it in restaurants!

Paper-wrapped prawns (紙包蝦/zhǐ bāo xiā) can be found in the "fried" section of the dim sum menu. The English name and Chinese name match up quite simply: 紙 (zhǐ) is paper, 包 (bāo) means "package" or "to wrap", and 蝦 (xiā) are prawns. The paper here is rice paper — not the very thin, shiny stuff that Brits of a certain age may remember purchasing from sweetshops, but the sort of thing used to wrap Vietnamese spring rolls.

You may also see these listed as 威化紙包蝦 (wēi huà zhǐ bāo xiā). Don't try to extract meaning from the characters 威 and 化, since this is another phonetic Cantonese transliteration ("wai faa") of an English word, "wafer" in this case, referring to the texture of the deep-fried rice paper wrappers.

Characters mentioned in this post:
Other related posts:
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.
laughingrat: A detail of leaping rats from an original movie poster for the first film of Nosferatu (Default)

[personal profile] laughingrat 2011-08-17 07:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Must have. *tries to steal*

[identity profile] eatlovenoodles.blogspot.com 2011-08-17 09:21 pm (UTC)(link)
I love the version of zhi bao xia topped with sesame seeds.
watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)

[personal profile] watersword 2011-08-18 12:39 am (UTC)(link)
I have never had these. This must be rectified immediately.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)

[personal profile] afuna 2011-08-19 05:26 am (UTC)(link)
Oh my that looks good. I must see if I can find anything like that here....