生 (shēng) has a number of meanings — see its CantoDict entry for a list — and also appears in a number of contexts on the Chinese menu. Firstly, it forms part of the words for peanut (花生/huā shēng or 花生米/huā shēng mǐ) and lettuce (生菜/shēng cài). The literal translation of 生菜 is "raw vegetable"; I have no idea of the etymology of 花生, though 花, which I've posted about before, means "flower".
The character is also used in combination with 煎 (jiān/pan-fried) as 生煎 (shēng jiān), literally "fried from the raw", which according to blogger Carl Chu indicates that the item (usually a dumpling or 包/bāo/bun of some kind) has been cooked by frying directly in oil, without being boiled or steamed first.
生 can also indicate that an ingredient (usually fish/魚/yú) is added at the very end of cooking, in order to ensure it doesn't overcook, as sung noted in a comment on my post on 粥 (zhǒu/congee). I've also seen it in connection with 蠔 (háo/oyster), where I think it may mean that the oyster is cooked immediately after shucking (though this is pure speculation).
Finally, though I've never seen this on a menu, 生 appears in the name of a dish often eaten by Chinese people in Malaysia and Singapore on the seventh day of the New Year, which is today! I'll be posting more about this dish, 魚生 (yú shēng), which literally means "raw fish", on Friday.
Here are some dishes with 生 in the name that I have actually seen on Chinese menus:
|腐竹花生||fǔ zhú huā shēng||peanut salad with beancurd skin|
|芹菜花生米||qín cài huā shēng mǐ||celery and peanut salad|
|生煎鍋貼||shēng jiān guō tiē||literally "fried-from the raw pot-stickers" — aka pan-fried dumplings|
|海鮮生菜包||hǎi xiān shēng cài bāo||lettuce-wrapped seafood [see footnote 0]|
|生魚片粥||shēng yú piàn zhǒu||congee with sliced fish|
|豆腐火腩生蠔煲||dòu fu huǒ nán shēng háo bào||beancurd, roast pork, and oyster claypot (see recipe on eGullet)|
Footnote:  I wasn't actually sure before whether lettuce-wrapped seafood was a "real" Chinese dish or not, as it felt a bit like one of those invented-for-the-Westerners things, but I've seen it on several Chinese-only menus, and sung assures me that it's a Cantonese dish.
|生:||shēng||radical 100 (生)||Cantodict||MandarinTools||YellowBridge||Zhongwen|