Friday, January 23, 2009
Rou - Meat of the Matter
When I was but a wee child I noticed that this character was on all of the pork dishes in my local Chinese restaurant menu. I was pretty proud that I had figured it out....
Except sometimes it was on beef dishes. Hmmm.
What it means is "meat", and when used all alone, it almost always means "pork." Other characters can modify it to mean beef 牛肉 or lamb 羊肉, (but I've never seen it used for fish or poultry).
It's easy to recognize. It looks kind of like a rib cage.
The pinyin spelling for it is ròu or rou4. (It's fourth tone, if you're into the conversational lingo.)