Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shui Niu Rou - A Review

Here's a dish you might find on a lot of menus. Sometimes it will have additional characters (and we'll get to them later), but often just these three.

And you've seen these three characters, at least if you've been reading from the beginning. Do you remember them?

Here are some hints from the "how to remember" sections of those posts. Shui 水 looks like a waterfall. Niu 牛 represents something associated with the American West, and looks like a telegraph pole (though it is NOT a telegraph pole). Rou 肉 looks kind of like rib cage.

This is a simple dish and when you know the translation, it sounds very plain and bland, but it is far from that. While it's often mild, it is always flavorful from the main ingredient, and usually seasoned with five-spice, although in a Sichuan restaurant it might be seasoned with chilis and be quite spicy.

So what is it? Boiled beef. (Water Cow Meat.) It's pot roast! A rich and flavorful beef brisket in seasoned gravy. Lovely lovely stuff.

Tomorrow you'll learn a new character again. Something commonly boiled or steamed. You won't want to miss that one.

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