Monday, September 21, 2009

Acid n Peppery beef noodles from China

I buy instant noodles because they are easy to cook and handy when I'm hungry. I know it's bad for health because of all the preservatives and what not but I am lazy and a lousy cook to boot. I love 麻辣火锅 "ma la huo guo" (literally "sesame and chili hotpot") and still drool when I think of 水煮鱼 "shui zhu yu" (literally "water cook fish"), a Sichuan dish I had in Beijing. Don't let the second name fool you, "water cook fish" is a dish with slices of tender fish cooked in chili oil, with a whole lot of chili on top. It is very, very spicy but my mouth is watering as I type this. I am Singaporean and we like our chili! Sadly, you can get "ma la huo guo" in Singapore but not "shui zhu yu"...

So I was excited when I found this at Lucky Supermarket. On the packet of the instant noodles it says The Flavours of Yunnan China- I've never been to Yunnan so was interested. The flavours I chose were "hong shao niu rou" 红烧牛肉 (red braised beef) and "suan la niu rou" 酸辣牛肉 (sour and hot beef). In English, it said "Beef with Brown Sauce" and "Acid and Peppery Beef".

Fortunately I knew what the makers were trying to say with the acid beef but I did wonder if the name hurt sales...

Then today I visited a blog by another foreigner in Cambodia and he had a photo of a flashlight from China which said "powerful, weak, blinker, siren, amplifier, rechargeable, easiness schlep."

The writer was nonplussed, as I must say, I am. He makes a great note:
But I still marvel at how a word from a language spoken mainly by Jews of Eastern European origin (with speakers numbering a little over 3 million people) found its way onto a Chinese-made flashlight, and then into the hands of a police officer in rural Cambodia. No, it is not the first example of nifty global linkages which I have ever seen. But it is indeed one of my favorites.

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