Wednesday, August 09, 2023


In reading the text on a packet of confections (sweet sesame biscuits with black and white sesame seeds speckled upon them) a section stood out as completely illegible because of the smallness of the printed characters. The English translation gave the entire phrase as "compound leavening agent". The Chinese compound word is 複配膨松劑 ('fuk pui paang chung joi'). Literally: return matched swollen pine dosage. Um.....
Or 'again allocate inflated pine medication'.


I looked up the word 膨 ('paang'). For which there is no antique seal script or jinwen variant, because it had not been invented two and a half millenia ago. So I created one.
Naturally you would have done the same. Seeing as all the parts are recognizable. In order: a slice of ham, a drum being beaten (the tongue symbolically shooting up to indicate sound), three stripes of a tiger representing the vibrations or noise issuing forth. The throbbing of the flesh, the swollen appearance of bloated meat, and, happily, a glyph which could also be a cauldron above which is steam or vapour, telling the keen culinarist to cast in the striped meat (obviously bacon or pork belly in this tale) and fix it up for dinner.

I'm thinking ginger, scallion, a hefty jigger of cooking sherry, and a dash of soy sauce. Plus one or two whole star anise and a tablespoon of sugar. About two hours or more.
A very low flame simmer till the liquid is nice and reduced.

Sort of the lazy man's version of Tung-Po Pork.

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