Funny Chinese Dishes: Dead Man’s Coffin, Wild Speculation Beef Salamander and More

I did a lot of thinking over the last week.

All this was sparked off by the long comment that Dyn made which I made it into a blog post called Why Do Whites Accept Japanese and Thai Cuisine Over Other Cuisine. I posted it because it was controversial and thought our readers would love to read of it. However, little did I expect that Dyn’s notes sparked off a series of very long, thought provoking comments from other readers.

That got me thinking over a few comments made regarding bad translations in Chinese Menu that puts off diners who are not familiar with the cuisine. So I did some more research on the internet and in one discussion forum, there was a discussion how a western menu differs from a Chinese one.


In western menu, the dishes often describes the ingredients and the way it is prepared.


On the other hand, with Chinese dishes, you will not always be able to picture the dish if you are not familiar with it. Traditionally, many Chinese dishes have a 4-word (syllable) names and some of the names have no relevance to the dish. Sometimes they even sound poetic when spoken.

Anyway, Suanne and I thought that over the weekend we just go and check out two funny sounding menu items that we know of. These are from our past restaurant visits that our readers had pointed out which we did not realize. The plan was just to go into these restaurants and order just this ONE item and do a review of them.

Suanne was kind of “mm hoe yee see” going in and ordering one item for the two of us. Taking pictures in a restaurant already catches attention but going in and ordering ONE specific dish, taking pictures and then leave quickly sure got the attention of the restaurant. But that is what we did.

Here is what we tried:

Dead Man Coffin from Sunway Restaurant


Anyone has any idea why this is called the Dead Man’s Coffin? I can only guess it is because it is … Continue reading

Orange Poached Pears

For dessert, Minoo prepared Orange Poached Pears.  This dessert is best served chilled.  You may served the Orange Poached Pears with some vanilla ice-cream, leave out the syrups.  The pears can be cut into smaller pieces and serve with your favourite yogurt along with some granolas for breakfast.


This Orange Poached Pears recipe serves 6.


  • 2 cups orange juice (we used freshly squeezed orange juice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 orange, cut in strips
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored, and quartered lengthwise


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Butternut Squash Apple Soup

This Butternut Squash Apple Soup is another great recipe in using winter produce. Cold weather calls for a hot bowl of soup.  This creamy soup is flavourful and heart warming.


This soup can be prepared in 40 minutes or less.  The trick to a great butternut squash soup is the simple addition of one tart green apple to balance the sweetness of the squash.


One of the better way to prepare the butternut squash is to roast it.  Simply cut the squash half lengthwise, lightly brush with vegetable oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes in a 350F preheated oven until it is softened.  Roasting brings out the sweetness of the squash as the sugar content is caramelized.

Butternut squash is a good source of fiber, vitamin C and A, magnesium, manganese and potassium.   This recipe serves 4 to 6.

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