The Chinese have some truly weird and wonderful names for dishes. Some metaphorically refer to the origins of the foods, like ‘Jadeite Jade soup’, spinach and tofu soup, alleged to have first been cooked by a village woman for hungry emperor Qian Long. Or ‘Buddha Jumped Over the Wall’ - a rich soup with meat and seafood that would tempt Buddha himself with the delicious smell.
‘Ants Climbing Trees’ might not evoke the most appetising image but it’s spot on visuals - cooked minced pork on glass noodles looks just like that. ‘Fried Flies Heads’ sounds even more disgusting but the dish is simply minced pork again with black beans and Chinese chives - not entirely sure if it’s the pork or the beans that are supposed to be the flies.
‘Lion’s Head’ is a solemn name for meatballs and ‘Rolling Donkey’ is actually a rice roll filled with sweet bean paste. Thai food keeps up with the ‘Weeping Tiger’ grilled beef and ‘Drunken Noodles’ that are supposed to cure hangover.
So I think I can be forgiven for my ‘Sizzling Beef’. Of course it doesn’t sizzle when you get to eat it - it only sizzles when it hits the wok. But it’s much nicer to call it that than a boring ‘beef stir-fry’. And it’s damn well sizzling good!