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Ben H.

Looks delicious. Thanks for the recipes!


my god, this post got me missing china. re-living liangban bohe memories as we speak - yunnan is indeed the place for this dish, i remember eating it for the first time in shuhe just outside of lijiang and absolutely falling in love with it. thanks for reminding me of good times robyn!


I think you meant 折耳根 (Zhe er gen – bend ear root). It is also called 猪屁股 (Zhu pi gu – as in pig’s bottom) because of its red sort of heart-shaped leaves; or 猪鼻孔 (Zhu bi kong – as in pig’s nostrils) but that is just because it sounded similar and not as vulgar as calling it ‘bottom’.


The fish sounds great, but--wow, a mint salad? It's pretty, but...

Marc Medina

this is a winner!


Ben - if you try this I'd love to know what you think, leave a comment!

Jessie you are the one who told us about this, and I kept thinking about it after we got back to KL. Now it's a favorite - so thank you!

Hi Katy -- Thanks for the character clarification, no wonder I couldn't find it in the dictionary. Pretty sure it's pronounced zhu er gen in Chengdu though ... different dialect and all.

Hey Jodi - it won't be appealing, obviously, if you don't like fresh mint to begin with. But try it. It sounded strange to me to but with the strong flavors of the vinegar and chili, it really works! Especially well with the fish.

Marc - is it gonna get you in the kitchen? ;-)


It is possible Chengdu folks pronouce it Zhu - with its association with pig bottom and all that. It just means you won't find it in the dictionary as you said.

One more thing - it could be my imagination (again) since I've never tasted any of these - does it have a 'similar' taste to Fumak (苦卖) - reason I ask is while checking on info now and a while ago, the descriptions of both sounded familiar. Either the distinct sharp, bitter taste, where they grow and both are considered 'cheap' peasant plant loved by the locals but not 'high' up on the market so to speak.


Where they grow as is referring to Jessie's comment that Yunnan is the place for Zhergen - grow in mountains same as Fumak.


I think I would like this. I've only started to like incorporating mint into things, but its thrilling my taste buds. I'll have to try!


always have mint with grilled fish, always classy :), that combination is summer to me.
I am englightened by the raw veggie diet china thanks Robyn.
over in the US, the dominant cantonese cusine seem to blur everything about chinese food.


It's great to hear about authentic regional cuisines since unfortunately our exposure here in the States is so limited. I love, love, love mint, so I can't wait to try this!


I recently tried the Yunnan-style mint salad in Shanghai and LOVE it! http://bit.ly/9rrcj3

Katy was kind enough to point me to the mint salad in your post here. Thanks Katy!

Robyn, thank you for the recipe. I'm looking forward to trying it with mackeral


Forgot to tell you this , the ‘root’ bit in ‘ear root’ is probably from the way Guizhou folks traditionally eat the plant – they eat the root while Sichuan folks eat the leave.

The stir-fried version - though sliminess developed over heat, went well with bacon and chili, so is said. Though that may have been what you tasted anyway.

Teri Y

Wow I have never thought about making mint salads, except for adding slivers of it into fruit salads. Your fish recipe reminds me of fried fish stuffed with chili padi and petai that I've ate (loved it but left out the petai though!). I will definitely give your fish recipe a try.

Himalayan Mountains

Ah! interesting and informative post. Even I did not have an idea about whether the Chinese eat salads or not. great you shared it with us.


spreading the love on eGullet :)


Thanks Heidi!

Teri - that sounds fantastic, stuffed with petai. Would love to see a recipe for that.

Katy - Sichuan folks eat the root too. Sometimes together with the leaf, sometimes not. Yunnanese too.

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