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Siu mei

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Siu mei is the generic name, in Cantonese cuisine, given to meats roasted on spits over an open fire or a huge wood burning rotisserie oven.

Left: Siu mei platter, including BBQ pork (bottom), roasted goose (top), smoked ham hock (left), soy sauce chicken (right), and jellyfish (center).

Usually meat of this type is purchased as take-out as siu mei takes a great deal of resources to prepare, and few families in Hong Kong or China have the equipment for it. Shops selling these meats are commonly found in Chinese-speaking regions in East and Southeast Asia. It is also a staple item in typical Cantonese restaurants.

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Shops generally have large ovens and rotisserie-like utilities for rotating the meat. They create a unique, deep barbecue flavor that is usually enhanced by a flavorful sauce (a different sauce is used for each meat).

Left: Roasted goose (top left), chicken (top right), pork (bottom).

Families order or prepare their own plain white rice to accompany the siu mei. A siu mei meal usually consists of one box comprising half meat and half rice. Certain dishes, such as orange cuttlefish, or white cut chicken, are not roasted at all, but are often prepared and sold alongside BBQ roasted meats in siu mei establishments, hence they are generally classified as siu mei dishes.


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