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Conpoy
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Traditional Chinese江瑤柱
Simplified Chinese江瑶柱
Literal meaningriver scallop
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese乾瑤柱
Simplified Chinese干瑶柱
Literal meaningdried scallop
Second alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese乾貝
Simplified Chinese干贝
Literal meaningdried shell(fish)

Conpoy or dried scallop is a type of Cantonese dried seafood product that is made from the adductor muscle of scallops.[1] The smell of conpoy is marine, pungent, and reminiscent of certain salt-cured meats. Its taste is rich in umami due to its high content of various free amino acids, such as glycine, alanine, and glutamic acid. It is also rich in nucleic acids such as inosinic acid, amino acid byproducts such as taurine, and minerals, such as calcium and zinc.[citation needed]

Conpoy is produced by cooking raw scallops and then drying them.

Terminology

Conpoy is a loanword from the Cantonese pronunciation of 乾貝 (gōn bui), which literally means "dried shell(fish)".

Usage

Scallops for sale at a market.
Scallops for sale at a market.

In Hong Kong, conpoy from two types of scallops are common. Conpoy made from Atrina pectinata or gōng yìuh (江珧) from mainland China is small and milder in taste. Patinopecten yessoensis or sin bui (扇貝), a sea scallop imported from Japan (hotategai, ((wikt:帆立貝|帆立貝]] in Japanese), produces a conpoy that is stronger and richer in taste[citation needed].

As with many dried foods, conpoy was originally made as a way to preserve seafood in times of excess.[2] In more recent times its use in cuisine has been elevated to gourmet status. Conpoy has a strong and distinctive flavor that can be easily identified when used in rice congee, stir fries, stews, and sauces.

XO sauce, a seasoning used for frying vegetables or seafoods in Cantonese cuisine, contains significant quantities of conpoy. For example, the Lee Kum Kee formulation lists conpoy as the third ingredient on its label.

See also

References

  1. ^ Simonds, Nina (2005). Food of China. Murdoch Books. p. 289. ISBN 978-1-74045-463-6.
  2. ^ Tsai, Ming; Boehm, Arthur (1999). Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai. Clarkson Potter. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-609-60530-1.