Shanghai Vegetable Prices

01 Dec 2005

The other day Micah posted a list of vegetable prices, which I find very useful. Normally I would just link to his entry, but Micah’s permanent archives are on “Blockspot,” which is just a pain. So with his permission I’m reproducing the table here (and adding pinyin tooltips so that I’ve at least contributed something).

From Shanghai Evening Post’s “Metro Life” section called 蔬菜批发价格, or Wholesale Vegetable Prices:

品种
Type
价格
/公斤
Price
(RMB/kg)
品种
Type
价格
/公斤
Price
(RMB/kg)
青菜
Chinese greens
0.7 番茄
Tomato
2.1
毛菜
???
1.7 什椒
Peppers
2
卷心菜
Cabbage
0.6 冬瓜
Winter melon
0.6
大白菜
Chinese cabbage
0.45 黄瓜
Cucumber
2.1
花菜
Cauliflower
2.6 毛豆
Soy bean
1.8
生菜
Lettuce
1.8 豇豆
Cowpea
2.7
美芹
Celery
1.9 刀豆
String bean
3.1
雍菜
Water spinach
(blank) 茭白
Wild rice stem
3.8
茄子
Eggplant
2.1 土豆
Potato
1.45

It’s weird — not only can I not find a translation for 毛菜, but I can’t find any definite pictures of it either (can you make sense of this or this?). Yet I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten it before!

Share

John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. hairy vegetable? got me.

  2. What was translated as Chinese greens is labeled as shanghai bok choi in American markets. Is 大白菜 bok choi? Also I think 刀豆 is green beans (of the green bean casserole kind). I have no idea what string beans are called in Chinese though. I’ve heard 毛菜 also called 鸡毛菜 but alas can’t find an English translation either…

  3. 小白菜苗. This link says: 五叶真叶期左右的小白菜苗,收割起来,上海人叫鸡毛菜,广东人叫菜毛. Also used similarly to 菜心. Probably “Pak Choi shoots” in English.

  4. Oh, and the pictures come out all weird because 曲毛菜 is another name for 蕨菜, a kind of wild vegetable with curly finger-leaves. In that one, 毛 probably means “hairy”, while in 毛菜, it means “young.”

  5. Julia Childs:

    Green beans, snap beans, string beans, or whatever you wish to call them, are of many varieties: some are flat, others are round, still others are a mottled green rather than a uniform color. Most of those on the market today are stringless.

    So take your pick. I’ll accept shanghai bok choi for 青菜. I didn’t realize we only have it in Shanghai, that’s why I called it Chinese. Also I like to stay away from bok choi because this ain’t Canton. That’s why 大白菜 is Chinese cabbage, too.

  6. 笨笨!鸡毛菜 la

  7. Yeah, my ayi today also confirmed that 毛菜 is the same as 鸡毛菜, and that it’s similar to 青菜.

  8. Green beans are generally no more than 5 inches while string beans are over a foot long Despite what Julia says, bless her heart, the beans are different.
    I’m guessing that the veggie names are translated also for the benefit of people not in China. Almost All the Asian supermarket in the US translate it using the Cantonese though.

  9. looking at the prices, vegetables are about about one and half to double the price in Shanghai as they were in Dalian earlier this year.

    hong kong prices are about double the price of shanghai for most things, but still cheaper than vegetables in canada.

    i can have a hearty home cooked meal in HK for under $10 worth of vegetables and meat. too bad i have to wash dishes! all very interesting…

  10. Gwen, some varieties grow longer than others, but they’re all the same thing. Chop string beans into 2-3 inch pieces and you’ve got green beans.

  11. schtickyrice Says: December 5, 2005 at 8:14 am

    大白菜 is frequently called Napa in N. America, the tight-headed kind used for making Korean Kimchee. Not sure if the word origin is Japanese or just named after Napa County, California. Definately not the same as bok choy, which is cantonese for the loose, long white stemmed and green leaved variety…白菜?

    Not sure if 茭白 is actually wild rice, or just cattail or some other reed. The neat thing about it is that the plant, whatever it may be, is colonized by a fungi, giving it a unique taste and texture.

  12. i love stir fried bok choi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *