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.

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 is produced by cooking raw scallops and then drying them.


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


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, 帆立貝 in Japanese), produces a conpoy that is stronger and richer in taste .

As with many dried foods, conpoy was originally made as a way to preserve seafood in times of excess.[2] In more recent times its use in cuisine has been elevated to gourmet status.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

  • Budu  Fish sauce originating from east coast of Peninsular Malaysia
  • Dried shrimp
  • Fish sauce  Condiment made from fish
  • List of delicacies  Food item that is considered highly desirable in certain cultures
  • List of dried foods
  • Padaek  Traditional Lao condiment made from pickled or fermented fish that has been cured
  • Saeu-jeot  Salted and fermented small shrimp in Korean cuisine
  • Shrimp paste  Fermented condiment
  • Smoked scallop


  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.
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