Chinese cuisine words (throwback)
2 min read

Chinese cuisine words (throwback)

Chinese cuisine words (throwback)

Note: Dear Reader, we hope that you enjoy this throwback issue of Giant Mandarin. When it comes to language learning, revision is crucial. What’s more, as a passion project, throwback issues help keep the show running. Thanks for reading and we’re looking forward to bringing you new content!

Welcome to this week’s issue of the Giant Mandarin newsletter. This week’s newsletter is about Chinese cuisine.

In this week’s Elementary–Intermediate Words we focus on the Chinese words for a selection of common ingredients in Chinese cooking. In Advanced Words, we focus on some of the Chinese dishes that have become popular outside of China. This, of course, is only a narrow selection of the many, many wonderful Chinese dishes out there.

Finally, in Supplementary Reading we suggest an explainer on Chinese leafy greens; a critical view on the Michelin Guide; and tomatoes and stir-fried eggs recipes. We hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter!

Elementary–Intermediate Words

肉 ròu - meat 🍖

鸡肉 jīròu - chicken (meat) 🍗

猪肉 zhūròu - pork 🥓

牛肉 niúròu - beef 🥩

羊肉 yángròu - lamb (meat)

蔬菜 shūcài - vegetables 🥬

青菜 qīngcài - bok choy

大白菜 dàbáicài - napa cabbage

(There are many, many varieties of green, leafy vegetables used in Chinese cuisine and bok choy and napa cabbage are two commonly used ones. Depending on where you live, the English-language naming conventions for these two vegetables might be different as well. For example, in some places, bok choy is also referred to as pak choi and napa cabbage as Chinese cabbage.)

茄子 qiézi - eggplant 🍆

(There are many, many more vegetables that are used in Chinese cuisine!)

酱油 jiàngyóu - soy sauce

生抽 shēngchōu - light soy sauce

老抽 lǎochōu - dark soy sauce

蚝油 háoyóu - oyster sauce 🦪

香油 xiāngyóu - sesame oil

醋 cù - vinegar

  1. 辣椒 làjiāo - chili 🌶
  2. 蒜 suàn - garlic 🧄
  3. 姜 jiāng - ginger
  4. 葱 cōng - scallion; spring onion; green onion
  5. 盐 yán - salt 🧂
  6. 糖 táng - sugar
  7. 油 yóu - oil

Advanced Words

  1. 中餐 Zhōngcān - Chinese cuisine
  2. 红烧肉 hóngshāoròu - red-braised pork belly
  3. 西红柿炒鸡蛋 xīhóngshì chǎojīdàn - tomatoes 🍅 and stir-fried eggs 🥚
  4. 炒饭 chǎofàn - fried rice
  5. 水饺 shuǐjiǎo - boiled dumplings 🥟
  6. 锅贴 guōtiē - potstickers; pan-fried dumplings
  7. 火锅 huǒguō - hot pot
  8. 麻辣烫 málàtàng - malatang (literally, spicy and numbing soup)
  9. 麻辣香锅 málà xiāngguō - mala xiang guo (literally, spicy and numbing fragrant pot)
  10. 干锅 gànguō - dry pot

Supplementary Reading

  1. Chinese Vegetables: Leafy Greens, The Woks of Life
  2. What’s Wrong With the Michelin Guide?, Tim Hayward, Financial Times
  3. Tomatoes and stir-fried eggs recipes: See recipes in The Woks of Life, Red House Spice, NYT Cooking, as well as elsewhere

That’s a wrap for this week.

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Thanks for reading and see you next Thursday!

Giant Mandarin (@GiantMandarin) is written by David Wu (@davidwuio).