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CHINA MENU DECODER

By Jen Lin-Liu, author of Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China

GENERAL TERMS

ch to eat
h to drink
zofn breakfast
wfn lunch
wnfn dinner
kuizi chopsticks
chzi fork
do knife
shozi spoon
pnzi plate
bizi glass, cup
cnjnzh napkin
ynlio beverage

ling ci appetizer
(literally cold dish)
r ci main dish
(literally hot dish)
fnwn rice bowl (also a
metaphor meaning a job)
cidn menu
tocn set menu
midn check, please
yngy open for business
gunmn closed
fwyun waiter

mfn rice
mintio noodles
jiozi dumplings
guti pot stickers
bozi steamed bun

shu water
kungqunshu
bottled water
rkishu
hot water, safe and pre-boiled
ch tea
mlihu ch
jasmine tea
wlng ch
oolong tea

STAPLES

DRINKS AND DESSERTS

POPULAR DISHES

NORTHERN CUISINE
pi hunggu
cucumber salad with garlic

xingl zh tdus spicy fried


shoestring potatoes
Bijng koy
Peking duck
lmin hand-pulled
noodles
jinbng savory crepe
served from street vendors

xhngsh cho jdn


scrambled eggs with tomato
zhjing min yellow
bean paste with noodles

August 2008

OTHER FOOD TERMS


//) r/wn/ling
hot/warm/cool
ssh vegetarian
xioch snack
gnbi cheers
hogu hot pot;
Chinese-style fondue
fi xyn q
nonsmoking area
yn salt
hjio pepper
xin salty
tin sweet

sun sour
l spicy
w b ch l I dont
eat spicy
gu wok, pot, pan
chun skewer used for
grilling
kol oven
cngbo quick stir-fry
under high heat with scallions
guyu flash fry in hot oil
do gng knife skills; an
important way to judge a chef

ljio chili
y fish
ru meat
jru chicken
niru beef

zhru pork
dufu tofu
xi shrimp
shci vegetables
tng soup

jingyu soy sauce


c vinegar
dsun garlic
jing ginger
hujio Sichuan pepper

l ch green tea
nini milk
sunni yogurt
kfi coffee
guzh juice
pji beer
hng ptoji
red wine
bi ptoji
white wine

biji a strong, Chinese


grain alcohol
mji rice wine
l d guner
literally donkeys rolling in dirt
a glutinous rice dessert with
red-bean paste
bs pnggu
candied apples

mnggu bdng
mango pudding
bngtng hlu
candied hawthorns, usually sold
from street vendors
yebng literally moon
cakea pastry with a sweet or
savory filling
bngqln ice cream

SICHUANESE CUISINE
kushu j spicy cold
chicken
gngbo jdng spicy
chicken stir-fried with peanuts,
a.k.a. kungpao chicken
mp dufu numbing,
spicy tofu with ground beef,
a.k.a. mapo tofu
dndn min spicy
noodles with chili oil, ground
pork, and preserved vegetables
hugu ru
twice-cooked pork belly
lz j spicy, deep-fried
chicken with red chilies
gnbin sjdu
string beans stir-fried with
ground pork and preserved
vegetables

CANTONESE CUISINE
din xn small Cantonese
snacks, a.k.a. dim sum
sho roast goose
glo ru sweet-andsour pork
ni li cho hfn
beef stir-fried with rice noodles
bizhu jiln
Chinese kale blanched and
served with soy or oyster sauce
ych sharks fin
boy abalone

SHANGHAI/YANGTZE RIVER
DELTA CUISINE
kof spongy wheat gluten
with soy sauce
zuj drunken chicken
xiolng bo Shanghai
soup dumplings
hngsho ru
red-braised pork
shujng xi crystal
shrimp, lightly stir-fried
shzitu literally lions
headmeatballs with pork and
often crabmeat

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