Learn Chinese Cooking Terms

Posted by Lilian Li on Mar 31, 2016

Chinese Cooking Terms


Chinese food is delicious and has a reputation for putting smiles on people's faces just by mentioning it. You may want to cook Chinese food by yourself after enjoying Chinese food. However, if you don't know any Chinese cooking terms, it is really hard for you to read Chinese recipes. Today, let's learn some Chinese cooking vocabulary together, that way when you want to cook Chinese food, you'll be able to read the instructions!

1. Preparation Words

xǐ: Wash

xiāo: Peel

qiē: Cut

zhǎn: Chop

duò: Mince

Chinese Cooking Terms


2. Cooking without Heat

bàn: dressing

yān: marinating/pickling

dòng: frozen

Here are some Chinese dishes which are made without heat.

拌 面 bàn miàn

酸 菜 suān cài

冻 豆 腐 dònɡ dòu fu

cooking without heat


3. Cooking with Heat

zhēng: Steam

zhǔ: Boil

chǎo: Stir-fry

jiān: Pan-fry

kǎo: Roast

zhà: Deep fry

xūn: Smoke

jú: Bake in foil or paper

shāo: Braise

4. Some Cooking Methods Which Unique in China

lǔ:Complete immersion in a soy sauce base broth. This method usually used for meat, eggs or bean products. The food will be very tasty by this method.

dùnSubmerging food in water, and steam it for many hours. It usually used for making some soup.

bào:It is a quick method that uses a lare amount of oil, sauce or broth to quickly stir-fry the food at very high heat in a wok. It is usually used for beef.

mèn:A type of stew that is different from the Western style stew. Food usually be stir-fried until partially cooked, then put the food inside a clay pot to be slow-cooked. This method is commonly used for meat and fish.

These are some of the Chinese dishes which are made by the above cooking method.

卤 蛋 lǔ dàn

炖 汤 dùn tānɡ

爆 炒 牛 肉 bào chǎo niú ròu

红 焖 鱼 hónɡ mèn yú

cooking method which unique in China


After reading today's article, you should have some basic knowledge about Chinese cooking terms. Leave your comment and share with us about your Chinese cooking terms! If you want to learn more Chinese vocabulary about Chinese cooking or Chinese food, welcome to register and take a free trial class with our professional Chinese teacher!


About The Author

Lilian Li

Lilian Li has a master's degree in linguistics and didactics from Rennes University in France. An expert in linguistics and educational psychology, she has taught Chinese as a foreign language for several years, primarily in France.

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