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Cooking terms in Chinese

Cooking terms in Chinese.jpg

However you cook it, Chinese food is one of the world’s most famous cuisines for good reason. Across this vast country, there’s a wide variety in the styles of cooking, the ingredients, and the resulting dishes.

Now it’s time to learn some useful Chinese vocabulary for cooking.


peel (剥 – bō)

cut (切 – qiē)

slice (切片 – qiē piàn)

chop (斩 – zhǎn)

mince (剁碎 – duò suì)

Without Heat

dressing (拌 – bàn)

marinating/pickling (腌 – yān)

jellifying (冻 – dòng)

With Heat

boil (煮 – zhǔ)

steam (蒸 – zhēng)

pan-fry (煎 – jiān)

stir-fry (炒 – chǎo)

deep fry (炸 – zhà)

roast (烤 – kǎo)

bake (烘 – hōng)

bake in foil or paper (焗 – jú)

braise (烧 – shāo)

smoke (熏 – xūn)

scalding (烫 – tàng)

Uniquely Chinese Methods

red-cooking (红烧 – hóng shāo) or (卤 – lǔ): This method involves cooking over prolonged heat with the ingredients completely immersed in a soy sauce based broth. This style of cooking is commonly used for beef and eggs.

gradual simmering/double boil (炖 – dùn): The ingredients are submerged in water in a ceramic casserole, which is then placed in water in a bigger pot to steam for many hours. Delicacies such as bird’s nest soup are cooked in this fashion.

high heat stir-fry (爆 – bào): This quick method uses a lot of oil, sauce, or broth to quickly stir-fry the ingredients at very high heat in a wok. It’s meant to deliver a crispy texture without overcooking.

stewing (焖 – mèn): This is different from the Western style of stewing – ingredients are stir-fried until partially cooked and then transferred to a clay pot to be slow-cooked. Commonly used for meat and fish.

hui (烩 – huì): This is also referred to as braising, but it’s a bit different as it is thickened with a starchy gravy at the end.


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