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Cooking terms in Chinese idioms and phrases

Cooking terms in Chinese idioms and phrases, learn chinese

In China, food cooking is a complicated process and cooking methods are flexible and varied. In Chinese language, many words are derived from cooking process and methods, and are used to refer to various things.

在中国,食物的制作过程步骤复杂,烹饪方法多种多样,灵活多变。因此引申出大量的含义,用来比喻万事万物。

生 (shēnɡ) 、熟 (shú) uncooked and cooked

There are two states of food, uncooked or cooked, with which many Chinese words are associated. For example, 熟悉 (shú xī, be familiar with), 熟人 (shóu rén, acquaintance), 熟门熟路 (shú mén shú lù, know well about), 成熟 (chénɡ shú, mature), 熟练 (shú liàn, skilled), 生人 (shēnɡ rén, stranger), 生分 (shēnɡ fen, estranged), 生米煮成熟饭 (shēnɡ mǐ zhǔ chénɡ shú fàn, what's done is done), 陌生 (mò shēnɡ, unfamiliar), 人生地不熟 (rén shēnɡ dì bù shú, totally unfamiliar with).

做菜的关键在于生熟,在汉语中有大量引申用法:熟悉、熟人、熟门熟路、成熟、熟练;生人、生分、生米煮成熟饭,陌生、人生地不熟。

煎 (jiān) fry

"煎" is a cooking method, from which "煎熬" (jiān áo, suffer) has been derived. The verse "同室操戈,相煎何太急" (tónɡ shì cāo ɡē, xiānɡ jiān hé tài jí) means "why should people of the same family fight against each other so anxiously?" 

煎是一种烹调方法,引申出"煎熬"的意思。比如"同室操戈,相煎何太急。"

熬 (áo) decoct

"熬" costs time, so it means "endure" extendedly. For example, "熬夜" (áo yè) means "stay up", "总算熬过来了" (zǒnɡ suàn áo ɡuò lái le) means "to live through troubles or miseries finally", "熬年头" (áo nián tou) means "to be unproductive at work but to expect raises as rewards of years", and "这日子可怎么熬" (zhè rì zi kě zěn me áo) means "how to live through such hard days". 

特点非常费工夫。因此引申出"熬夜","总算熬过来了","熬年头","这日子可怎么熬"。

炒 (chǎo) stir-fry

"炒" is also a common cooking method. It has several extended uses as well. For example, "炒作" (chǎo zuò) means "hype or sensationalize", "炒股票" (chǎo ɡǔ piào) means "speculate in stocks", and "炒鱿鱼" (chǎo yóu yú) means "get fired".

炒是一种常见的烹调方式,也有很多引申。"炒作"为扩大人或事物的影响而通过媒体做反复的宣传。"炒股票"炒股就是从事股票的买卖活动。"炒鱿鱼"指被解雇。

爆 (bào) quick-fry 

As a cooking method, "爆" is often used extendedly. For example, "爆冷门" (bào lěnɡ mén) means "a dark horse", "爆满" (bào mǎn) means "have a full house or be packed up", "火爆" (huǒ bào) means "hot-tempered or popular", "爆红" (bào hónɡ) means "become popular within a short time", and "爆棚" (bào pénɡ) means "overwhelming or sensational". 

爆也是一种烹调方法。引申用法很多。"爆冷门"就是有出人意料的结果。"爆满"指人数太多,人满为患。"火爆"指脾气暴躁。"爆红"指短时间内,具有超高的人气以及知名度。"爆棚"比喻有轰动效果。

煮 (zhǔ) boil

There are fewer words related to "煮". "煮饺子" (zhǔ jiǎo zi) means "a large crowd of people", for example, "夏天很多人游泳避暑,这个小泳池挤得像在煮饺子" (Too many people resort to swimming pool to escape summer heat, the small swimming pool is crowded with people). "生米煮成熟饭" means "what's done is done". 

煮也是一种烹饪方法,由 "煮"组成的词语会少一些。"煮饺子"比喻人很多。"生米煮成熟饭"比喻既成事实,无法改变。

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2016-06-21

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