Chinese Cuisine

One of traveler’s biggest problems in coming to China is what exactly they should eat. Without a working knowledge of Chinese, either how to read Hanzi (Chinese characters) or speak Mandarin, it’s hard to find places to get authentic food. Of course, by this I mean “real” Chinese food, and not the food provided in the restaurants in your hotel. However, with knowledge of few key dishes you can order and enjoy some of China’s best cuisine. The following are twenty popular dishes, some snacks, and drinks that will come across during your visit.

Before we introduce the dish names and how to ask for them, let’s first understand the basics of Mandarin Chinese. There are four tones which will be referred to in this lesson. The first is a flat tone in which your voice stays flat. This is tone one. The second tone your voice rises, the third it falls and rises, and the fourth it falls. The tones look something like this: – / \/ \ .
For these tones we often use their associated numbers in writing the Romanization for of Hanzi. – (1) / (2) \/ (3) \ (4)
For example: Xie4xie4 = Thank you. Your voice falls during each “xie” (Pronounced shea).


1.Yu3 Xiang1 Qie2 Zi : Eggplant in a brown sauce
2.Hong2 Shao1 rou4 : Braised pork with soy sauce
3.Tang2 cu4 yu2 : Sweet and sour fish
4.Tang2 cu4 ou4 pian4 : Sweat and sour lotus root
5.Qing1 Jiao1 Rou4 Si1 : Shredded pork with green peppers
6.Dan4 Chao4 Fan4 : Fried rice with Eggs
7.Xiao3 Long2 Bao1 Zi : Little steamed dumpling
8.Fan1 Qie2 Chao3 Dan1 : Fried eggs and tomatoes
9.Bei3 Jing1 Kao3 Ya1 : Beijing roast duck
10.Ban4 Huang2 Gua1 : Cucumber Salad
11.Jiang4 Niu2 Rou4 : Beef with soy sauce
12.Xi1 Hong2 Shi4 Ji1 Dan4 Tang1 : Tomato and egg soup
13.Mi3 Fan4 : Rice
14.Niu2 Rou4 Mian4 : Beef Noodles
15.Ga1 Li2 Ji1 Rou4 : Curry Chicken
16.Gong1 Bao4 Ji1 Ding1 : Kung pao chicken
17.Hong2 Shao1 Pai2 Gu3 : Pork ribs in brown sauce
18.Bo1 Luo2 Pai2 Gu3 : Pork ribs with pineapple
19.Song1 Ren2 Yu4 Mi3 : Pine nuts with sweet corn
20.Ma2 La4 Dou4 Fu : Spicy bean curd

*Wo3 Yao4� I want�
Wo3 Yao4 Yu3 Xiang1 Qie2 Zi

Snacks/light meals:

1.Man2 Tou2 : Steamed bun
2.Shao1 Mai4 : Steamed open dumpling (Rice dumpling)
3.Li2 : Pear
4.Ju2 Zi : Orange (Mandarin orange)
5.Ping2 Guo3 : Apple
6.Xi1 Gua1 : Watermelon
7.Shu3 Pian4 : Potato chips
8.Bing1 Qi2 Lin2 : Ice cream


1.Lu4 Cha2 : Green tea
2.Wu1 Long2 Cha2 : Oolong tea
3.Hong2 Cha2 : Black tea
4.Shui3 : Water (Be careful with this. It’s best just to buy bottled water.)
5.Kuang4 Quan2 Shui3 : Mineral water
6.Xue3 Bi4 : Sprite
7.Ke3 Le4 : Coke
8.Nai3 Cha2 : Milk tea

** Wo3 Yao4 yi1 (ping2)� I want one (bottle) of�
(dai4)� (bag)

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