Learn the Basic Terms of a Chinese Food Menu

Chinese cuisine is well known all over the world for its rich history and the various complicated techniques and traditions involved in its preparation. Owing to its rich quality and competitive pricing, there is a growing demand for Chinese foods around the globe.

But, what most Europeans and Americans find mysterious are the several exotic terms that are used in a Chinese food menu. Although most Chinese restaurants serve their menus with English translation and a vivid description of some authentic dishes, it is always better to know some basic terms of a Chinese food menu. These terms will not help you make a better choice at a Chinese restaurant, but also understand the Chinese food recipes when you decide to cook something Chinese.

Following is a list of some basic terms of a Chinese food menu and their meanings:

1) Choy: This term is used to describe vegetables that serve as an appetizer as well as a garnish, and are an important part of Chinese cuisine.

2) Crab Rangoon: Crab Rangoon, a popular American Chinese appetizer, actually refers to deep-fried wontons filled with scallions, cheese, cram, and crab.

3) Dun: This term is very commonly used in Chinese food menus and refers to eggs mixed with rice, beans, chicken, and vegetables.

4) Fon: When you come across the ‘Fon’, do not get confused. It is nothing but rice, boiled or fried, mixed with carrots, peas, and pork.

5) Gai: The term ‘Gai’ is used for chicken in Chinese cuisine. For instance, ‘Moo Shu Gai’ is nothing but chicken served with plum sauce and vegetables.

6) Ma Po Tou Fu: Sounds strange? When you find any such term in a Chinese menu, know that this term simply refers to ‘spicy pork in bean curd’.

7) Mien: Although sounds obscure, it simply stands for Chinese noodles.

8) Tiem and Suen: If you wish to order something sour, look for the word ‘Tiem’ in the food menu. Similarly, things listed under the section titled ‘Suen’ are nothing but Chinese desserts.

There are many other exotic terms you will come across in a Chinese food menu, but the above-listed ones are the most fundamental ones.