Basic Terms on Chinese Restaurant Menus

In today's modern Chinese restaurants even a more traditional menu will come with English translations for many of the more common Chinese food terms. It is, however, always handy to have knowledge of some to the basic terms just in case you find yourself in need.Here are eleven definitions that range from vegetables to duck for some of the more common items found in Chinese restaurants.Choy = vegetable.

Vegetables or Choy are found in many Chinese food dishes. This versatile ingredient can be found in stand alone dishes or accompanied by meat.Dun = egg and is often found in dishes like Egg Foo Young where eggs or Dun are combined with a wide variety of accompaniments like rice, chicken, vegetables and bean sprouts.Fon = rice and is most familiar in Fried Rice which comes with peas, carrots and pork or in sticky short grained white rice.

Gai = chicken and is a very adaptable ingredient to use in dishes like Cashew Chicken or Moo Shu Chicken where the chicken is thin sliced and served with vegetables, plum sauce and a thin pancake.Har = shrimp and can be found in Peking Shrimp which can sometimes still be found by its traditional name of Beijing Far Jue Har.Mien = noodle and is a soft warm noodle served with chicken or pork and vegetables.

The all too common chow mien noodle is a crunchy version of the original.Moo ghoo = mushroom. Moo Ghoo Gai Pan, which means sliced chicken and mushrooms, is an easily found dish on most Chinese restaurant menus.Op = duck. Op or duck is not as common as chicken or pork but is a delicacy that is worth tasting.

Pien = sliced, proper slicing is key to Chinese cooking.Suen = sour Tiem = sweet. Most often times you will see sweet and sour in the same dish such as Sweet and Sour Pork which contains pork, pineapple and green peppers in a sweet sauce.

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By: Shauna Hanus

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