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Ido

Chinese Spices

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Ido

Hello,

I have recently returned from China and completely fell in love with Chinese food! As I'm also a big fan of spices, I bought some Chinese spices (mainly in Sichuan) and asked the seller to write their names in Chinese (she didn't speak any English). The problem is that I don't really know how to read this kind of script...

I'd be very happy if you can help me and write these labels in computer's Chinese characters. If you also know what are their names in English and what do the Chinese people use them for it will be even better :)

 

Thank you very much!

Ido

Chinese1.jpg

Chinese2.jpg

Chinese3.jpg

Chinese4.jpg

Chinese5.jpg

Chinese6.jpg

Chinese7.jpg

Chinese8.jpg

Chinese9.jpg

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889

1. 不辣的 (海椒面)

2. 特辣的辣椒面 (take care!)

3. 生姜面

4. 微辣

5. 中辣

6. 特辣 (take care, again)

7. 自然 [孜然?]

8. 花椒面 (做水面[筋?])

9. 五香[凉?]分 (做 [   ] 面) 少放

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陳德聰

(8) should be 做水面用 probably

(9) looks like “五香粉 (做、飯、面)少放”

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889

Yes, that looks right. Though maybe she should have written (做飯、面) .

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abcdefg

OP -- @Ido -- Welcome!

 

If you put a snapshot of the spice beside its written name, we can probably help you more with general suggestions for their use.

 

I enjoy cooking Chinese food, and have learned to use many of the indigenous spices. Here are some authentic recipes that might strike your fancy:

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/52430-alphabetical-index-of-food-articles/

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Ido

Thank you so much for your quick and helpful answers! You've helped me a lot :)

Pictures of the spices themselves are attached now. Do you know their English names and their Chinese use?

 

Thanks again!

Ido

 

Spice_Chinese1.jpg

Spice_Chinese2.jpg

Spice_Chinese3.jpg

Spice_Chinese4.jpg

Spice_Chinese5.jpg

Spice_Chinese6.jpg

Spice_Chinese7.jpg

Spice_Chinese8.jpg

Spice_Chinese9.jpg

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evn108

All of the reddish spices are just chilies and chili powder with different degrees of spiciness. 1 is not spicy, 2 is especially spicy. 4 is less spicy whole chilies, 5 is medium, 6 is extreme heat. 7 is most likely cumin (自然 instead of 孜然--cute). 3 is I believe powdered ginger, 8 is sichuan peppercorn, 9 is five spice powder, to be used sparingly, I guess.

 

It seems like 面 is being used to indicate powder? Is that common?

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abcdefg
On 11/28/2017 at 5:58 AM, evn108 said:

It seems like 面 is being used to indicate powder? Is that common?

 

Yes. Sometimes 粉 as in 黑胡椒粉 and other times 面 as in 辣椒面。Both convey that the original spice has been ground up. 

 

@Ido -- I'm afraid it will be pretty hard for anyone to advise you in any detailed way how to use these spices, especially the ground ones. Would suggest just following the directions from the seller, even though they might have been vague. Then adjust the amount through trial and error.

 

In my Kunming kitchen, making authentic Chinese food, I use very few ground spices because it's extremely difficult to know how strong they are. Strength is affected by how fine or coarse they are ground and how long it has been since they were ground.

 

Here is an example, in which I'm making a Sichuan hot sauce. Note that I do grind the Sichuan peppercorns, but only after first toasting them. Also toast and grind the red chili peppers.

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/55120-making-your-own-chili-sauce-自制红油/

 

IMG_2364.thumb.JPG.91036d25dd64bc3da4c0ca7431d8c657.JPG.88d5120463479435f0dd7712d09f566d.JPGIMG_2370.thumb.JPG.c5fd6fe773407d3035ed6b6f31ad2246.JPG.3fd92ca315f7e5426708dee9ab21e547.JPG

 

 

Cinnamon bark 桂皮 at 12 o'clock, followed by a smashed cardamom pod 草果,a piece of dried orange peel 橙皮,two or three star anise 八角,two bay leaves 香叶,four or five cloves 丁香,a teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns 花椒,most of a tablespoon of white sesame seeds 白芝麻,and finishing up at 11o'clock with a teaspoon of fennel seeds 小茴香。

 

I think it's great that you fell in love with Chinese cooking during this trip, and especially got to know the food of China's southwest. I share your enthusiasm for those spices. Hope you will make many delicious dishes back home. Be glad to help if I can as the process unfolds.

 

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abcdefg

@david1234 -- Welcome to the forum.


 

Quote

 

Hi guys,

 

I am a cook and I am started to learn Chinese cooking.

 

So I want to ask you What are the important Chinese spices which are important in Chinese cooking?

 

 

These are some of the dry spices I most often use.

 

What Chinese dishes have you made so far? Do you have some favorite Chinese flavors? Do you cook professionally or as a hobby (I only do the latter.)

 

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abcdefg

Moderator -- Help! I have made a mess here -- transferred all sorts of extra stuff instead of just the quote.

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Christa
27 minutes ago, abcdefg said:

Moderator -- Help! I have made a mess here -- transferred all sorts of extra stuff instead of just the quote.

 

It looks awesome. Like a Picasso of the forum...

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Publius

Or Pikachu of the forum

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imron
1 hour ago, abcdefg said:

Moderator -- Help!

Fixed.

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DavyJonesLocker

@abcdefg

 

How did you learn to cook Chinese food?. I often think about joining a cookery course. That way I can improve my cooking skills (from a baseline of zero) and further learn Chinese terminology relating to different cuisines and methodology. 

Seems more interesting that looking at text books.

 

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abcdefg
10 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

How did you learn to cook Chinese food?. I often think about joining a cookery course. That way I can improve my cooking skills (from a baseline of zero) and further learn Chinese terminology relating to different cuisines and methodology. 

 

@DavyJonesLocker -- I thought you would never ask! (Smile) 

 

I would have joined a cookery course had one been available here, but I was unable to find one. So I had to improvise. Here were some methods that helped me. 

1. Invited local friends for supper, but we would meet in the market and buy ingredients together. Then we would return to my house and cook it up together. This started with one of my teachers and her boyfriend. The three of us hit it off really well. 

2.  When I had language teachers with whom I was compatible, I invited them over for a meal; one we prepared together. Found that most of my teachers had several things they liked to cook. I offered to pay for their time at the same rate as a Chinese language lesson. 

3. One of the schools I attended had a student cafeteria. The lady who ran it had previously operated a restaurant and was quite talented. I hired her to come over and show me tricks of the trade during some of her off hours. Later we extended this to include a preliminary trip to the market each time so she could show me how to select the best ingredients.  

4. I show up off peak at the local wet market and have gotten to know some of the vendors well enough to ask them to explain how to use their wares. Not all vendors are eager, of course, but some are very friendly and helpful about it. I consult them about what I'm planning to make. 

5. An extension of building relationships with the vendors is to make photos of their stalls and their wares (similar to the ones I often post here.) I also make photos of the dishes I have made at home using their goods and their tips. I get them printed at a nearby copy shop and present them with a nice deck of color snapshots when I return. 

6. Have done the same thing with a couple of small "Mom and Pop" restaurants. (Photos as "ice breaker.") One place I always ordered their won ton 馄饨 noodle soup. Saw them making the wonton in batches and asked if they would show me how. Returned off peak when they had time, and they took me through the process. 

7. Read lots of recipes in original language, gradually building files of the most useful and common terms. I try to include those vocabulary items in the recipes I post here in this forum for the use of Chinese learners who might find them useful.  

8. Cook together with my Chinese girlfriend. That one is self explanatory, and I'm pretty sure it is a well-worn path followed by quite a few expats. 

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Alex_Hart
1 hour ago, abcdefg said:

4. I show up off peak at the local wet market and have gotten to know some of the vendors well enough to ask them to explain how to use their wares. Not all vendors are eager, of course, but some are very friendly and helpful about it. I consult them about what I'm planning to make. 

 

This one is my favorite, too. The only issue is that a lot of the vendors talk in dialect, and they refer to food by names I don't understand. However, I've found that being a repeat customer makes them extremely happy to be helpful. I recently wanted to make 茭白, which is in season now and is popular because it's cheap (on the other hand, 笋 is still a fortune for another month). The vendor was trying to tell me to stir fry it with 毛豆 and 雪菜, but he was using the local dialect to describe 毛豆。I had no idea what he was saying (sounded Korean, sort of a moo3 duu2) but he yelled across the room to tell an auntie to give me some 毛豆, then took me down to the pickle lady to buy some of the correct 雪菜. He was worried I'd buy the wrong one (the pickle lady has five or six varieties). I've been going to him for a year now to buy my 笋 and mushrooms. Another perk is that he takes the outside off 笋和茭白 before weighing it!

1 hour ago, abcdefg said:

8. Cook together with my Chinese girlfriend. That one is self explanatory, and I'm pretty sure it is a well-worn path followed by quite a few expats. 

This, too, but I find it even better to ask my girlfriend's mother and aunt. Her auntie promised to teach me the (very long) process of making 梅干菜 and a local paste this summer if I brought her some American-sourced basil seeds, but she's already told me how to prepare some local dishes. 

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abcdefg
4 hours ago, Alex_Hart said:

This, too, but I find it even better to ask my girlfriend's mother and aunt.

 

Ah yes. I'm jealous. Early on one of my teachers introduced me to her mother in a similar role. The three of us cooked lots of wild mushrooms, taking advantage of the mother's greater experience. Then it became clear that I was being "set up" as a marriage prospect for the long-divorced mother -- and I ran for the hills. 

 

In my case the current girlfriend isn't really very interested in cooking, but is willing to help with the prep and clean-up like a good sport. I tell myself that's great, since if she were a real virtuoso I might be tempted to get lazy and just sit back.    

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david1234

Hi,

 

Thanks for sharing this information with us. From so many days I want to know about Chinese spices. Now I have found what I want.

 

Thanks.

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DavyJonesLocker

@abcdefg

 

Sorry I missed your indepth reply from last December further up! Much appreciated and useful ! :clap

 

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blace19

Hey,

 

Please suggest me some best Chinese spices for spicy dishes., One of my Chinese friends uses to cook some tasty Chinese dishes now I also want to cook some tasty Chinese food, and I need help for Chinese spices but I lost her contact, So, please suggest me some best Chinese spices????

 

Thank you in advance.

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