Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Chinese names of stuff in the kitchen


Recommended Posts

  • Members
Zel90

I've always labeled my stuff in the kitchen and found it very helpful when learning English. Lately I've decided to learn Chinese and since they seem to be very obsessed with their cuisine (no offense, I also like making and eating Chinese food, I get the obsession) I figured I could re-label all my stuff in the kitchen in (simplified) Chinese. However I got stuck in the beginning with some food names as simple as millets. Couldn't find them online anywhere and google translate is something I'd rather avoid when it comes to learning Chinese. So I'm asking for your help with this one. I've managed to find the Chinese names of some ingredients already but not all of them and who knows, maybe I made mistakes with the ones I've found too. Could you please help me complete the list and correct the mistakes if necessary?

 

These are ingredients, none of them should translate for the actual cooked meal:

 

wheat flour = 面粉 (This one is confusing. Doesn't 面 mean noodles?)
bulgur (basicall it's just wheat) = 小麦
millets = ???
pasta (like spaghetti) = 面食
oats = 燕麦
coffee = 咖啡
sugar = 糖
salt = 盐
honey = 蜂蜜
olive oil = 橄榄油
tea = 茶
chickpeas = 鹰嘴豆
eggs = 蛋
peanuts = 花生
black pepper = 黑胡椒
oregano = 牛至
majoram = 马郁兰
basil = 罗勒
ginger = 生姜
cumin = 孜然
chili = 辣椒
parsley = 香菜
cinnamon = 肉桂
coriander = 香菜 (Why is it the same as parsley?)
vinegar = 醋

 

I think it's enough for a start... I've seen Chinese people (mostly young people) using foreign words "transformed" into a Chinese like 拜拜 for the English bye-bye. If anything on my list doesn't have an actual Chinese word for it but does have this "transformed" version in use by Chinese people, I'd be okay with that solution too. I'd really appreciate if the help. 谢谢 :)

  • Good question! 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

mungouk

小米   xiǎo mǐ    millet

 

In English it's a mass noun, so it's not pluralised with an 's' — possibly why you didn't find it in your dictionary.

 

Also the name of the electronics company.


 

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Zeppa

I  think you should replace the millet with rice and get some more Chinese ingredients, like soy sauce, sesame oil, star anise and so on!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members
Zel90

Thank you for the suggestion, Zeppa. I already use rice. I just didn't put it on the list cause 白饭 (or just 饭) is one of the few words I was sure of knowing. Didn't think of labeling my soy sauce though. It comes in a bottle like my sesame oil and I never thought I could label those too (I put all the other things in containers after buying them). Good idea :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
suMMit

In fact it should be 大米。白饭,米饭,饭 are all cooked 

 

If I'm not mistaken, 小米 is actually also pretty a basic Chinese kitchen ingredient. I believe 小米粥 is pretty common. 

  • Like 2
  • Helpful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk

鸡蛋 jī dàn hen's egg  is possibly more useful than just 蛋, especially since 鸭蛋 duck egg is also very commonly eaten in China.

 

Which dictionary are you using?  MDBG.net (based on the open source CEDICT) also has 洋香菜   yáng xiāng cài  for Parsley plus several other options.

 

Ingredients can get tricky when they're not commonly used in China. A mediterranean cook might be concerned about the difference between Oregano and Marjoram, but they're almost the same plant and some countries don't differentiate them.

 

Similarly the names of citrus fruits can overlap and interchange, and not everything is clearly translatable... what's the difference between a Satsuma, Tangerine, Clementine, Mandarin Orange, Kumquat, Calamansi and Musambi...? 

 

  • Like 2
  • Helpful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
ZhuoMing

  

22 hours ago, Zel90 said:

wheat flour = 面粉 (This one is confusing. Doesn't 面 mean noodles?)

Actually, it would be more accurate to say 面 means flour. The word for noodles, 面条 contains 面 because noodles are made from flour (this is also why 面包 contains that character!). The full word 面条 can be thought of as "strips of flour", but is indeed often shorted to just 面. 

 

In the case of actual flour, 粉 means "powder" so 面粉 is like "flour powder". 

 

Hope that helps with your confusion. Also, your word for pasta, 面食 can be used for any wheat product, including pasta, but also includes stuff like bread, pastries. I think the correct word for your case would be 意大利面 (Italian noodles, pasta).

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg

Millet is 小米, as in 小米粥。

茶叶 is more common for tea when you are referring to dry tea leaves. (A cup of brewed tea would usually be 茶水 in everyday speech.) 

In the supermarket, best to ask for 白砂糖 when you mean ordinary granulated white sugar.

多用面粉 is ordinary all-purpose flour. (Also more formally called 多用途面粉.) 

 

If you want to label some of your cooking utensils, this old thread has some names: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/53539-survivor-china-minimalist-dormitory-cooking/?tab=comments#comment-409737 

 

I'll take a look at your other kitchen words in an hour or two. (Am on mobile at the moment.) Welcome to the forum!

  • Like 2
  • Helpful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members
Zel90

Technical question: How do I reply to a specific comment here? It seems like I can just reply at the end of the section but can't answer to a specific comment.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk

Select the text you want to reply to and you should see this pop up:

 

1092550106_Screenshot2021-04-13at21_50_21.png.35279a952a4c5dd2f103fb0d4c53fea4.png

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members
Zel90
9 minutes ago, mungouk said:

Select the text you want to reply to and you should see this pop up

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members
Zel90
On 4/12/2021 at 3:54 PM, mungouk said:

Ingredients can get tricky when they're not commonly used in China. A mediterranean cook might be concerned about the difference between Oregano and Marjoram, but they're almost the same plant and some countries don't differentiate them.

 

Similarly the names of citrus fruits can overlap and interchange, and not everything is clearly translatable... what's the difference between a Satsuma, Tangerine, Clementine, Mandarin Orange, Kumquat, Calamansi and Musambi...? 

 

I think I figured out what caused the misunderstanding here. I've never seen an actual coriander plant in my life (well, I might have seen but I probably thought it was parsley). When I say corinader as a spice, I mean the little brown seeds and/or the powder made of them. I've never used coriander leafs, that's why I didn't find it similar to parsley. Is there a Chinese word specifically for the seeds of coriander or the powder made of it?

Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk

@Zel90 Maybe we should take a step back here. 

What are you really trying to achieve?

  1. Learn Mandarin (or some other Chinese Language)
  2. Understand the ways that different cultures name and understand cooking ingredients

I'm guessing the first one?

 

Naming the things you can see around your own environment is a good idea. Drilling down into irrelevant details is probably not so useful. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg

This is 香菜。It is widely found in China, fresh and inexpensive. Used in many dishes. 

 

400240547_cilantrosmall.PNG.0da5bcfe3c9bf97d93fbf5a202e4c021.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is not very productive to debate various names for cooking ingredients since there is a great deal of regional variation (in Chinese as well as in English.) In English, I'm accustomed to this being called Cilantro, but in other English-speaking parts of the world it is also referred to as Fresh Coriander or Leaf Coriander.

 

I agree with @mungoukthat it might not be worthwhile to insist on too much precision if achieving a functional beginner vocabulary is your goal. 

 

Please let me refer you to a relevant long-running thread: "Same thing, different name." https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/25133-same-thing-different-names/?tab=comments#comment-209945

 

As you note, coriander seeds are dried seeds, not fresh leafy herbs. 

 

Quote

Is there a Chinese word specifically for the seeds of coriander or the powder made of it?

 

These are 香菜种子 or 香菜籽。Anything ground into a powder (a common example being white or black or red pepper) is a 粉。I've never bought it in China, since it is seldom required in Chinese recipes. 

 

203523886_corianderseedssmall.PNG.4a9011c10ca7f3ced35262a624470e45.PNG

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...