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Chinese food is incredible, so much more than what we've come to expect in the west. Our advice is to be bold and try food outside of your comfort zone.

Here's our pocket translation guide for when you're ordering those tasty dishes.

Read our blog about Chinese food



糖醋里脊 tang cu li ji - sweet and sour pork

鱼香肉丝 yu xiang rou si - fish flavoured pork

宫保鸡丁 gong bao ji ding - spicy chicken with nuts

麻婆豆腐 ma po dou fu - spicy numbing tofu

北京烤鸭 bei jing kao ya - Beijing roast duck

红烧肉 hong shao rou - braised pork belly

肉夹馍 rou jia mo - ‘Chinese hamburger’, meat is diced and served with chilli paste

番茄鸡蛋 fan qie ji dan - stir fried eggs and tomatoes

酸辣土豆丝 suan la tu dou si - sour and spicy shredded potato

火锅 huo guo - hot pot

羊肉串 yang rou chuan - lamb kebabs

包子 ,饺子 bao zi, jiao zi - steamed or boiled buns, filled with meat and/or vegetables

炒面 chao mian - fried noodles

臭豆腐 chou dou fu - stinky tofu, soaked in fermented milk so makes it stink!!

小笼包 xiao long bao - steamed dumplings, Shanghai speciality, filled with pork and a broth

干煸四季豆 gan bian si ji dou - spicy, crispy green beans with garlic, ginger and peppercorns.


白酒 bai jiu - Bai jiu is the most common Chinese liquor which is almost always served at dinners and events and used for countless toasts. Make sure you read the bottle first though, as it’s usually around 50%!

青岛啤酒 qing dao pi jiu - Tsingtao beer (Tsingtao is the old way of spelling Qingdao in English) is the most popular beer in China. Traditionally brewed in Qingdao in a brewery established by European settlers whilst Qingdao was under German rule. Drink like a local and down pure unfiltered Tsingtao out of a plastic bag at the night markets.

Tea drinking is a serious pastime in China every region has its own type of tea that they claim to be the best. Green tea (绿茶, lu cha) and black tea (红茶, hong cha) are always served without milk or sugar.

Hot water (热水, re shui) is a standard drink across the country and is seen as a cure-all. You might be offered hot water for any sort of ailment and usually, the cause of illness can be traced back to consuming something cold!