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【Learn Chinese】Let’s Cook: 10 Verbs in Chinese (Part 2)
There are a lot of different ways of preparing food in Chinese cuisine. Whether you’re quickly stir-frying a meal or slowly braising a complex dish, understanding key cooking verbs is essential for mastering Chinese cooking vocabulary.
This is part two of our article about important cooking vocabularies.
06. To Pan-fry
Pan-frying is a popular Chinese cooking technique that involves cooking food in a small amount of oil over medium to high heat in a pan.
煎 (jiān) - to pan-fry
Typical dishes:
煎饼 – jianbing - jianbing, a savory Chinese crêpe: Chinese savory pancakes are a beloved Chinese street food and breakfast item, they are made from a thin batter that is spread over a griddle and cooked until golden brown.
07. To Stew
Braising (炖 dùn) involves simmering ingredients in a covered pot with liquid, which can be water, broth, or sauce. This technique is used to cook tougher cuts of meat, or root vegetables, transforming them into tender, flavorful dishes.
Typical dishes:
红烧牛肉面 - hóngshāo niúròumiàn - braised beef noodles: Classic Chinese dish featuring chunks of pork belly braised in a savory-sweet sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, and aromatics.
08. To Marinate
In Chinese culture, pickling or marinating preserves vegetables by soaking them in seasoned liquid. This method enhances flavor and tenderizes ingredients, making them more enjoyable to eat.
腌 (yān) - to marinate
Typical dishes:
腌黄瓜 - yān huángguā - pickled cucumbers: This tangy, crunchy, and refreshing snack is not only easy to prepare but also versatile, making it a favorite in many households.
09. To Cold Toss
凉拌 (liángbàn), or cold tossing, is a refreshing and flavorful technique in Chinese cuisine used to prepare salads and cold dishes. This method involves mixing raw or lightly cooked ingredients with various seasonings.
Typical dishes:
凉拌面 - liángbàn miàn - cold noodles: Noodles tossed with vegetables, peanuts, and a tangy, spicy sauce.
10. To Season / Flavor
调味 (tiáowèi), or seasoning can be done at various stages of cooking, from marinating ingredients to adding final touches before serving.
Here are some frequently used seasonings and spices in Chinese cuisine:
姜 (jiāng) · ginger
蒜 (suàn) · garlic
醋 (cù) · vinegar
酱油 (jiàngyóu) · soy sauce
海鲜酱 (hǎixiān jiàng) · hoisin sauce
芝麻油 (zhīma yóu) · sesame oil
五香粉 (wǔxiāng fěn) · five-spice powder