Baozi—a steamed bun with a pork and vegetable filling
Cai—Mandarin, ‘dish,’ (type of cuisine, i.e. ‘ Shanghai cai’) or ‘vegetable’
Cassia bark—a type of bark with a cinnamon-like odor, used in western Chinese cooking
Dou fu—(tofu) soybean curd
Fan-- ‘rice’ or ‘food ’
Jiaozi—boiled dumplings with meat and vegetable fillings
Litchi—(lychee), a small, round sweet fruit with a brown peel and white flesh grown in south China
Longan—a litchi-like fruit
Ma la—‘numbing-spicy,’ used to describe a certain combination of flavors in Sichuan food
Rou—‘meat’ Jirou—chicken, Zhurou—pork
Sichuan peppercorn—a tiny reddish peppercorn with a flower-like appearance and a ‘numbing’ taste, used in Sichuan cooking
Taro root—the starchy, potato-like root of the taro plant, used in soups and stews
Yue bing—moon cake, small round cakes with various sweet fillings, eaten during the Moon Festival
These books, written by an anthropologist and a chef respectively, are excellent sources of information on China’s cuisine and culinary history.
Anderson, E.N. The Food of China. Yale University Press, 1988.
Lo, Eileen Yin-Fei. The Chinese Kitchen. New York: William Morrow and Co., 1999.
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