Lesson 8: Foods and How to Order Them

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My future father-in-law loves to tell me "坦克,飛機之外,中國人都有吃"that translates to “aside from tanks and airplanes, Chinese people eat everything” and that’s not far from the truth! One of my favorite aspects of Chinese culture is the diversity in foods, and I have discovered so many great dishes in Taiwan, that I could never go back to eating Americanized Chinese food! To hear more about some of my favorite Taiwanese foods, click here! But how do you order for, or even know what to order for that matter? It can be difficult, and I myself had to resort to pointing, following along with other customers, and generally being at the mercy of the 老闆 I tried to order from when I first got here. But you don’t have to be as clueless as I was (unless you would like to, of course! That can be fun too!). In tis lesson, I will be teaching you how to say common Chinese foods in Mandarin, as well as order them! So let’s get started!
Common Chinese Dishes:
1. 炒麵 chǎo miàn= fried noodles
2. 炒飯 chǎo fàn= fried rice
3. 牛肉麵 niú ròu miàn= beef noodle soup
4. 泡菜 pào cài= kimchi
5. 臭豆腐 chòu dòu fu= stinky tofu
6. 米粉 mǐ fěn= rice noodles
7. 火鍋 huǒ guō= hotpot
8. 粥 zhōu= congee
9. 水餃 shuǐ jiǎo= dumplings
10. 滷味 lǔ wèi= marinated dishes
Ordering Food: In this section, I am going to teach you how to order food in Chinese. It’s easy and straightforward, and I have confidence that you will get it down with ease. Here’s how we’re going to learn. 1. I am providing you with a basic formula you can use to order/buy pretty much anything (not only food!), 2. You are going follow me as I take a trip to the market here in Taiwan(I’m getting hungry just typing this!). So, first up on our agenda…
The Formula: There is no set way on how to order something, but for our “standard” we are going to go with the following:
 我(想)要 +  ?
I want + the item that you want to order. For example, if I was at a restaurant and I wanted some fried rice, I  would say “我(想)要炒飯”. You can use this formula in pretty much any situation in which you are ordering/buying something.
Real-Life Application: So now let’s put it all together and go to the market to order some food! This stand is called 黃媽媽傳統豆花 and it’s located by the traditional market just down the street from the Puxin train station 埔心火車站。
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3 thoughts on “Lesson 8: Foods and How to Order Them

  1. Pingback: Lesson 9: Let’s Talk Movies | Life as a Foreigner in Taiwan

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