Food is an essential part of our lives. For Chinese people, food is more than its necessity to feed. It provides joy, serves as a medium to entertain, to connect and to unite.

In Chinese, a common greeting is “吃了吗?(Chīle ma?Did you eat?)” When friends meet in the street, they would invite each other “一起去吃顿饭吧!(Yīqǐ qù chī dùn fàn ba! Let’s go and have a meal together!)”

Food is not only for the casual meetups among friends and acquaintance, but also an important part for any of the festivals in China. People get together to have specific food for the family reunion dinners such as Spring Festival dinner, Mid-autumn dinner and lots more. Friends and families choose restaurants to celebrate any events from weddings, birthday parties to casual gathering. That’s why many restaurants in China have individual rooms so to offer opportunities for such events. What’s more, believe it or not, in China, many business talks also take place at the dinner table.

What are the common food in China?

More or less, Chinese people have similar food as people living in the rest of the world. Meat, vegetables, beverage are pretty much the same. Certain food which are typical Chinese include dumpling 饺子, tofu 豆腐 and tea 茶.

Below is a list of some common food in Chinese:

Food Chinese Pinyin
fish 鱼肉 yúròu
beef 牛肉 niúròu
pork 猪肉 zhūròu
chicken 鸡肉 jīròu
duck 鸭肉 yā ròu
rice 米饭 mǐfàn
noodles 面条 miàntiáo
dumpling 饺子 jiǎozi
Mantou (Steamed bread)  馒头 mántou
bread 面包 miànbāo
tomato 西红柿 xīhóngshì
potato 土豆 tǔdòu
cucumber 黄瓜 huángguā
carrot 胡萝卜 húluóbo
eggplant 茄子 qiézi
green beans 青豆 qīngdòu
onion 洋葱 yángcōng
Chinese cabbage 大白菜 dà báicài
egg 鸡蛋 jīdàn
tofu 豆腐 dòufu
tea chá
milk 牛奶 niúnǎi
coffee 咖啡 kāfēi
Coke 可乐 kělè
juice 果汁 guǒzhī

Let’s also have a look at a nursery rhythm about food:

Báibái mǐfàn
White rice,
Dòufu jīdàn
Tofu eggs,
Qīngcài ròu tāng
meat soup, Vegetables,
Pènxiāng pènxiāng
Good smells, good smells,
Wǒ yào zuò gè dà lǎohǔ
I want to be a big tiger,
A wū yīkǒu dōu chī guāng
Ah woo eat it all up with one bite!
If you want to have a copy of the video of all the food names in Chinese, you can download it below:

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Relevant Resources:


My Colorful Fruits and Vegetables Mini Books and Worksheets

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