How many of us walk into an authentic Chinese restaurant and ask for a Chinese translation of a menu item? It is very embarrassing indeed like eating in a Japanese restaurant with a fork and knife as opposed to chop-sticks.
Some diners dread it when it’s their turn to order. In some restaurants it is a little embarrassing to ask the waiter to help with deciphering the menu. I must say they have given me ‘the look’. For example you spot this dish called Cheng du Chicken in the menu, sure you know it some sort of chicken but you have no idea what sort of dish it is. Is the chicken spicy or sweet, you may have to take a wild guess.
Here are a few of those Chinese Translations for dishes that could be misleading.
- Egg Drop Soup
- Chicken broth or stock topped with silken threads of egg.
- Ma Yi Shang Shu This dish is marinated pork that is cooked in a spicy sauce and served over cellophane noodles.
- Bang Bang Ji (Hot Chicken Salad)
- Chicken breasts are cut into strips and served on a sheet of green bean paste; this dish is made with hot chili oil.
- Cheng Du Chicken (Chili Chicken Cubes)
- Cubed chicken breasts marinated and deep-fried, the sauce includes hot bean sauce.
- Chow Fun
- Rice Noodles, who would have thought.
- Chow Mein (Fried noodles)
- Noodles and vegetables are stir-fried.
- Xang Su Ya (Crispy Skin Duck)
- The duck is steamed, while the skin is deep-fried.
- Dou Ban Yu
- Fish in Hot Sauce
- Kung Pao Chi Ting (Kung Pao Chicken)
- Deep-fried diced chicken and roasted peanuts.
- Kung Pao Ming Har
- A similar dish, made with shrimp instead of chicken.
- Ling Mung Gai (Lemon Chicken)
- Batter-coated, deep-fried chicken with lemon.
- Lo Mein
- Tossed Noodles
- Moo Goo Gai Pan
- Stir-fried chicken and mushrooms.
- Ho ho sik! Go figure the translation