glossary

 

b

bābā 粑粑 barley or wheat flour bread, the staple of Naxi people. Baba comes in two flavors: sweet (filled with sugar and sesame seeds) and salty (filled with ham, scallion and lard)


báicài 白菜 napa cabbage


báichāng yú 白鲳鱼 pomfret fish


báiguǒ 白果 ginko fruit. Also known as yínxìng guǒ (银杏果)


bái luóbo 萝卜 white radish


bǎiyè 百叶 accordian-like sheep or ox stripe


bīangbiang  noodle as wide as belt, as thick as a coin, and touted as one of the “ten strange wonders of Shaanxi.”


bǐmùyú 比目鱼 flat fish; flounder


butter tea sūyóu chá 酥油茶 made by boiling some brick tea in a earthen pot, and then pour it into a wooden or bamboo butter tea barrel with a little yak butter added and salt and churn vigorously till frothy. The butter tea can be flavored with ginger and walnut as well and Tibetans drink it throughout the day.

c

càixīn 菜心 Chinese flowering cabbage

cǎogū 草菇 straw mushroom

cháshùgū 茶树菇 a brown cap mushroom with long stalk


cándòu 蚕豆 broad or fava beans


chera is the dried cheese used as an accompaniment in tsampa


chòu dòufu 臭豆腐 strong-smelling preserved bean curd


cí gū 茨菇 arrowroot


cōng 葱 spring onion or scallion


cōngyóu bíng 葱油饼 scallion pancake

d

dàiyú 带鱼 ribbon fish


dāoyú 刀鱼 Chinese herring (swordfish)


dōng cài 冬菜 pickled vegetable


dōngsǔn 冬笋 winer bamboo shoots


dòujiǎo 豆角 yard-long beans

g

gàicài 盖菜 leaf mustard,southern vegetable


gānba 干巴 air-dried beef and yak meat in the Tibetan plateau


gélí 蛤蜊 clam


guìyú 桂鱼 Mandarin fish


guōguī 锅盔 an unleavened round bread,  staple food of Shaanxi province

h

hǎidài 海带 kelp


hǎiluó 海螺 sea conch


hélán dòu 荷兰豆 literally ‘Dutch’ peas or snow peas


héle 饸饹 noodles made from buckwheat, Shaanxi dish


héxiā 河虾 river shirmp


hóng zhūnyú 红鳟鱼 red trout


huācài 花菜 cauliflower


huánghuā cài 黄花菜 day-lily flowers (hemerocallis fulva)


huánghuā yú 黄花鱼 yellow croaker


huíxiāng 茴香 fennel


huíyú 回鱼 a kind of catfish

j

jiǎyú 甲鱼 soft-shelled turtle


jièlán 芥兰 Chinese mustard leaf


jìcài 荠菜 shepherd’ purse


jīnzhēn cài 金针菜, or golden needle vegetable, is alternative name for huanghua cai.


jiǔcài 韭菜 chives


jiǔcài huā 韭菜花 flowering chives


jīyōujùn 鸡油菌 a mushroom that looks like chicken fat, hence the name


jìyú 鲫鱼 crucian carp


jīzōngjùn 鸡枞菌 Delicious Yunnan mushroom that tastes like meat.


juécài 蕨菜 fiddlehead fern

k

kōngxīn cài 空心菜 water spinach


kǒumóu 口蘑 dried mushroom from Zhangjiakou


kǔguā 苦瓜 bitter melon or bitter gourd

l

làjiāo 辣椒 chili


lǎoréntéu jūn 老人头菌 “old man’s head” mushroom


líhāo 藜蒿 a kind of artemisia


lóngxiā 龙虾 lobster


lǔshuǐ 卤水 aromatic soy sauce


luóbo gan 萝卜干 salted turnip


lúyú 鲈鱼 perch

m

mǎlán tóu 马兰头 Chinese aster, a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae


mǐpí 米皮 rice-based noodle, Qinzhen specialty, in southern Shaanxi, also known as pizi 皮子


mízi 糜子 millet-like grain and it is smaller than millet


mó 馍 baked  unleavened round bread that can be kept for months, similar to guokui


mógu 蘑菇 button mushrooms


móyù 魔芋 arrowroot or konnyaku


mòyú 墨鱼 cuttlefish, inkfish


mù’ěr 木耳 wood ear


mǔlì 牡蛎 oyster

n

nǎilào 奶酪  chilled custard made from milk and rice wine


nǎizhā 奶渣  sour tasting milk dregs, obtained during the process of churning the milk to make butter. Milk dregs is eaten by adding butter and sugar. Milk dregs is also dried to make bits of hard cheese as an accompaniment when eating tsampa.


nánguā 南瓜 pumpkin


niányú 鲶鱼 Amur catfish


niúgānjūn 牛干菌 “Ox-liver” mushroom, is called boelet in English


niújīn 牛筋 beef tendon

o

ǒu 藕 lotus (liánǒu 莲藕)

p

pángxiè 螃蟹 crab


pàomó 泡馍 mutton soup with bite-sized morsels of mo, baked unleanvened bread, a Huimin specialty


pídàn 皮蛋 preserved egg

q

qiézi 茄子 eggplant


qíncài 芹菜 celery


qīngjiāo 青椒 bell pepper


qīngsuàn 青蒜 leeks

r

rénshēng guǒ人生果 the Chinese name for sweet tasting root juema 蕨麻 which is the close pronunciation of its native language choma, only grow at 3700m above sea level

s

sānqī 三七 rehmannia


sǎnzi 馓子 deep-fried dough strands


shànbèi 扇贝 scallop


shíbānyú 石斑鱼 grouper


shíyú 鲥鱼 Reeves shad


shùhuā 树花 indigenous Yunnan “tree flower” which grows on tree bark


sìbù 寺不 is Naxi language for blown liver (吹肝 chuīgan) pork liver is blown up, filled with refined salt, five-spice powder, ginger, and marinade it in rice wine for half a day, then remove and sprinkle it with Sichuan peppercorn and then air-dried. Boiled in spicy broth before eating it.


sīguā 丝瓜 loofah, literally means ‘silk gourd’


sìjìdòu 四季豆 French beans


sōnghuādàn 松花蛋 thousand-year-old egg


sōngjiān 松尖, tip of pine trees


sōngróng 松茸 indigenous Yunnan mushroom that has a hint of truffle-like aroma


suàn (tóu) 蒜 (头) garlic


suànmiáo 蒜苗 garlic stems


suàntái 蒜薹 young garlic sprout

t

tánglí huā 棠梨花 the fresh-picked flower bud of birchleaf pear is used in stir fry dishes or served as a cold dish.


tiānmá 天麻 medicinal tuber (Gastrodia elata)


tónghāo 茼蒿 crown daisy chrysanthemum

w

wāndòu 豌豆 garden pea


wāndòu jiá 豌豆荚 pea pod


wōsǔn 莴笋 asparagus lettuce


wǔchāng yú 武昌鱼 blunt-snout bream


wūyú 乌鱼 black mullet

x

xiā 虾 shrimp


xiáncài 咸菜 salted vegetable, Chaoshan is known for its pickle leaf mustard


xīhóngshì 西红柿 tomato, or fanqie 番茄


xiàncài 苋菜 three-colored amaranth


xiándàn 咸蛋 salty preserved egg


xiāngcài 香菜 coriander


xiāngchūn cài 香椿菜 Chinese toon


xiāngyóu 香油 sesame oil


xiǎomǐ 小米 millet


xuělǐhóng 雪里蕻 potherb mustard

y

yángdǔjùn 羊肚菌 morel


yánxí 芫茜 Yunnan indigenous wild coriander


yín’ěr 银耳 white wood ear


yōngyú 鳙鱼 Bighead carp, but commonly known as pàngtóu yú (胖头鱼), fat-head fish


yóu yú 鱿鱼 squid


yuánbáicài 圆白菜 cabbage


yùtou 芋头 taro

z

zhàcài 榨菜 pickled tuber


zhúsūn 竹荪 Dictyophora indusiata,an indigenous Yunnan mushroom. It looks like an umbrella with a pretty lacy skirt. Hence, this mushroom is also called zhu guniang, or “lady mushroom”. Also known as bamboo pith

Tibetan words


buchia butter tea


chera milk dregs dried to make bits of hard cheese as an accompaniment when eating tsampa


choma is sweet tasting tiny root that grow at 3700m above sea level known as rénshēng guǒ人生果 or júmá 蕨麻


paq syah is Tibetan for pípa rou 琵琶肉 cured pork made from a whole pig by removing all its internal organs from the opened stomach, seasoned with salt and spices and then the opening is stitched together. The whole sewn pig is then pressed with a slabstone. Paq syah is well preserved for four to five years. Boiling a chunk of cured pork makes a flavorful broth base for noodles (thentuk or thukpa), cook the potato, or simply savor the meat by slicing it into small pieces.


thentuk is Tibetan for thumb-sized noodles or known in Chinese as zhǐjia miànpiàn 指甲面片


thet is Tibetan cheese cake made with dried cheese, butter, sugar, and ground choma (renshengguo) powder, and popular in Amdo area


tsampa 糌粑 Tibetan main staple, roasted and grounded barley flour moistened with butter tea, however, adding milk and tea is the nomad way, and accented by adding chera, dried cheese


zin is thet cheese cake variation with tsampa added, eaten in Amdo area