Life in China is so much simpler with a few Chinese “food” words under your belt. To be honest, I prefer the places where I can point and buy. But even then, you often want to verify the type of meat because pictures are hard to discern or you may not want to eat certain meats. For example, I have many Muslim students from Indonesia or Malaysia who want to avoid Pork. I personally don’t do fish or seafood due to allergies. To help, here is a list of common meats in simple Chinese!
- Meat = 肉 = Ròu = Roh
- Chicken = 鸡肉 = Jīròu = gee roh
- Jī being chicken. So if you want a specific part of the chicken add Chicken (Jī) then the part (i.e. Chicken Wings = jī chì).
- Pork =猪肉 = Zhūròu = Joo roh
- Beef = 牛肉 = Niúròu = New roh
- Fish = 鱼 = Yú = Yoo
- Shrimp = 虾 = Xiā = Tseeah (fast)
- Mutton = 羊肉 = Yángròu = Yahng roh
- No ________ = 不 + Meat= Bù + Meat
The most common varieties are chicken, pork, beef, and mutton. They are used almost interchangeably in rice dishes, baozi (dumplings), noodles, etc. Plus, there is often a “red bean” or “vegetable” option containing no meat. So if you want meat in your dish, use one of these words to A. make sure meat is included and B. that it’s the meat you want 🙂