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Chinese vocabulary for meat: All you need to know for Beef, Chicken, Pork and more!

As a meat-eater, you’ll find yourself in heaven in China. There are all sorts of meats to discover and eat! And by all sorts, we really do mean all sorts, including parts you perhaps seldom eat. So, to make deciphering a Chinese menu easier, there’s a whole new stage on Ninchanese dedicated to meats!  To give you a taste, here’s a list of the essential Chinese meat vocabulary to know … and that you’ll be learning on the app. Warning: this list of Chinese words for meat may make you very hungry!

A Meat Stall in Market, with different cuts of Meat

Photo by Natalie Ng

Ready to learn how to say different cuts of meat in Chinese? So you can easily order yummy slices of meat for your next 火锅 huǒ guō hot pot? Or finally, know what kind of meat is in Chinese dumplings? Then Chinese Meat recipes will hold no secret for you!

First, let’s see how to say meat in Chinese as well as Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Lamb, Duck, Veal, and Beef in Chinese.

And no, don’t even ask, we won’t be talking about cat meat in Chinese or any other kind of strange meat (it seems like people look up rat meat in Chinese? The horror). Dog Meat is sometimes eaten in winter because it’s super caloric meat to eat, but we’ve never come across any other type, so enough with the rumors! Alright? Here we go.

Types of Meat in Chinese

Photo by Usman Yousaf

 

Word Pinyin Meaning
ròu meat
猪肉 zhū ròu pork
牛肉 niú ròu beef
小牛肉 xiǎo niú ròu veal
火鸡 huǒ jī turkey
鸡肉 jī ròu chicken meat
羊肉 yáng ròu lamb
duck

 

Good to know: In China, you’ll often come across dish names that simply say ròu Meat. In most restaurants (the obvious exception being Halal Uyghur restaurants ), 肉 will by default be pork. That’s because, traditionally, pork is the most consumed meat (or at least was in the past).
If you’re not sure whether it’s going to be pork or not or are trying to avoid eating pork, better check with your waiter/waitress first!

You’ll also often just see chicken, duck, yáng lamb, mutton, niú Beef on their own, without the 肉 thrown in, on a menu. So you might not see duck meat in Chinese, but you’ll definitely see 鸭 and a favorite, 烤鸭 Roast Duck!

Cuts of Meat in Chinese

Yummy looking meat skewers on a coal grill

Chinese Meat Skewers Photo by Chuan

 

Word Pinyin Meaning
chuàn skewer
里脊 lǐ ji tenderloin; meat loin
牛排 niú pái steak
肉片 ròu piàn meat slice
肉馅 ròu xiàn meat filling
碎肉 suì ròu chopped meat
肉丝 ròu sī shredded meat (often pork)
肉末 ròu mò ground meat; minced meat

 

Love meat skewers? You’re going to love these other street food dishes, then, we bet!

Chicken wings in Chinese and more chicken parts

A dish of Chinese Wings with scallions, lettuce and cilantro that looks to die for

Chicken Wings are a very loved Chinese food – Photo by George Zheng.

 

Word Pinyin Meaning
胸肉 xiōng ròu breast meat (chicken breast)
鸡排 jī pái chicken chop; cutlet
鸡翅 jī chì chicken wing
鸡腿 jī tuǐ chicken leg; drumstick

 

Curious to know how to say scallion in Chinese or cilantro? Check out these Chinese food lists then!
More of a hands-on learner? Then learn directly how to say meat, scallion, and more in Chinese: the Chinese Food World on Ninchanese will teach you and much more!

A screenshot of different learning stages on Ninchanese, all centered on Chinese food

Just a few of the many things you can learn in the Chinese food course on Ninchanese

Now, let’s get back to our Chinese words for meats.

Parts of Pork in Chinese and Pig Meat-based Products

Ground pork, scaillion and rice wine being mixed together to make a dumpling filling

Pork Meat is often used in Chinese Dumplings – Photo by Alex Hu

 

Word Pinyin Meaning
猪排 zhū pái pork ribs; pork chop
排骨 pái gǔ pork chop; pork cutlet; spare ribs
叉烧 chā shāo char siu; barbecued pork
肉松 ròu sōng pork floss (shredded dry pork)
火腿 huǒ tuǐ ham
香肠 xiāng cháng sausage
火腿肠 huǒ tuǐ cháng ham sausage

 

Want to learn how to read and say all these meats in Simplified and Traditional Chinese? The Chinese Meats Vocabulary Stage in the Chinese Food World is waiting for you!

Image of the Chinese Cooking World on Ninchanese

The Chinese Cooking World is made for foodies learning Chinese!

Want also to know how to order these meats and other dishes from a restaurant? The Chinese Food World is what you need. Check it out here!

The Nincha Team

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NinchaneseChinese vocabulary for meat: All you need to know for Beef, Chicken, Pork and more!
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