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Using Chinese In the Kitchen Posted by on Jun 5, 2017 in Culture, food, grammar, Vocabulary

For as much as Chinese people love to cook and eat, you may be surprised to learn that kitchens in China are typically quite small and simple. Many Westerners are bummed when they move to China and find that most kitchens do not have an oven, garbage disposal, or dishwasher. That being said, people in China definitely know how to make the best out of what they got when it comes to cooking. We’re here to at least help make it a little easier for you when it comes to using Chinese in the kitchen.

What’s In the Kitchen?

Using Chinese in the Kitchen

My kitchen in Kunming.

The Room

  • kitchen (厨房 – chú fáng)

  • sink (洗碗池 – xǐ wǎn chí)

  • shelf (搁板 – gē bǎn)

  • cabinet (厨柜 – chú guì)

  • counter (柜台 – guì tái)

  • drawer (抽屉 – chōu tì)


  • stove (火炉 – huǒ lú)

  • oven (烤箱 – kǎo xiāng)

  • refrigerator (冰箱 – bīng xiāng)

  • freezer (冰柜 – bīng guì)

  • microwave (微波炉 – wéi bō lú)

  • dishwasher (洗碗机 – xǐ wǎn jī)

  • toaster (烤面包机 – kǎo miàn bāo jī)

  • blender (电搅拌器 – diàn jiǎo bàn qì)

  • food processor (食物调理机 – shí wù tiáo lǐ jī)

  • coffee machine (咖啡机 – kā fēi jī)

  • slow cooker (慢炖锅 – màn dùn guō)

  • tea kettle (茶壶 – chá hú)

  • rice cooker (电饭锅 – diàn fàn guō)

  • can opener (开罐器 – kāi guàn qì)

Now, try answering these two questions about your kitchen:

How’s your kitchen?
nǐ de chú fáng zěn me yàng

What appliances are in your kitchen?
nǐ de chú fáng lǐ miàn yǒu shén me diàn qì

Get ready to cook!


  • cutting board (菜板 – cài bǎn)

  • cleaver (切肉刀 – qiē ròu dāo)

  • rolling pin (擀面杖 – gǎn miàn zhàng)

  • peeler (削皮器 – xiāo pí qì)

  • masher (捣泥器 – dǎo ní qì)

  • grater (擦菜板 – cā cài bǎn)

  • mixing bowl (搅拌碗 – jiǎo bàn wǎn)

  • whisk (打蛋器 – dǎ dàn qì)

For Cooking

  • pot (锅 – guō)

  • frying pan (煎锅 – jiān guō)

  • saucepan (平底锅 – píng dǐ guō)

  • wok (炒锅 – chǎo guō)

  • baking tray (烤盘 – kǎo pán)

  • steamer (蒸屉 – zhēng tì)

  • spatula (炒菜铲 – chǎo cài chǎn)

  • wooden spoon (木勺 – mù sháo)

  • ladle (杓子 – biāo zi)


  • bowl (碗 – wǎn)

  • plate (盘子 – pán zi)

  • tableware (餐具 – cān jù)

  • silverware (银器 – yín qì)

  • spoon (勺子 – sháo zi)

  • fork (叉子 – chā zi)

  • knife (刀子 – dāo zi)

  • chopsticks (筷子 – kuài zi)

  • cup/glass (杯子 – bēi zi)

  • wine glass (酒杯 – jiǔ bēi)

Cooking Vocabulary

Something yummy’s cooking!

Without Heat

  • dressing ( – bàn)

  • marinating/pickling ( – yān)

  • jellifying ( – dòng)

With Heat

  • boil ( – zhǔ)

  • steam ( – zhēng)

  • pan-fry ( – jiān)

  • stir-fry ( – chǎo)

  • deep fry ( – zhà)

  • roast ( – kǎo)

  • bake (烘 – hōng)

  • bake in foil or paper ( – jú)

  • braise ( – shāo)

  • smoke ( – xūn)

  • scalding ( – tàng)


One great way to study these words is to make yourself little sticky notes and place them around the kitchen. That way, every time you use something you can read and say the name in Chinese. You could also make yourself flash cards and review them from time to time. We’ve got a new Chinese word every day for you to learn while you’re at it.

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.

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