How to make Stir-fried Tomato and Eggs

Do you want to make authentic Chinese food but have trouble reading Chinese recipes? In this lesson we learn some words and classifiers which often appear in recipes, to start our journey on becoming Chinese food experts!

We will learn how to cook a simple Chinese dish called 西红柿炒鸡蛋 [xī hóng shì chǎo jī dàn] (stir-fried tomato eggs). Let’s start out by having a look at the 菜谱简介 [cài pǔ jiǎn jiè] (recipe summary).

不但……而且……Not only, … But also….

This a commonly used pattern, roughly equivalent to the construction “not only … but also …” in English.

OK, let’s return to the recipe. In order to cook, we have to prepare 材料 [cái liào] (ingredients).

个、根、克、毫升 classifiers

We saw a lot of different classifiers in the above example. Let’s have a look at how they are used.

  • 个 [ge]— before nouns without special measure words of their own

    • 1个星期 [yí ge xīng qī] — one week
    • 5个苹果 [wǔ ge píng guǒ] — five apples
  • 根 [gēn]— for long, thin objects

    • 3根绳子 [sān gēn shéng zi] — three pieces of strings
    • 6根头发 [liù gēn tóu fà] — six strands of hair
  • 克 [kè]— gram(g.), 千克 [qiān kè] — kilogram(kg.)

    • 8克糖 [bā kè táng] — 8g sugar
    • 9千克米 [jiǔ qiān kè mǐ] — 9kg rice
  • 毫升 [háo shēng] — milliliter(ml.), 升 [shēng] — litre(l.)

    • 2毫升醋 [èr háo shēng cù] — 2ml vinegar
    • 10升水 [shí shēng shuǐ] — 10l water

Basic seasoning words

Seasoning is an important aspect of cooking, so let’s have a look at how to say some of the most common types of seasoning in Chinese.

  • 盐 [yán] — salt
  • 酱油 [jiàng yóu] — soy sauce
  • 醋 [cù] — vinegar
  • 糖 [táng] — sugar
  • 辣椒 [là jiāo] — chili(red) pepper
  • 色拉油 [sè lā yóu] — salad oil
  • 花椒 [huā jiāo] — Sichuan pepper
  • 胡椒 [hú jiāo] — black pepper
  • 料酒 [liào jiǔ] — cooking wine
  • 蚝油 [háo yóu] — oyster sauce
  • 味精 [wèi jīng] — monosodium glutamate(MSG)

Now the ingredients are ready and you can start cooking. Let’s learn some verbs that will come in handy.

  • 洗 [xǐ] — to wash (dishes, etc.)
  • 切 [qiē] — to cut
  • 加入 [jiā rù] — to add (ingredient, etc.)
  • 倒 [dào] — to pour
  • 烧 [shāo] — to roast
  • 炒 [chǎo] — to fry

Having learned these words, we can finally take a look at this recipe’s 做法 [zuò fǎ] (instructions) !

Congratulations, your delicious stir-fried tomato eggs are done! Please enjoy!
See you next time!

This is the accompanying blog post for our upper intermediate lesson “Little Li’s Recipe“.

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