• yin foods are considered "cool," larger, have
less salt, have potassium, and/or grow above
• Yang foods are "warm" or "hot," smaller, have
more sodium, and/or grow below the soil.
• Chinese cuisine, rich and colorful, has, as its
main features diversified color, aromatic flavor,
and excellent taste. With these three
characteristics, it is not only tasty but also a
work of art for people to appreciate.
• Currently, Chinese food is easily found in every
corner of the world, and it has become an
impressive and influential symbol of Chinese
• Chinese food, in general, is healthy and
are famous for their hot and spicy
Mapo Bean Curd
(Mapo Tofu)kung pao chicken
(Lu Cuisine): salty
and crispy, favoring
braising and seafood.
(Min Cuisine): lighter,
with a sweet and sour
taste, using ingredients
from the sea and the
(Sea Food and
Hot and Sour
(Su Cuisine): fresh, salty and
sweet, favoring soups and precise
Fireside Broth Sweet and Sour
(Xiang Cuisine) characterized by
the richness, creaminess, and
moistness, combined with a
delicate use of chili.
(Hui Cuisine): uses many wild
plants and animals as
ingredients, favoring stewing
and more oil.
Zhe Cuisine: mellow, uses
freshwater fish, seafood
and bamboo shoots, and a
wide variety of cooking
• Fish 鱼 Yú /yoo/
Lucky Sayings for Eating Fish:
年年有余 (/nyen-nyen yo-yoo/): May you
always get more than you wish for
鱼跃龙门 (/yoo-ywair long-mnn/) : A fish
leaping over the dragon gate — implying
successful passing a competitive
• Chinese Dumplings 饺子 Jiǎozi
Lucky Saying for Eating
招财进宝 (/jaoww-tseye jin-
baoww/): 'Bringing in wealth and
treasure' — a felicitous wish to make
money and amass of a fortune.
• Spring Rolls 春卷 Chūnjuǎn
Lucky Saying for Eating Spring Rolls
黄金万两 (hwung-jin wan-lyang/): 'A
ton of gold' (because the fried spring
rolls are gold in color they look like
gold bar) — a wish for prosperity.
• Niángāo (Glutinous Rice Cake) 年糕
Lucky Saying for Eating Niangao
年年高 (niánnián gāo /nyen-nyen gaoww/):
Getting higher year by year, can imply
children's height, business, study, work, etc.
• The seating arrangement is probably the most important part
of Chinese dining etiquette.
• Dining etiquette in ancient times was enacted according to a four-
tier social strata: 1. the imperial court, 2. local authorities, 3. trade
associations and 4. farmers and workers.
• Modern dining etiquette has been simplified to: 1. master of the
banquet and 2. guests.
• The seat of honor, reserved for the master of the banquet or the
guest with highest status, is the one in the center facing east or
facing the entrance.
• If round tables are used, the seat facing the entrance is the seat of
• In a grand banquet of many tables, the table of honor is the one
furthest from the entrance.
• Guests are seated according to their status and degree of
relationship to the master of the banquet.
• As a guest at a meal, one should be particular about one’s
appearance and determine whether to bring small gifts or
good wine, according the degree of relationship with the
master of the banquet.
• It is important to attend and be punctual.
• If the guest of honor or most senior member is not seated,
other people are not allowed to be seated. If he hasn’t eaten,
others should not begin to eat.
• When making toasts, the first toast is made from the seat of
honor and continuing down the order of prominence.
• When eating a meal in China, people are expected to
(according to Chinese customs) behave in a civilized
manner, pay attention to table manners and practice
good dining habits.
• Let older people eat first, or if you hear an elder say
"let's eat", you can start to eat. You should not steal
a march on the elders.
• You should pick up your bowl with your thumb on
the mouth of the bowl, first finger, middle finger the
third finger supporting the bottom of the bowl and
palm empty. If you don’t pick up your bowl, bend
over the table, and eat facing your bowl, it will be
regarded as bad table manners. Moreover, it will
have the consequence of compressing the stomach
and restricting digestion.
CHINESE TABLE MANNERS
• Chinese manners don't consist of slurping food down as
quickly as possible, and shouting loudly!
• When helping yourself to the dishes, you should take food
first from the plates in front of you rather than those in the
middle of the table or in front of others.
• When finding your favorite dish, you should not gobble it
up as quickly as possible or put the plate in front of yourself
and proceed to eat like a horse.
• You should try to refill your bowl with rice yourself and
take the initiative to fill the bowls of elders with rice and
food from the dishes.
• Concentrate on the meal and your companions. Watching
television, using your phone, or carrying on some other
activity while having a meal is considered a bad habit.
• It is not good manners to pick up too much food at a
time. You should behave elegantly. When taking food,
don’t nudge or push against your neighbor. Don’t let
the food splash or let soup or sauce drip onto the
• When eating, you should close your mouth to chew
food well before you swallow it, which is not only a
requirement of etiquette, but also better for digestion.
• When removing bones or other inedible parts of the
meal from your mouth, use chopsticks or a hand to
take them and put them on a side plate (or the table)
in front of you, instead of spitting them directly onto
the table or the ground.
• If there is food around your mouth, use a
tissue or a napkin to wipe it, instead of licking
it with your tongue. When chewing food,
don’t make noises.
• If you want to cough or sneeze, use your hand
or a handkerchief to cover your mouth and
turn away. If you find something unpleasant in
your mouth when chewing or phlegm in the
throat, you should leave the dinner table to
spit it out.
RULES AND CONVENTIONS RELATING TO
• Chopsticks are called "Kuaizi" in Chinese which
resembles the pronunciation of other two words, soon
and son. Therefore, it is a tradition in some areas to
give chopsticks as a gift to newly-married couples,
wishing them to have a baby soon.
• Do not stick chopsticks vertically into your food when
not using them, especially not into rice, as this will
make Chinese people think of funerals. At funerals joss
sticks (sticks of incense) are stuck into the rice that is
put onto the ancestor altar.
• Do not wave your chopsticks around in the air
too much or play with them.
• Do not stab or skewer food with your
• Pick food up by exerting sufficient inward
pressure on the chopsticks to grasp the food
securely and move it smoothly to your mouth
• To separate a piece of food into two pieces,
exert controlled pressure on the chopsticks
while moving them apart from each other.
This needs much practice.
• Some consider it unhygienic to use the chopsticks
that have been near (or in) one’s mouth to pick
food from the central dishes. Serving spoons or
chopsticks can be provided, and in this case you
will need remember to alternate between using
the serving chopsticks to move food to your bowl
and your personal chopsticks for transferring the
food to your mouth.
• Some restaurants in China have forks available
and all will have spoons. If you are not used to
chopsticks, you can ask the restaurant staff to
provide you with a fork or spoon.