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Happy Day!

Our family does not celebrate any special occasions. The reasons are:

1. My parents are not well-off

2. My parents appreciate family time at home rather than having fun outside (which is linked to number 1)

3. My parents want the children to excel in studies.

As a result, if I have good results for the year, the whole family can go to the hawker centre to have meal. Even though it is only at the hawker centre, we (the children) are excited about it.

I am a picky eater. Every time I go outside with my family, I order the same dish. My mother saves all the trouble of asking me what I want to eat. The dish is Char Kway Teow.

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Char Kway Teow — Penang variation

You may see different spelling of the dish because it is in Hokkien (one of the Chinese dialects). Kway Teow is flat rice noodle. It is white. In Chinese language, we call it “河粉”。Char means stir-fried. Thus, Char Kway Teow is stir-fried flat rice noodle.

The white rice noodle is stir-fried over very high heat with light and dark soy sauce until it becomes dark colour. It is commonly stir-fried with egg, prawns, cockles, bean sprouts and other ingredients. Different countries may have different variations. I like the Penang variation where only the white rice noodle is used. The Singapore variation is stir-fried the white rice noodle with the round yellow noodle.

The reason why I do not like the Singapore variation is, I do not like to eat round yellow noodle. My friends have suggested me that I order “Char Kway Teow without yellow noodle” when I am at Singapore. But, isn’t it weird? Char Kway Teow means stir-fried Kway Teow, I do not ask for yellow noodle!

Char Kway Teow is best to be stir-fried in pork fat, which makes the dish smells good. Beware though, the dish is high in saturated fat. When I was younger, I ate some of the pork fat pieces. Now that I am older and more health-conscious, I still prefer those stir-fried in pork fat, but I choose not to eat the pork fat pieces.

I love Kway Teow. Thus, I love Kway Teow soup too, another dish that uses Kway Teow. Kway Teow soup is healthier, plainer in taste and less oily. I normally have Kway Teow soup when I fall sick or when I want to have something light.

I love Kway Teow! By the way, my father loves the same dish as me 🙂

 

Note to myself

Time spent: 30 minutes of continuous writing with picture.

饮料 (Beverages)

After you decide what to eat (rice or noodle), you need to decide what drinks to have. There are many types of beverages available, but you may not get all the choices in the same restaurant.

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饮料

 

Chinese Language Learning Corner

  • 饮料 — beverages
  • 冷,热,温 — There are hot and cold beverages. 冷 = cold and 热 = hot. If you want something in between hot and cold, you can use 温, which is warm. “请给我一杯温水。” = Please give me a cup of warm water.
  • 咖啡 — coffee
  • 茶 — tea. Some common tea drinks that you may hear are (a) 绿茶 = green tea, (b) 中国茶 = Chinese tea, (c) 奶茶 = tea with milk, (d) 凉茶 = “cooling” tea, this is herbal tea in general.
  • 薏米 — barley. Barley is famous for its “cooling” effect on the body. Thus, if the restaurant does not have 凉茶, you may want to try your luck at 薏米.
  • 加奶 — 加 = add, 奶 = milk. 咖啡加奶 = coffee with milk. You may notice that coffee with milk and tea with milk are said differently. Though 茶加奶 is correct, we are more used to the term 奶茶.
  • 糖 — sugar. If you want less sugar, you say 少糖. A cup of coffee with milk and less sugar is 咖啡加奶少糖.
  • 口渴 — thirsty. “我口渴了,想喝点水。” = I am thirsty, I want some drinks. 水 is water, but it is also used to refer to any drinks unspecified.
  • 冰 — ice. 咖啡冰 or 冰咖啡 are both acceptable for a cup of coffee with ice.
  • 汁 — juice. As long as the fruits or vegetables can be squeezed into juice, you just add the name of the fruit or vegetable to 汁. (a) 橙汁 = orange juice, (b) 苹果汁 = apple juice, (c) 萝卜汁 = carrot juice
  • 酒 — alcoholic drinks in general

 

The vocabulary can be used when you want to order a drink. Enjoy the language and the drinks!

饭 (Rice)

When I go out to eat, normally I choose between rice (饭)or noodle(面), then it is easier to decide what to eat. For rice, I can choose 糯米饭,椰浆饭,杂菜饭,鸡饭 etc. For noodle, I can choose 云吞面,意大利面 etc.

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Rice, 饭

Chinese Language Learning Corner

  • 饭 / 米饭 — rice. Both 饭 and 米饭 means rice. At Singapore, we use 饭, while I have heard people from China use 米饭. 米 = the rice before cooked, 饭 = the cooked rice. Thus, we have different types of 米 and different types of 饭.
  • 糯米饭 — glutinous rice. We do not eat 糯米饭 often, because a small portion of glutinous rice makes you full.
  • 椰浆饭 — 椰浆 = coconut milk, 椰浆饭 = rice cooked with coconut milk = nasi lemak. 
  • 杂菜饭 — economical rice. 杂菜饭 is commonly seen at hawker centres and food courts. The interesting part is “杂菜” has nothing to do with “economical”. 杂菜 = mixed vegetables, in this case, vegetables also mean dishes and you can choose fish and meat as well. 杂菜饭 is called economical rice because it is usually cheaper than other food.
  • 小菜 — side dish. Similarly with 杂菜, 小菜 does not mean the small green vegetables, it means side dish.
  • 鸡饭 — 鸡 = chicken, 饭 = rice, 鸡饭 = chicken rice 🙂 easy. Similarly, 鸭饭 = duck rice.
  • 粥 — porridge.
  • 意大利面 — 意大利 = Italy, 意大利面 = the noodle from Italy = spaghetti
  • 饱 — full. When you are full after a meal, you say “我饱了。” Beware of the pronunciation; 饱 is bao, the third tone. On the other hand, if you are hungry, you say “我饿了。”
  • 食物 — food
  • 汤匙 — spoon
  • 叉 / 叉子 — fork
  • 筷子 — chopsticks

The vocabulary really makes me feel hungry. 吃饭还是吃面好呢?(What should I eat, rice or noodle?)

云吞面

We eat at least three meals a day. Thus, learning a language would be more interesting and “tastier” if we learn words relating to food.

For this post, we are discussing about 云吞面, which has different versions of English name: Wanton noodles, Wonton noodles, Wantan noodles, Wanton mee, Wonton mee, etc. It is just the different pronunciation due to different Chinese dialects, but you will not go wrong by the word “云吞面”. 云吞 is dumpling, which can be cooked by boiling or frying. 云吞面 is the noodle with dumpling.

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好吃的云吞面

Chinese Language Learning Corner

  • 云吞 — dumpling
  • 炸云吞 — fried dumpling
  • 面 — noodle / mee
  • 干 — dry
  • 汤 — soup
  • 好吃 — delicious
  • 古早味 — the taste of the old days
  • 多汁 — juicy (this is not a type of fruit juice)
  • 果汁 — fruit juice. The format is easy; you put the name of the fruit and end with 汁 (juice). For example, if you want orange juice, it is 橙汁; if you want apple juice, it is 苹果汁.
  • 青菜 — green vegetables

The vocabulary can be used when you are having a meal. Enjoy the language and the food!