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Fish & Seafood Dishes - What Kinds of Fish and Seafood Chinese Eat

Fish is popular all over China, taken fresh from rivers or reared in fish ponds, with sea fish popular in coastal areas. Often you can choose which fish you want at the restaurant by pointing at it in a fish tank. The fish will then be weighed and the price of the dish calculated.

How Fish is Cooked and Served

The bones are seldom removed, so eat slowly. Taking bones from the mouth with the fingers and placing them on a side plate is usually considered the polite way to eat, rather than spitting them out. Fish are usually cooked whole, and most Chinese have no problem with eating the fish's head.

As fish has a very light flavor, other ingredients are added to give it what is considered "sufficient taste", particularly chilis, ginger and salt.

Fish Dishes Menu

English Chinese Pronunciation Characters
Yangshuo Beer Fish Yángshuò píjiǔ yú Yung-shwor pee-jyoh yoo 阳朔啤酒鱼
West Lake Vinegar Fish Xīhú cù yú Sshee-hoo tsoo yoo 西湖醋鱼
Sichuan Poached Fish Fillets in Hot Chili Oil Sìchuān shuǐzhǔyú Srr-chwann shway-joo-yoo 四川水煮鱼
Broth-Steamed Bass qīngzhēng lúyú Ching-jnngloo-yoo 清蒸鲈鱼
Hunan Steamed Fish Head with Diced Hot Red Peppers Húnán duò jiāo yútóu Hoo-nan dwor jyaoww yoo-toh 湖南剁椒鱼头
Xiamen Boiled Fresh Fish Xiàmén shuǐ zhǔ huóyú Sshyaa-mnn shway joo hwor-yoo 厦门水煮活鱼
Zhuhai Yellow Bone Fish Zhūhǎi huáng gǔ yú Joo-heye hwung goo yoo 珠海黄骨鱼
Zhengzhou Three Tastes Carp Zhèngzhōu lǐyú sān chī Jnng-joh lee-yoo san chrr 郑州鲤鱼三吃
Dunhuang Twin Towers Fish Dūnhuáng shuāng tǎ yú Dwnn-hwung shwung taa yoo 敦煌双塔鱼
Shunde Chrysanthemum Sashimi (sliced fresh fish) Shùndé júhuā yú shēng Shwnn-der jyoo-hwaa yoo-shnng 顺德菊花鱼生
Sichuan Stewed Eel Sìchuān huángmèn mán Srr-chwann hwung-mnn man 四川黄焖鳗
Seafood Seafood

It is said that the Chinese will eat anything that moves, and it seems that anything that is pulled out of the sea is eaten. Turtle, shrimps, cuttlefish, squid, shark, abalone and all manner of shellfish can be found on coastal menus. The Chinese have invented many tasty ways to prepare the fruits of the sea.

Beware of seafood in cheap restaurants far from the sea as it may give you serious food poisoning.

Seafood Dishes

English Chinese Pronunciation Characters
Steamed Turtle qīngzhēng jiǎyú Ching-jnng jyaa-yoo 清蒸甲鱼
Pan Fried Pacific Saury xiāngjiān qiūdāoyú Sshyang-jyen chyoh-daoww-yoo 香煎秋刀鱼
Salt and Pepper Shrimp jiāoyán xiā Jyaoww-yen sshyaa 椒盐虾
Oil Braised King Prawns yóumèn dà xiā Yoh-mnn daa sshyaa 油焖大虾
Tasty Shrimps kǒuwèi xiā Koh-way sshyaa 口味虾
Boiled Prawns báizhuóxiā Beye-jwor-sshyaa 白灼虾
Shandong Braised Original Shell Abalone Shāndōng bā yuán ké bàoyú Shan-dong baa ywen ker baoww-yoo 山东扒原壳鲍鱼
Minced Garlic Steamed Abalone suànróng zhēng bàoyú Swann-rong jnng baoww-yoo 蒜蓉蒸鲍鱼
Macao Portuguese Fresh Garden Oysters Àomén pú yuán shēngháo Aoww-mnn poo ywen shnng-haoww 澳门葡园生蚝
Gaoxiong Oyster Omelet Gāoxióng ézǐ jiān Gaoww-sshyong er-dzrr jyen 高雄蚵仔煎
Shandong Roast Oyster Locust Shāndōng shāo lìhuáng Shan-dong shaoww lee-hwung 山东烧蛎蝗
Fried Clams chǎo xiǎnzi Chaoww sshyen-zuh 炒蚬子
Minced Garlic Vermicelli and Steamed Scallops suàn róng fěnsī zhēng shànbèi Swann-rong fnn-srr jnng shan-bay 蒜蓉粉丝蒸扇贝
Yantai Scorpion Rolling Embroidered Ball Yāntái xiē gǔn xiùqiú Yen-teye sshyeah gwnn sshyoh-chyoh 烟台蝎滚绣球
Chongqing Sautéed Crab in Hot Spicy Sauce Chóngqìng xiānglà xiè Chong-ching sshyang-laa sshyeah 重庆香辣蟹
Chengdu Soaked Capsicum Young Cuttlefish Chéngdū pàojiāo mòyú zǐ Chnng-doo paoww-jyaoww mor-yoo dzeye 成都泡椒墨鱼仔
Dry-Fried Shredded Squid with Peppers gānbiān yóuyú sī Gan-byen yoh-yoo srr 干煸鱿鱼丝

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