After a well-deserved Labor Day holiday, you’re back at work and before the clock even reaches 12, you’re already thinking about all the delicious seafood you had during your vacation, right? Now that it’s getting warmer, the best season for seafood is coming! Since many fresh dishes are complicated to translate into English, here is a list of commonly used words for fish and seafood which you might see on a Chinese menu.
Chinese seafood menu
海鲜 hǎi xiān
烤鱼 kǎo yú
Fried Dried Yellow Fish
干煎黄鱼 gān jiān huáng yú
Steamed Turbot with Black bean Sauce
清蒸多宝鱼 qīng zhēng duō bǎo yú
Steamed Fish Head with Salted Chili
剁椒鱼头 duò jiāo yú tóu
Boiled Fish with Pickled Cabbage and Chili
酸菜鱼 suān cài yú
Fragrant Fried Flat Bream
香煎带鱼 xiāng jiān dài yú
麻辣小龙虾 má là xiǎo lóng xiā
Fried Shrimps with Bamboo Shoot
笋炒虾仁 sǔn chǎo xiā rén
Steamed Lobster with Chopped Garlic
蒜蓉蒸龙虾 suàn róng zhēng lóng xiā
螃蟹 páng xiè
Steamed Dazha Crabs
清蒸大闸蟹 qīng zhēng dà zhá xiè
Stir-Fried Crab with Ginger and Scallion
姜葱花蟹 cōng jiāng huā xiè
Fun idioms about seafood
山珍海味 (shān zhēn hái wèi)
Delicacies from land and sea (literally “a mountain of dainties, a sea of delicacies”)
Example: 我要大吃一顿山珍海味。(wǒyào dàchī yídùn shānzhēnháiwèi).
I want to gorge myself on the best of everything.
鲜味十足 (xiān wèi shí zú)
Utterly delicious (literally, “pure umami”)
Example: 这条鱼鲜味十足。(Zhè tiáo yú xiānwèishízú).
This fish is utterly delicious.
落汤螃蟹 (luò tāng páng xiè)
In trouble (literally, “a crab stuck in hot soup”, similar to the English idiom “in hot water”)
Example: 他像落汤螃蟹一样。 (Tā xiàng luòtāngpángxiè yíyàng).
He’s in hot water, he’s in trouble.