Word of the week #14: 麵 and 粉

This week’s word was inspired by the NY Times article “The Long Pull of Noodle Making” about different noodle shops in New York. I was trying to figure out all the corresponding Chinese words as I was reading the article. 麵 (mian) is the word for noodles made from wheat, while 粉 (fen) is the word for noodles made from rice flour or starch. This distinction is important since, traditionally, wheat is cultivate in northern China because it is dryer than southern China, where rice is cultivated (a lot of water is needed to plant rice). The environment plays a large role in local cuisine.

拉麵 (la mian) – pulled noodles
牛肉麵 (niu rou mian) – a dish made with pulled noodles; cooked with beef and vegetables in a broth
拌麵 (ban mian) or 撈麵 (lao mian) – stir noodles; probably best known using the pronunciation of “lo mien” (Cantonese)
炒麵 (chao mian) – fried noodles
刀削麵 (dao xiao mian) – knife peeled noodles
河粉 (he fen) – river noodles; thick
米粉 (mi fen) – rice noodles; thin
冬粉 (dong fen) – winter noodles; made from mung bean starch, thin
粉絲 (fen si) – noodle silk; same as 冬粉

Yummy 雲吞麵 (yun tun mian; wonton noodles)!

Credit: Free images from acobox.com


One thought on “Word of the week #14: 麵 and 粉

  1. Pingback: Word of the week #16: 粉絲 | Thinking About Languages

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