Off the Menu: No More Chinglish?

In some utterly unfortunate news for diners who enjoy a laugh alongside their lion’s head meatballs or pock-marked woman tofu, Chinglish might be taken off menus around the country. Last week, the government in Beijing released a list of acceptable translation to some of China’s more popular dishes (note: they released 2,158 dish names. Just a sample, ya know, because that’s how impressively vast Chinese cuisine is.).

Here’s a taste:

  • “Red burned lions’ head” becomes “braised pork ball in brown sauce”
  • “Tofu made by a woman with freckles” becomes simply “Mapo Doufu” (the romanization of the Chinese)
  • “Chicken without sex” becomes “Spring Chicken”


For more on our favorite Chinglish menus, check out our dissection of a dish called the “Hot Family Photo” with a “Kim Possible” flavor profile here. Or check out The Atlantic‘s piece on the Chinglish removal, including feedback from Weibo (Chinese Twitter) users. Or check out this hilarious restaurant name that resulted from some technological difficulties that Boing Boing uncovered.

Hungry for more Chinglish? To experience Chinglish on restaurant menus yourself, join one of our food tours tours. We sample some delicious dishes that literally ‘explode’ with flavor. (Well… according to the menu, anyway!)

Banh Mi Pop-up in Shanghai - Tomorrow Only!
Spots on our full Day Tour Monday March 26th still available!

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