Chinese Food Gets the Gold!

As athletes fulfill their dreams on the slopes of the Winter Olympics every four years, viewers are treated to all manner of “slices of life”. If you’ve been keeping up with eChineseLearning’s explorations of food over the years, from hotpot to “late-night poisonings” to which foods to eat on which holidays, it shouldn’t surprise you that with China as the host for the Winter Games, food was a “hot” topic online.
We’ve collected 4 trending food personalities from this year’s event, and with how much there was to watch, we won’t blame you if you missed them at the time! How did leeks, bean buns, dumplings, and “hot, hot, hot” make up an international “smorgasbord”? Keep reading to find out…

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1. Eileen Gu and Her fried Chinese leek dumplings

Eileen Gu was among the new wave of athletes grabbing the spotlight during the Olympics. Of course, her gold medal performance turned heads, but Chinese netizens were quick to catch what went down in between events, namely that Eileen was munching on a “韭菜盒子 (jiǔ cài hé zi)”.
Fried Chinese leek dumplings are a kind of pan-fried dumpling stuffed with chives/leeks, vermicelli noodles, and scrambled egg. Served piping hot, they’re a great choice when you’re looking for a quick snack on a cold day!

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韭菜盒子 (jiǔ cài hé zi): n. fried Chinese leek dumplings


bié wàng le zài chāo shì mǎi diǎn jiǔ cài wǎn shàng chī.
别    忘    了 在   超    市  买    点   韭  菜  晚      上    吃。
Please remember to buy some leeks at the supermarket for dinner tonight.

zhè xiē jiǔ cài hé zi suī rán hěn yóu nì dàn shì hěn hǎo chī .
这   些  韭  菜 盒 子 虽  然   很   油  腻  但  是   很   好   吃。
These fried Chinese leek dumplings are so greasy but so yummy.

2. Jenise Spiteri’s Red Bean Buns

It’s not every day that an athlete taking 21st place, even at the Olympics, captures the attention of a host country. However Jenise Spiteri, a 29-year-old snowboarder representing Malta, was cheered on for more than her performance when she was caught on TV munching on a “豆包(dòu bāo)”.
Even if you didn’t know what they were called, chances are you’ve at least seen a picture of “豆包(dòu bāo)”, China’s famous red bean buns. A little sweet, a little salty, and with a texture to die for, no wonder Ms. Spiteri couldn’t wait to pop one in her mouth while waiting for her score!

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豆包(dòu bāo): n. bean buns


dòu bāo hěn hǎo chī .
豆     包   很    好   吃。
Bean buns are delicious.

nǐ chī guò dòu bāo ma?
你 吃   过   豆    包   吗?
Have you eaten bean buns?

3. Jutta Leerdam Loves “Hot-hot-hot”

When you think of Dutch food “spiciness” probably doesn’t come to mind (unless you’re a history buff, in which case your mind probably immediately goes to the Dutch East India Company), but that didn’t stop speed skating phenom Jutta Leerdam from chowing down on “麻辣烫 (má là tàng)”.
“Málàtàng” breaks down into three separate adjectives, each a different form of heat: 麻(má) means “numbing”, 辣(là) means “spicy”, and 烫(tàng) means “hot”. It’s a food that’s simple in execution, but oh-so-satisfying to fill your bowl with!

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麻辣烫 (má là tàng): n. Malatang


wǒ xiǎng yào yī wǎn má là tàng.
我    想     要  一  碗   麻 辣  烫。
I want a bowl of Malatang.

nǐ xǐ huān chī má là tàng ma?
你喜  欢    吃   麻 辣  烫   吗?
Do you like Malatang?

4. Thomas Bach’s Belly Full o’ Dumplings

Even Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, fell prey to the delicious fare on offer at the event. After showing up at a press conference he confessed that he ate so many “饺子 (jiǎo zi)” that he put on a few pounds during his time there.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love “饺子 (jiǎo zi)”. Whether pan-fried, steamed, or boiled, dumplings are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, especially with all the different fillings available!

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饺子 (jiǎo zi): n. dumplings


wǒ shū shū zuì xǐ huān de jiǎo zi xiàn ér shì yáng ròu huí xiāng de.
我   叔   叔  最  喜  欢    的  饺  子 馅   儿 是   羊    肉   茴   香    的。
My uncle’s favorite dumpling filling is lamb and fennel.

wǒ xī wàng wǒ men měi gè jià qī dōu chī jiǎo zi.
我 希   望    我    们    每  个 假 期  都   吃  饺  子。
I wish we ate dumplings at every holiday.

If you’ve read through this article or simply scrolled through to look at the pictures, then we’re certainly not the only ones drooling and checking the clock to see when lunchtime is!
Are you excited to try a new kind of food? Did you learn some new Chinese words today? Let us know in the comments, or send us a message at!

You May Want to Learn More :

“3 Foods You’ll Wish You Were Eating This Christmas”
“10 Kinds of Chinese Hotpot, Which is Your Favorite (Pt. 2)”
”10 Kinds of Chinese Hotpot, Which is Your Favorite? (Pt. 1)”

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