It’s almost summer time in China. Many Chinese would go out to enjoy great food with family or friends at night. One of the most popular choices is “shāo kǎo(烧烤)”, Chinese barbecue, a kind of food that belongs to the night.
烧烤 (Shāo kǎo): n. Barbecue
Zhōng guó de shāo kǎo hěn bàng.
中 国 的 烧 烤 很 棒。
Chinese-style barbecue is awesome.
Wǒ hěn xǐ huān chī zhōng guó de shāo kǎo.
我 很 喜 欢 吃 中 国 的 烧 烤。
I like eating Chinese-style barbecue very much.
In the west, people usually have barbecue at social event held on special occasions. In contrast, Chinese “shāo kǎo (烧烤)” is an everyday food of the Chinese people. Families, businessmen, people getting out their jobs will all stop at these shops to grab a quick bite for an early dinner or snack.
In the word “shāo kǎo (烧烤)”, the character “shāo (烧)” has several meanings: first, it can be used as a verb which equals to ‘make’ in “make dishes”, like “shāo fàn (烧饭)” in Chinese. Another meaning of “shāo (烧)” is “burn, light or boil”, like “shāo huǒ（烧火）, light a fire”， “shāo shuǐ（烧水), boil water”. Third, “shāo (烧)” refers a cooking method, for example, “shāo é (烧鹅) roasted goose”, “shāo jī (烧鸡) grilled/roasted chicken”.
“Kǎo (烤)” normally means “roast, bake, or toast”, like“kǎo yú (烤鱼) baked fish”, “kǎo jī chì (烤鸡翅) roasted chicken wings”. Besides all kinds of meats, of course there are vegetables！Like “kǎo qié zi (烤茄子) grilled eggplants”， “kǎo mó gū (烤蘑菇) grilled mushrooms”.
In China, “shāo kǎo (烧烤)” typically consists of heavily spiced, barbecued foods on skewers. “Yáng ròu chuàn (羊肉串) lamb skewers” enjoy great popularity in the country. If making a list of popular Chinese street foods, “yáng ròu chuàn (羊肉串)”would definitely make it to the top 10. Seasoned with cumin and chili, grilled over hot charcoal, they’re juicy, tasty and extremely satisfying.
What kind of Chinese barbecue have you eaten before? What kind do you like the best or want to try the most? You’re welcome to share with us in the section below!