What to feed a Chinese student?

(25 Posts)
nostaples Fri 12-Aug-16 20:51:00

We are having a young Chinese student to stay for several weeks. Does anybody know what sort of food Chinese people really eat? Interested in breakfasts and lunches as well as dinners. Thanks.

lastqueenofscotland Fri 12-Aug-16 20:56:28

... They eat what people eat...

Having lived in China it's got pizza places, Indian restaurants, Thai places, macdonalds, there's an m&s food in Hong Kong!
Just make what you'd usually make maybe ask for any particular dislikes as you would normally?

Optimist1 Fri 12-Aug-16 21:08:30

Not cheese.

OldBeanbagz Sat 13-Aug-16 16:40:17

We had a Chinese student to stay with us and were advised to just offer what we normally ate at home. So breakfast was cereal/toast/juice/tea.

She had lunch at school with DD and then dinner at home. We had stuff like pasta, sausages & roasted veg, roast dinner and lasagne. We went out for pizza one day too.

When my DD went to China in exchange, she ate mainly western food as they ate out every night.

Penfold007 Sat 13-Aug-16 17:07:39

Optomist out of interest why not cheese?

Optimist1 Sat 13-Aug-16 17:31:15

I think that dairy in general is not part of the Chinese diet. (Don't think I dreamt that!)

Globetrotter100 Sat 13-Aug-16 17:38:26

Are you think of higher rates of lactose intolerance in Asia?

ivykaty44 Sat 13-Aug-16 17:40:22

I have had Japanese students and I generally cook a variety of British and European food and then after a week ask what their favourite was, to gauge what they like.

Cottage/Shepard's pie
Sausage and mash

Both good for eating with fork only as remember they will not be used to eating with a knife and fork, so this makes life easy/ comfortable for them on their first week.

Curry and rice
Chilli con carne
Jeffrey - fish eggs and rice foods that are slightly familiar but in a different recipe.

Pasta and pesto with tomato and sweet corn
Spaghetti bolt

I had one student who loved fish fingers
One told me she didn't like dish - but lived my fish pie and breaded fish

Highlove Sun 14-Aug-16 10:28:53

I'm always slightly bemused by threads like this. It's nice to be thoughtful, but if you were the guest would you expect your Chinese (or wherever) hosts to offer you a full English for breakfast and roast beef for dinner?! Wouldn't you rather eat what they eat as part of your visit, rather than what are likely to be less than brilliant versions of stuff you know?

As a PP said, ask for specific dislikes first and then do the sort of food you usually do around that. Though I'd probably make a point of one or two traditional British meals, along the lines others have suggested.

YelloDraw Mon 15-Aug-16 15:03:26

if you were the guest would you expect your Chinese (or wherever) hosts to offer you a full English for breakfast and roast beef for dinner?!

No, but I would appreciate it if, for example, a Japanese host offered me toast in addition to their traditional dried fish... Although actually sliced white bread is gaining huge popularity as a breakfast item in Japan :-)

nostaples Thu 18-Aug-16 20:46:46

Thanks for your advice. The Chinese lady organising the hosting has told us that sandwiches are not part of Chinese culture and she will appreciate hot meals. Websites I've looked at suggest chicken, fish, pork and rice are staples for most meals with eggs too.

cdtaylornats Thu 18-Aug-16 21:42:24

www.quora.com/What-are-some-good-American-dishes-to-cook-for-a-Chinese-exchange-student-who-will-be-staying-with-us-Breakfast-and-dinner-suggestions-particuarly-welcomed

That thread may give you ideas

HeadDreamer Fri 19-Aug-16 21:30:51

I'm ethnic Chinese from Hong Kong, and have lived at a home stay during my first year in NZ.

It depends on where they are from China how familiar they are with western food. I would imagine HK being more westernised than most of China.

One thing I would advice is not to attempt to cook rice or Chinese food unless you are actually good at it! I can't stomach rice cooked on the stove top. They are disgusting. And Chinese take aways. I remember my host attempting to cook Chinese as a nice gesture and I had to politely pretend to like them. It's rude to say otherwise.

Dairy is not eaten normally except ice cream. And it's correct we have hot meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However they know they aren't here to eat Chinese food. Just make what you normally eat. Do you have a Chinese supermarket close by? Maybe take her or him to it so she can stock up some home comfort? (Like instant noodle! That's another one I can't stomach the British version).

nostaples Sat 20-Aug-16 22:19:40

Ah, very interesting. How do I cook rice properly then Head Dreamer?

LemonDr1zzle Sat 20-Aug-16 22:27:10

Cooking rice properly often (mostly always) involves using a rice cooker... It's fairly tricky to cook decent rice on a stove top.

(Disclaimer: native Chinese, I'd pretend politely to enjoy a non-Chinese person's attempt at cooking Chinese food.)

In your position, I'd offer your usual food and see how that goes. They're visiting to partly experience living with a British family, so give them the chance to eat as you do.

HeadDreamer Sun 21-Aug-16 07:22:04

Like lemondrizzle says, a rice cooker.

Obviouspretzel Sun 21-Aug-16 08:40:28

Surely Chinese people cooked rice for generations without rice cookers? Admittedly a lot of people murder rice, but I don't think it's hard to make on the stove top.

donajimena Sun 21-Aug-16 08:45:10

I work in student accommodation and every chinese student has a rice cooker!

Georgiesgirl Sun 21-Aug-16 08:48:42

I'd be quite surprised if they weren't used to using a knife and fork!

LemonDr1zzle Sun 21-Aug-16 11:02:11

Absolutely millions of people cook decent rice without electricity (in my own family we have cooked it in a stone pot above an open fire, that was the kitchen arrangement). But it takes practise to get the rice to how I would consider it "good" - whereas a rice cooker nowadays wool do the job in 30 mins, no supervision or practise needed.

I've already promised my kids their own rice cooker to take with them, when they go to uni / leave home: it's a rite of passage grin

JamieVardysParty Sun 21-Aug-16 11:25:41

Why Georgies? A fork and spoon are the common cutlery to use in most parts of Asia.

avocadosweet Sun 21-Aug-16 11:55:00

We had two 13 year old Chinese students to stay, and asked them what they'd like for dinner, they said rice and noodles. So we made various stir fry dishes (even bought a wok!) and that was fine. We had pizza one night too which they liked. They didn't eat the sandwiches we made them for packed lunches but bought fast food noodles, sushi etc instead. We leave a buffet type breakfast with lots of different cereals, bread, croissants, fruit etc and from that they ate several types of cereal together in one bowl, and toast with Nutella - students of every nationality we have hosted liked Nutella!

I think it's kind to make them food which is somewhat familiar - they are young, a long way from home and have long days. It's very tiring for them to be immersed in another language and culture and having to sit and talk to strangers over dinner is stressful enough without them worrying over what the food is.

CreamTeaFor4 Sun 21-Aug-16 12:02:13

Just out of interest, where do you all find your visiting students from?

I think it would be a really interesting thing to do, to host and introduce my own kids to different cultures.

Zhx3 Sun 21-Aug-16 12:16:45

Rice cooker, cleaver and wok from my parents when we all left home grin.

OP, it's very considerate of you to think about this! It will depend on where in China the students come from what food they will be used to, but I wouldn't worry too much. Maybe have noodles available (either the instant which comes with a sachet of sauce powder or other types), good accompaniments would be lettuce/chinese leaf, ham, egg, maybe frankfurters. This might be a typical meal or snack.

Chinese people tend to prefer hot food, but this could be toast for breakfast, so don't worry. My ideal Chinese breakfast would have congee, noodles and dumplings!

When my relatives come to visit, they are always interested in having a decent steak, and a proper British pub lunch experience. Also fish and chips!

Christine's Recipes is a good website for recipes.

nostaples Mon 22-Aug-16 11:01:28

Thanks all. Very helpful Zh. Will let you know how we get on. Chinese students via school CreamTea.

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