Distinctive Dumpings and Pork with Douche??

Distinctive Dumpings in Qingdao
Distintive dumpings in Qingdao, China. Lost in translation.

While we were relieved to see an English menu at a local dumpling joint in Qingdao, we were alarmed by some of its offerings. This time, we could really use your help.

Chinglish Dumpling Menu - Qingdao, China
Pork with Douche. Any ideas?

Pork with douche? We put on our translator hats and stretched our imaginations. Perhaps pork with soup or pork with broth? Pork with vinegar, maybe? Wouldn’t any of these translations be more straightforward? Just another case of a restaurant’s hasty consultation of a Mandarin-English dictionary gone horribly wrong.

An undisclosed prize from one of our next destinations – Malaysia or India – to the reader who supplies the best answer.

Da Yu Dumplings - Qingdao, China
Fabulous dumplings at Da Yu Dumplings in Qingdao, China.

Da Yu, the restaurant in question, got it right where it mattered, however. Its dumplings – stuffed with shrimp, pork and greens – were freshly rolled and folded, tasty and an unbelievable value at $1.70 for 20.

So while Da Yu’s spell checker was off, their chef was certainly on.

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  1. Sarah Kirk says

    I hate to say it, but the Chinese version doesn’t make much more easily discernable sense. The first character, gu, means drum, or inflated or swelled. The second character zhi means juice. So you’ve got drum juice and pork, or pork with juice from an inflated bellows, which sounds (eerily) like a douche. Probably some sort of obscure Chinese culinary special sauce?

    Where’s the restaurant? I’m heading to Qingdao in a few weeks.

  2. says

    Sarah, thanks for lending your linguistic talent! That’s pretty funny that the real Chinese translation doesn’t help in explaining it either. The intrigue continues – now I wish we had tried it!

    This dumpling place is near the train station (the one downtown that’s closed), right by a local bus terminal (5 bus). It has “dumplings” written in English on the sign outside. Try the pork with douche and let us know how they are!

    We’ll be writing more about food and Qingdao later, but I’m not sure it will be published by the time you go, so here are two more tips. There’s another great dumplings place on Yunxiao Road, south of Minjiang, on the right hand side. You can see the women rolling and stuffing them at the back. There street hot pot on Jiahzhou road is fun, tasty and cheap.

    The Observatory Hostel is nice and fun location. Just bring your ear plugs since the impromptu Tai Chi and exercise seems to start at or before 7 AM.

  3. Don Fuller says

    With the appearance of the dumplings in your photo, I am betting the Pork Douche would be just as pretty and delicious. Made me hungry for even a local version.

    Sarah Kirk, are you from Michigan perchance?

  4. says

    Hi Don: Good to hear from you. Your bet is a safe one. If the particular dumplings we tasted at Da Yu were any indication, the Pork Douche probably would be pretty tasty as well. We (Audrey, especially) are big fans of dumplings, so we can understand a desire to seek them out…wherever you happen to be. If you find some good ones, let us know.

  5. Flo says

    if you ever visit Qingdao again – i recommend you the food market in central old town for a lunch.
    Facing the front of “Qingdao International Youth Hostel” at the corner of Jining Rd. / Sifang Rd., just walk eastwards a bit and you cant miss it. Its only open till noon of course.
    They really got a large variation of all kinds of dishes and groceries. My personal favourite is skewer of roasted fresh cuttlefish, optionally drawned in spicy sauce at the end.

    I guess just pointing at the stuff would do, but if not you will need dictionaries since there are only locals.

    Greetings from Germany

  6. says

    Flo, thanks for the recommendation. We love local food markets – it’s more fun and the food is always fresh and cheap! One of our favorite meals in Qingdao was street hot pot – everyone sat together under a tent around a big hot pot. Even though we didn’t speak the same language as anyone else, we all had a good time together.

  7. Shangnan Chen says

    Actually i think it’s 豉汁猪肉,porc meat with black bean sauce.
    A lot of my Chinese friends mistake 豉 (chi) for 鼓 (gu,meaning drum),maybe the author of the menu also have that problem.

    love your blogs. :-)

    Greets from Belgium,

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