The Chinese spoon or Chinese soup spoon (Chinese: 中式湯匙; pinyin: zhōngshì tāngchí; literally "Chinese style soup spoon") is a type of spoon used in Chinese cuisine with a short, thick handle extending directly from a deep, flat bowl. It is used for eating soups, stews, or loose solids such as rice, and is commonly made using porcelains and ceramics. Chinese spoons typically have higher sides and can hold more than the soup spoon found in modern Western Europe. Although normally used as an eating utensil, larger versions of the Chinese spoon are also used as serving spoons or ladles. Some varieties have a tessellated form and most are able to be stacked on top of one another for storage.
A distinct advantage of the Chinese spoon is the flat bottom of the bowl. This prevents liquid from converging at a single spot underneath. The result is that the spoon is far less likely to drip.
Metal Chinese spoons are common in school and inexpensive restaurants due to their durability and efficiency in stacking. They are sold throughout China, typically at 1 RMB each.
The Chinese spoon is known in the Chinese languages as "tāngchí" (Chinese: 湯匙; literally "soup spoon"), but depending on the region or community, the spoon may also be known colloquially as:
- "chí zì" (Chinese: 匙子): which means "little spoon"
- "sháo" (Chinese: 勺), (Chinese: 勺子), (Chinese: 汤勺): which means "ladle", "little ladle", or "soup ladle", respectively.
- "tiáo gēng" (Chinese: 調羹) which means "[for] blending/mixing geng"
- "chí gēng" (Chinese: 匙羹) which means "spoon for geng"
- Media related to Chinese spoons at Wikimedia Commons
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