HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


I want to eat something light and "cheng"

A native Chinese speaker (not sure what dialect, something Southern, maybe Cantonese?) said in English that they wanted to eat something light and "cheng". Does anyone recognize this term? If so, what does it mean?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sounds like Mandarin to me, and perhaps more along the lines of "tsing" as in "tsing daan", also meaning light (i.e. low salt, low oil/grease, no MSG) but more importantly "natural".

    1. Could be either Cantonese or Mandarin, means clear, bland, simple. Usually paired with the word "Daam", meaning bland (low salt).

      1 Reply
      1. re: PeterL

        I'll second this. Plain jook comes to mind.

      2. If it's "ching" in Cantonese, my interpretation is that it means "cleansing". But more practically, it's what the previous posters have said-- fresh, and light, maybe with a refreshing touch of acid or bitterness.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chococat

          Interesting, ching never brought to mind anything acidic or bitter. A "ching" soup, in my mind, would be a light beef or pork stock with watercress and red dates.

            1. Could be Fujianese too. meaning it's "Clean"

              1 Reply
              1. re: jecolicious

                The speaker is Malaysian but ethnic Chinese, I never bothered to ask what Chinese dialect is used at home, but mostly they are Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew and all the usual SE Asian Chinese suspects so I wouldn't be surprised if it were a Fujianese word.

              2. Could also be zheng - steamed?

                1. Sounds like something that is low in fat/oil, easy on the seasonings, and easy to digest--basically nothing heavy. A steamed vegetable dish might do the trick. Otherwise, go for simple congee. It doesn't have to be plain, but if you add anything, keep it simple like congee with chicken, ginger, and green onions.

                  1. Whenever my mom is raving about something being "ching", I know I don't want what she's having because it's almost certainly going to be too bland for my tastes.