Hokkien: How Do You Say – Delicious Cooked Food

by | Sep 2, 2019 | Hokkien, Hokkien - How Do You Say

Listen to Podcast | Hokkien: How Do You Say – Delicious Cooked Food

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New Words

EnglishHokkienOur Romanization
Jiak eh ming gia
Ho jiak
CookZi / Zu

Podcast Transcript | Hokkien: How Do You Say – Delicious Cooked Food

Hello everyone! My name is Eugene and thanks for tuning into our Hokkien – How Do You Say Podcast. In this session, we will be touching on one topic that Singaporeans hold very close to our hearts – food!

While the term “food” is commonly used in English, the same cannot be said in Hokkien within the Singapore context. Instead, we usually refer to food as “things to be eaten” or 食的物件. Specifically, 物件 means “things”. Now, I would suggest for you to keep this in mind, as you’ll soon find that 物件 is a very versatile phrase. In fact, I’ll encourage you to observe how this phrase is commonly used in Hokkien conversations and try to pick up the different ways of application!

So how do we translate “Food is delicious” into Hokkien then? We do so by saying 物件真好食 where 好食 means “delicious” or “yummy”. Of course, if you have a specific food item in your mind, you can simply replace 物件 with the dish name. For example, 福建面真好食 means “Hokkien noodles is delicious”.

Now, I’m a big foodie myself and when I come across a dish that is really yummy, I’ll like to give credits to the person who cooked it, be it the chef or my loved ones. After all, I know that cooking is not easy! Well, for a simple praise, I’ll say 你煮的物件真好食. This means “the food that you cooked is really delicious”. “Cook” can be pronounced as either “Zi” or “Zu” and will be understood by Hokkiens in Singapore.

A quick recap of what we have learnt today:

  • 食的物件, which means “food”;
  • 物件真好食, which means “food is delicious”; and
  • 你煮(zi)的物件真好食 or 你煮(zu)的物件真好食, which means “the food that you cooked is really delicious”.

There you go. Hope these phrases are useful for your next conversation over a good meal! My name is Eugene from and see you next week!

Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!

Our Philosophy for Learning Hokkien in Singapore

The pronunciation of Hokkien words varies from one region to another. For example, Penang Hokkien sounds different from Taiwanese Hokkien. At, we want to make learning Hokkien fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, we think it is important to listen to how Singaporeans speak Hokkien. To do that, we have an ongoing process of collecting audio recordings from at least 100 Hokkien-speaking seniors in Singapore and thereafter based our audio pronunciation on the most commonly-heard version.

In similar nature, rather than trying to figure out which Hokkien romanization system to use (e.g. Pe̍h-ōe-jī or Taiwan Romanization System), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Hokkien words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the formal romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “chia̍h” in Hokkien. However, in our “Have You Eaten” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “jiak”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “chiah”, “jia”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.


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