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A bowl of meat-based geng
Place of originChina

Gēng (Chinese: ; pinyin: gēng; Wade–Giles: keng1; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: keⁿ / kiⁿ) is type of thick or clear soup found in Chinese cuisine. Its thickening agent is usually starch which makes the soup translucent and smooth. Many soups can be cooked in this way, such as expensive shark fin soup, Madame Song's fish soup (宋嫂魚羹), and corn soup.


Geng dishes have been important in Chinese cuisine since early dynastic China, during or prior to the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC -1046 BC). In the past, the term "geng" was used to refer to any cooked soup or stew, with households serving it daily and for festive events.

A bowl of Fujian style beef geng

In modern times, geng dishes consist of different ingredients commonly found in the night markets of Taiwan, and quite commonly in Fujian and Taiwanese cuisine. In Taiwan, the character for geng is sometimes written as "" and sometimes as "".

The Lao (ແກງ, pronounced [kǣng]) and Thai language (แกง, Thai pronunciation: [gɛɛng]) terms for curry, stew, or soup, are believed to have been derived from the Middle Chinese pronunciation of geng ().[1] The Vietnamese term for soup, canh (e.g., canh chua), descends from the Sino-Vietnamese form of 羹.

Cultural significance

Due to its cultural prevalence, the food has been featured in various Chinese cultural sayings and idioms:

The traditional Chinese spoon is called "diào gēng" (調羹), which means "the implement that carries geng".

See also


  1. ^ Downer, G.B. (1963). "Chinese, Thai, and Miao-Yao". In Shorto, H.L. (ed.). Linguistic Comparison in South East Asia and the Pacific (PDF). School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. pp. 133–139.