Susan Bradley, blog author
Susan Bradley

Something that has impressed me since teaching English in China, is the availability of fresh whole foods. The farmer's market (as we call them back home) are chock full of beautiful fresh meat, seafood (if you are in the south), fruits and vegetables!

This list is just a sampling of the common vegetable greens, roots, beans, & mushrooms - but there are sure to be many not listed here. I mean truly the markets here are overflowing with real, beautiful food to be enjoyed! In this post I highlight some common, yet often puzzling, vegetables that are available in most markets in our cities. I've organized these by Leafy Greens, Onion & Garlic Green Toppers, Roots Veg, Beans & Sprouts, Eggplant & Melons & Cucumber, and then Mushrooms.

Now, this will likely leave you with the ‘oh-my-goodness-what-delicious food-do-I-make-now' dilemma! You can find some great recipes online, or just try substituting this lovely food in your traditional recipes. I made the most delicious mushroom soup with a mixture of the many mushrooms available in the market!

I hope this visually helps you out on your next trip to the market! Bon appetite or as we say here in China, qǐngmànyòng 请慢用 (which literally means "please eat slowly", but is better translated as "enjoy your meal")!

Leafy Greens

Bok Choy (bái cài or qīng jiāng cài -青江菜)

Bok Choy

Chinese broccoli (jiè lán – 芥兰)

Chinese broccoli

Choy sum (cài xīn – 菜心)

 Choy sum

Chinese Water spinach (Kōngxīncài – 空心菜)

Chinese Water spinach

Chinese spinach (Xiàncài – 苋菜)

Chinese spinach

Chinese cabbage (Dà báicài – 大白菜)

Chinese cabbage

Chinese celery (qín cài – 芹菜)

Chinese celery

Watercress (xī yáng cài – 西洋菜)


Edible Chrysanthemum (tóng hāo –茼蒿)

Edible Chrysanthemum

Stem lettuce (wō sǔn – 莴笋)

tem lettuce

Indian Lettuce (yóu mài cài - 油麦菜 )

indian lettuce

Onion & Garlic Green Toppers

Spring Onion (cōng – 葱)

Spring Onion

Large Green Onion (Dàcōng – 大葱)

Large Green Onion

Garlic Scapes (suan xin – 蒜芯)

garlic sapces

Chinese Garlic Chives (jiǔ cài – 韭菜)

Chinese Garlic Chives

Root Vegetables

Brown Onion (Yángcōng – 洋葱)

chinese brownn onions

Garlic (Dàsuàn – 大蒜

Chinese garlic

Ginger (Shēngjiāng – 生姜)

Chinese GInger

Chinese Radish ( luó bo – 萝卜)

Chinese Radish

Lotus Root (lián'ǒu – 莲藕)

Lotus Root

Water Chestnuts (mǎ tí – 馬蹄)

Water Chestnuts

Bamboo Shoots (竹笋)

Bamboo Shoots

Chinese yam (shān yào – 山药)

 Chinese yam

Eggplant & Melons & Cucumber

Chinese Eggplant (qié zi – 茄子)

Chinese Eggplant

Hairy Mellon (guo chi - 国耻)

 Hairy Mellon

Bitter Melon ( kǔ guā – 苦瓜)

Bitter Melon

Chinese Cucumber (Huángguā - 黄瓜)

 Winter melon

Winter melon (dōng guā – 冬瓜)

 Winter melon

Beans & Sprouts

Chinese long beans (jiāng dòu- 豇豆)

Chinese long beans

Snow Peas (hé lán dòu – 荷兰豆)

Snow Peas

Green Beans (máo dòu – 毛豆)

 Green Beans

Mung bean sprouts ( lǜ dòu yá – 绿豆芽)

Mung bean sprouts

Kelp seaweed (hǎi dài – 海带)

Kelp seaweed


Chinese black mushroom (dōng gū – 冬菇)

Chinese black mushroom

Shiitake mushroom (xiāng gū – 香菇)

Shiitake mushroom

Enoki Mushrooms (jīn zhēn gū – 金针菇)

Enoki Mushrooms

Tea tree mushrooms (chá shù gū – 茶树菇)

Tea tree mushrooms

King Mushrooms (xìngbàogū – 杏鲍菇)

King Mushrooms

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