Everybody loves the white boxes, good food, and of course, the fortune cookies. In fact, most people in China have never even heard of these very famous American Chinese foods. Here are a few differences from American Chinese cuisine to authentic Chinese cuisine that might surprise you:
The Americanized versions usually are sweeter. Are you familiar with the distinction between authentic and Americanized Chinese food? Not before reading this page, no. I was already familiar with this distinction. Many only serve such food.
Even in restaurants with a fully Americanized menu, however, it is common for chefs to be Chinese and know how to cook a wide range of traditional Chinese dishes.
It is also common for restaurants to serve both traditional and Americanized food. Some restaurants even have a "Chinese menu", which may be written only in Chinese, or also in English, which which lists more traditional foods. When choosing a restaurant, some things to look for: Specials written on a board in Chinese - this is a sign that Chinese people frequent the establishment, and is an almost sure sign that the restaurant is capable of cooking authentic cuisine.
Items on the menu that are not part of Americanized Chinese fare - examples would be meats like frog, rabbit, or sea cucumber, or dishes that expressly specify "chinese broccoli" not "Chinese vegetables" as this is part of Americanized lingo. Menus with an "Americanized" section - restaurants focusing on authentic or traditional cuisine often relegate Americanized food to a special section of the menu.
Singapore Rice Noodles - This dish, from Hong Kong, involves rice vermicelli stir-fried with vegetables, a mix of seafood and meat, and curry.
I like ordering it with chicken or pork, or vegetarian. Fried Dumplings - Fried dumplings are, well, fried dumplings. While handmade dumplings are pretty exquisite, I find fried dumplings taste pretty good anywhere I am. The sauce included, which usually consists of soy sauce mixed with dark rice vinegar and scallions, is also usually similar just about anywhere, and is rarely sweetened.
Cantonese - Cantonese food comes from Guangdong province in South China. It is sometimes described as "yue" or "yuet" cuisine. Dim Sum, a popular way of serving food, is popular in Cantonese traditions.
In Dim Sum, food is brought out in carts and sold item-by-item. Many of the older Chinese restaurants in Chinatowns in American cities are Cantonese in style, because these Chinatowns were originally formed primarily by immigrants from this region of China.
Szechuan - Szechuan food comes from Sichuan province, in West-central China. Szechuan food can be spicy, and is characterized by heavy use of hot peppers, ginger, garlic, and szechuan peppercorns.
Szechuan peppercorns are not spicy like black pepper, but are intensely aromatic, and also produce a unique sensations on the palate, tingly in small amounts, and temporarily numbing at large levels.
Hunan - Hunan food is one of the cuisines that influenced Chinese-American food, but when you try the traditional food it will be very different. Like Sichuan food, it is often spicy, colorful, and aromatic. It uses a wide range of cooking styles, including stir-fries, stews, roasting and braising, and smoked foods.
Yunnan - Yunnan food is often among the most alien to Westerners. Yunnan province borders Sichuan, and is remote and mountainous. It can be intensely spicy, and is very diverse. It makes frequent use of mushrooms, using a wide range of different types of mushrooms, and sometimes includes flowers as a food ingredient.
Like with other types of Chinese food, noodles and soups are common, as are "hot pot" style dishes. The food from Liaoning province is one of the few types of Chinese food to include raw vegetables, although only occasionally.
It is bold-flavored but not particularly spicy. Dumplings are a key part of Liaoning cuisine, and the dumplings here are very different from the Cantonese-style dumplings served in most Dim Sum restaurants.
As it is on the coast, seafood is important in the cuisine of Liaoning. Do you prefer Americanized or Traditional Chinese Food?Most Chinese people have never even heard of a General Tsao, and are completely befuddled by the overly sauced fried chicken dish that Americans know as General Tsao's chicken.
In fact, authentic. List of English words Check the existence of a word in the English vocabulary. Search: Z. Home Chinese Culture Chinese Food Differences Between Chinese and Western Eating The Top 10 Differences Between Chinese and Western Eating You may have had Chinese food in Chinese restaurants in your country.
Chinese American cuisine isn't Chinese cuisine, it is Americanized Cuisine with a root in Chinese cuisine, just like Americanized Italian cuisine.
It is the same as Irish American cuisine isn't corned beef and cabbage served with green beer and Bennigan's or Japanese . The struggle to define American cuisine isn't a new one, but as our cravings for authentic flavors from all over the world continue to evolve, it seems like a more prevalent task than ever.
Authentic Chinese food is rarely like the North Americanized versions found in Chinese restaurants throughout the West. More than one traveler has hit the streets in Beijing only to be disappointed that General Tso's chicken is hard to find.