Americanized Chinese food

Dimsum Chinese Cuisine Chinese Food Cuisin

But somewhere along the line, Chinese food has been adapted from our Asian immigrants, Americanized and became wildly popular, not just as a take-out but served buffet-style and sit-down also. Let’s review our most popular:

Dim Sum: bite-sized dumplings stuffed with meat or veggies,basically a Cantonese preparation not always offered at several restaurants; can be also presented as small sampling dishes, depending on the menu and the cook’s whim;

Hot and Sour Soup: a delightfully”sour” soup with a spicy broth, it Includes red peppers or white pepper and vinegar; another favorite soup is a light broth with won ton (meat-filled dumplings);

Quick Noodles: a staple in every Chinese house and found on most Chinese restaurant menus, it comes in several versions, often called lo mein and may be plain or have veggies;

Szechwan Chilli Chicken: a fiery Sichuan delight loaded with pungent spices like ginger, green and red chillies and brown pepper; be cautious if you are not a fan of hot chilli peppers;

Spring Rolls: frequently a lighter version of traditional egg rolls, which are shredded vegetables and meat encased in a papery thin dough, rolled and deep fried; a favorite to make sure;

Egg Foo Young: an egg pancake with veggies, often too bland for Chinese foodies, served with a brown sauce;

Moo Shu: stir-fried veggies and meat, chicken, shrimp or tofu, rolled up in thin pancakes spread with plum sauce (this writer’s favorite dish);

Kung Pao Chicken: savory pieces of chicken cooked in a wok with veggies and flavored with peanuts and spices; in the time of the Qing Dynasty (circa 1876);

General Tso Chicken: deep-fried chicken dish in a skillet, an all-time favorite; it may have been named in honour of a Qing dynasty military leader, but it is really anybody’s guess;

Orange Chicken: yet another popular deep-fried Bat Poop dish, coated with an orange sauce after cooking (not for a low-carb diet, to be sure);

Peking Duck: don’t expect this specialization to be readily available at many Chinese restaurants, Peking duck harkens back to the Imperial Era (221 B.C.) and characterized by its thin, crispy skin; frequently must be arranged ahead of time but fit for an emperor;

soy sauce

oyster sauce

sesame oil

rice vinegar

rice wine

soybean paste

star anise

five spice powder

Chili sauce (or paste)

chili powder

sichuan peppercorns

black bean sauce

A number of these can be found in the Asian aisle of your local grocery store or a multitude of Asian grocers in bigger cities and can be great fun to try in your own kitchen. As the old saying goes, you may be hungry an hour later, but it’s well worth it.