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Old 02-11-2008, 04:54 PM   #31
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GotGarlic, I find that people's interpretation of what is considered authentic Chinese food to be widely varied. I think it would help to know what style of Chinese cuisine you like (sichuan, hunan, etc.) before suggesting a recipe.
Well, based on the descriptions here - Chinese Regional Cooking Styles - Chinese Cuisine - Regional Cooking Styles of China - I'd say Cantonese. Are they accurate?

I like stir-fries and roasted meats and veggies, and steamed dumplings. I've been slowly getting more accustomed to hot foodsin the last few years (Thai, Mexican), so I might be ready for Szechuan
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:12 PM   #32
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I have nightmares that maybe God doesn't like Chinese Food and there won't be any Chinese restuarants in Heaven. Hardly worth the trip up there in that case.
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:49 PM   #33
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I enjoy most Asian foods but not the very spicy ones, although I am rather partial to Thai Green and Red curries. Japanese would be my preferred Asian cuisine but good quality Japanese and Thai is more readily available in Perth than Chinese. Very Westernised here. But that's not to say that I don't like those dishes as well. I value the dish for what it is, not for its authenicity. I am going to lunch with my Malaysian friend on Wednesday at a Chinese restaurant which should be good as she expands my horizons.

Welcome to DC too by the way!! And I hope your move to the US is a successful one.
We had Malaysian in Atlanta, very yummy. Reminded us of Thai but a little more fragrant and slightly different spices.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:47 PM   #34
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chinese good

i love chinese food a lot. don't care for too hot though. we have two sources here, a chain, panda express. very american. and one that is the real thing. i love em both.

made tahi noodles for side dish couple night ago. with shrimp in garlice butter for the protien.

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Old 02-11-2008, 08:57 PM   #35
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I am still waiting to hear the OPs take on our version of Chinese food here in the States. I once asked one of the shop owners in Chinatown how close the restaurants there were to the food they ate and grew up with. He said we wouldn't even recognize most dishes they ate and that even the most 'authentic' Chinese restaurants here were not really that authentic.
I watched several shows on the Travel Channel, and they made the same comment that it was really much different.

Of course, Anthony Bordain is not known for going for the 'usual and customary' fare LOL.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:51 PM   #36
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Being of Chinese decent, my views on Chinese food is just slightly biased. In all honesty, I could not tell you the regional style some of the dishes I've eaten. Just whether I liked them or not, authentic or not. I think it's because I grew up eating all different styles. I have relatives (by marriage) that grew up in various parts of China and in Taiwan. My uncles and aunts owned restaurants that specialized in what they liked (Sichuan, Mandarin, Cantonese/Taiwanese). There were many discusssions at family gatherings about what is the best way to cook so-and-so. Me? Just put the plate and a pair of chopstix in front of me.

This reminds me of a funny story if I may digress for a moment. When I worked for a large Japanese pharmaceutical company years back, I had the pleasure of being exposed to several cuisines on my trips to Tokyo. I've had authentic Japanese meals, breakfast/lunch/dinner. Now there's a diet that I can lose weight on! I've also had the pleasure of dining at some of the finest Chinese, French and German restaurants in Japan. Very different to what I'm used to. So to the funny story. A Japanese colleague ordered a special dimsum dish of shaomi for me at a highly acclaimed Chinese restaurant in Ginza district. He heard that I loved dimsum. The steamed shaomi was about the size of an orange, filled with what tasted like a very fishy Japanese fishball. The wrapper was thicker than traditional dimsum rice wraps than I'm used to. This was served with a side of ponzu. My colleague told me this was the most authentic Chinese dish that the restaurant served. If he hadn't told me it was a shaomai, I would have guessed it to be some kind of authentic Japanese dumpling of sorts!
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:29 PM   #37
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Me? Just put the plate and a pair of chopstix in front of me.
Amen! My search for more authentic dishes really is more about curiosity than anything else. But some of my favorites are cross-overs. Like French Vietnamese.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:41 PM   #38
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I'm with you, Buddy, about trying authentic food out of curiosity. When we travel, we like to try what the locals like to eat just to get a better appreciation of the area.

There's still a lot of Chinese regional food that I have not tried. DH and I recently tried a small mom/pop restaurant that was highly recommended by a friend. The restaurant specializes in Chongqing (sometimes referred to as ChungKing) style Sichuan (szechuan) cuisine. I took Chongqing to mean the dishes are probably hotter than usual szechuan dishes. And I was right. Boy, they were hot, hot, hot! We had Dry Fried Beef Slivers (Gan Bian Niu Rou Si), although I prefer the version that my mom makes. We also had Twice Cooked Fish. Different. They also offered a lot of the dishes I'm familiar with but probably most Americans won't try. How about some stewed pig ear, smoked pork tongue, fish with soft jelly noodle? DH said no on all 3. But he'll eat chicken feet!

I have found traditionally, szechuan restaurants in the States (at least the ones in CA) serve the more refined Chengdu (capital of Sichuan) style szechuan dishes. But I think that's changing, so I've been told.

That reminds me. The first time I ate at PF Chang's, I was surprised by some of their dishes. Some dishes were very close in preparation and taste like what I grew up with. Guess it surprised me that I found some dishes that taste like home at a chain restaurant. Lettuce wraps, that's something my grandmother used to make for me as a kid using leftover meat dishes. Dan dan noodles' sauce is the closest I've had to my aunt's. The mu shu pork is the closests to my Mom's, which I love but have never been able to re-create or find at a restaurant. And the Sichuan from the Sea Shrimp taste just like Mom's. Don't really mean to be a Chinese food snob but I just would have never guessed with a place with the words Bistro and China together. The one thing I don't like about PF Chang's is when the servers try to correct my pronunciation of some words. Also, their dishes are very high in calories and fat.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:57 PM   #39
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Most of the so-called Chinese dishes cooked in Western countries are too sweet and too greasy. The styles have been modified to adapt the taste of local people. The names of dishes are generally cantonese. I recently watched a movie named "shanghai kiss". When American born Liam asks for wonton in a restaurant in Shanghai, the waitress can not understand him. If he asks for Chow mien or even fortune cookie, I am afraid he will be disappointed again. My Swiss friend doesn't visit local Chinese restaurant any more after he paid a visit in China, now he knows what real Chinese cuisine tastes like.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:42 AM   #40
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I don't think I've ever had "authentic" Chinese cuisine. I've only had local, but good, Americanized versions. I tend to prefer Cantonese style dishes. My favorite is a Cantonese-style chicken chow mein from my local place. It's crispy fried lo mein noodles topped with chicken and lots of vegetables in a light gravy-style sauce, not too spicy yet delicious!
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