Chinese Cuisine in US

Chinese cuisine is a very important part of Chinese culture.  It reflects a part of the her history of five thousand years.  Fine dinning has been one the major entertainment forms in China.  Mnay things get done over dinner tables. Unfortunately the image of Chinese cuisine has been distorted and damaged by those so-called Chinese restaurants all over US.  There are few restaurants that serve authentic Chinese food.  For example, most Chinese restaurants serve some Sichuan ( Szechuan) entrees.   As a native Sichuanese, I can not imagine how they can be claimed to be Sichuan dishes.  Wrong material, wrong way of cooking, wrong way of preparation!

Chinese cuisine has eight major categories of which each is associated with a particular region in China.  The chefs in most restaurants other than those mom-and-pop ones are well trained and strictly certified at different levels.  Most restaurants in China do not (or can not according to their standard) serve multi-category foods.   Their menus are well balanced from which you can order very healthful combination of entrees.  However, in US,  almost every Chinese restaurant (with untrained cooks in most cases) claims it serves all kinds of Chinese food.  As everyone knows that fortune cookies were invented in US.   I have never seen fried rice in any restaurants in China.  The hard and tasteless rice served in Chinese restaurants in US would not be tolerated in China.  It is outrageous for US Chinese restaurants to claim their food is healthful considering the big portion of their food is poorly prepared meat and/or (often deeply) fried.  I hope there will be a not-for-profit organization to certify the authenticity of Chinese restaurants in US.

The freshness and deliciousness of the food, the hospitality, the generosity and the casual home setting of those small restaurants in Chinese countryside are missed badly by those who have had the wonderful experience but are on the other side of pacific ocean.  

With the well developed global trade, most ingredients needed to cook authentic Chinese food are readily available in US.  With the amazing selection of cookware and home appliance, it is by no means difficult to cook decent Chinese food.  All it takes is the passion for good food, the respect for a well established culture and the seriousness in getting the job done.

Authentic Chinese food that emphasizes the balance with a huge selection of  vegetable dishes can be a very healthful choice for daily meals, entrees of formal banquets or diet for highly active athletes.


Some recipes 


Bean Tendon Stew
Marpour Tofu


Quick Stir-fried Cucumber
Quick Stir-fried Cucumber Salad
Sesame Oil Cucumber Salad

Dry Bean curd Celery

Fermented Bean Curd Broccoli

Stir-fried Shredded Potato

Quick Stir-fried Cabbage
Quick Stir-fried Cabbage with Vinegar

Stir-fried Green Pepper


Bean Sauce Fish


Soft Fried Beef
Dry Beef Salad

 (Originally written on 5/5/1999)

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