General Question

joscketSeper's avatar

Are any of the Authentic Chinese restaurants REAL chinese food or American made?

Asked by joscketSeper (323points) March 14th, 2010

I saw a documentary in TV that said that Chinese food as sold in America, is not really Chinese food. it is american made fast food or something.

But some Restaurants say “Authentic Chinese food”. And they are owned and operated by Chinese people. But are they really making the food they eat in restaurants in China and traditonal chinese dishes??

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14 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Are all of the people whose pictures that of a six-year-old really that person?

mrrich724's avatar

You need to go to a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown if you can. Here in LA there is a China town, and the chinese food at those restaurants taste nothing like what you buy at “Super Chinatown” or “Chinadeluxe”

I know b/c my baby brother’s babysitter was a Chinese family (so authentic only one of them spoke english) and their food was the bomb, but nothing like what we here in America call Chinese food.

And you know Chinatown chinese places are authentic b/c they are nothing like what we’re used to, BUT MAINLY b/c that’s where all the Chinese go to with their families to eat. So there is something to it.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

If you want authenticity. Panda fucking express is not the place to go

ragingloli's avatar

Authentic chinese food means raw frog eggs, bird nests, caterpillars killed by fungus, fish that look like colons, etc. Everything without rice. I doubt you will find that anywhere in the US.

dpworkin's avatar

Chinese people don’t go out to eat in order to have home cooking. One needs to define “authentic”. I think if you patronize a restaurant in Chinatown that is largely patronized be Chinese people, you will likely be served food that is prepared to Chinese tastes.

mrrich724's avatar

Like I said, I know what it is b/c of my lil’ bro’s babysitters were FOB.

And the food in Los Angeles’ Chinatown taste just like that.

filmfann's avatar

I spent 16 days in China 25 years ago.
The food they eat there is very little like what we see.
American Chinese food is much sweeter, and easier to look at.

mrrich724's avatar


you are very correct, it’s WAAAY easier to look at.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I worked with a guy that spoke fluent Mandarin thanks to 20 years with Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club. When we would go out for lunch for Chinese, he would disappear into the kitchen, and what came out bore no resemblance to anything on the menu. When I eat at my favorite Chinese buffet, what the help eats for lunch is not on the menu.


You are correct about the America-made Chinese food thing. Most, if not all, “Chinese restaurant’s” in North America serve food for Westernized tastes——ginger beef, chow mein, eggrolls, kung pao chicken, even the more “unusual” Chinese dishes like Peking duck and spicy tofu. Fast food Chinese restaurants serve typical American Chinese fare——fried rice, eggrolls, chow mein, etc. You can get a few really “authentic” Chinese dishes in some Chinatown restaurants, but the better thing to do is to buy food takeout in Chinatown eateries where new Chinese immigrants go. These are usually the small, corner stores or BBQ shops where crowds of noisy Chinese immigrants visit. Chinese immigrants want to buy food “authentic” to the tastes of their homeland, so they frequent these places. If you want to try even more authentic, unusual Chinese food, go to the home of a traditional Chinese family and they will serve you things like “steamed grapefruit rind in salty pungent shrimp sauce”, “preserved salted dried fish”, “boiled daikon radish stew”, “foong cheng” (Chinese sausage), “preserved salty duck eggs”, and stir-fried “buck choy”. My grandmother used to cook these all the time for us, and on occasion she would also make black Judas Ear fungi (it’s a black rubbery kind of thin mushroom) with goldenrod blossoms and goji berries. The only thing about real, homemade authentic Chinese food that you may not like is that it can be very odorous, pungent, and disagreeable to the Western palate! Lol. But if you dare try, please do. Hope you get a chance my friend. You might like it! Sometimes food that doesn’t smell or look good can be surprisingly tasty! ;)

joscketSeper's avatar

Very informative guys.

njnyjobs's avatar

Chinese take-out menu usually list dishes inspired by authentic chinese dishes but they adjust the taste to fit the “American” tastebud.

If you seek authentic Chinese cooking, you have to venture to the heart of a fairly large Chinatown, such as those in NYC, LA, SF, Toronto. Look for roasted chicken/ducks and pigs feet hanging at the store front.

funkytown444's avatar

Im chinese and the dishes here are westernized to accommadate the taste and visual appeal to westerners. Authentic would be up for interpretation. If your asking if its made from an asian person who knows how to cook chinese food . Then, yes.. but if your asking if its the stuff we would eat. Most cases.. no.. The culture is totally different in the manner on what and how we eat the food. Most westerners would probably not venture out on what we consider mainstream for us but a delicacy or an adventure for you. Im an americanized chinese, i’ve been here most of my life and i wouldn’t eat the authentic stuff with a ten foot pole!

YARNLADY's avatar

My Daughter in law is 100% Chinese, third generation American. Her family owns an authentic Chinese restaurant. The food they serve is the food they have been familiar with since their people first came to California.

If you want Chinese food, you would most likely have to go to China, since the food prepared here is purchased here, therefore American food, by definition.

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