When it comes to food, I am open to new experiences and tastes even if I feel a pull to eat something I already know. For ethnic cuisines, Chinese is one of those that have became mainstream that there is a divide between Americanized and authentic Chinese cuisine. Trying out new foods could be risky to some people since one may not know if the food he tries will be something he likes so one will default to eating the same foods over and over again. There has been the perception of some people that authentic Chinese cuisine is filled with extremely exotic items such as bugs or even bullshit notion that Chinese people eat cats and/or dogs commonly. While bugs, dogs, and cats could be eaten by some people, they are hardly the representation of the more commonly food items and do not consist the top items of Chinese dishes in China.
I’ve compiled a list of authentic Chinese food I think that would be safe or familiar according to western taste buds.
- Chonqqing Spicy Chicken
It’s spicy fried chicken with hot chilis from Sichuan province. If you like Kung Pao chicken, I urge you to give this dish a try.
2. Cumin Spiced Lamb Skewers
3. Scallion Pancakes
This would probably be more suited for an appetizer.
4. Hot Pot
Think of hot pot as sort of a fondue, except with no cheese involved. The picture is probably Sichuan style hot pot with one side of the broth spicy and the other non-spicy (which could be herbal, chicken stock, etc). You dip meat, vegetables, and other items into the pot for them to be cooked before picking them back to eat.
5. Peking Duck
Pieces of roasted duck along with scallions seasoned with sweet bean sauce are wrapped by either buns or pancakes.
6. Xian Bing
This is the Chinese version of meat, specifically, beef pies.
Think of wontons as equivalent to tortellinis. They are generally filled with meat with vegetables. Depending on the province or style, Wontons could be filled with soup or soupless. Pictured here are Sichuan style wontons. Fried wontons filled with cheese are not authentic since deep fried food nor cheese are generally not eaten in China.
8. Spring Rolls
These are very similar to the well known egg rolls except the skin is smooth and thinner. Spring rolls are crunchy and have a higher vegetable / meat ratio.
9. Meat sandwich
Commonly known as Chinese hamburger, this sandwich could be considered by some to be the world’s oldest sandwich, dating back to the Qin dynasty (221 BC – 206 BC).
10. Chinese Steamed Eggs
Also known as Chinese egg custard, eggs are beaten and then steamed in the process. They could be seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, or by other condiments.
Since China is a big country, there are many other dishes I do not even know but there are a lot more to Chinese food other than beef broccoli, orange chicken, or crab rangoons.