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Authenticity of Asian Cuisine in the West

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Looking for comment on Authenticy of Chinese Cuisine prepared in N America and the West is vs Chinese Cuisine back in China. I am under the impression most dishes have been either created or manipulated to match western tastes with an example being Mongolian Lamb and Beef.
post #2 of 26
I've thought a lot about this, oddly enough, and may write a paper on it. I don't know if you are familiar with the TED blogs but they recently had a presenter take some of the most popular "Chinese" cuisine here in the US to China and it wasn't recognized at all. Even the 'creator' of General Tso's Chicken apparently did not even recognize the very dish he had created in California.
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star View Post
Looking for comment on Authenticy of Chinese Cuisine prepared in N America and the West is vs Chinese Cuisine back in China. I am under the impression most dishes have been either created or manipulated to match western tastes with an example being Mongolian Lamb and Beef.
They are, but not really much more than any other countries food is changed depending on the country. You can bet "italian food" in the US is manipulated for western tastes. Like anything, go to a mainstream place intended for western people and that's the kind of food you'd get. Hardly surprising is it? FYI "Kung Pao Chicken" is pretty much the same in China.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
The closest I came to 'authentic chinese' cuisine' I think (outside of china) was in an eastern block country that had for political reasons accepted alot of chinese and packed them into condensed high rise dwelling. The Chinese Restaurant downstair served food that was not as 'colourful', 'sweet' or 'glossy' as the food you get in the west. I would not say it was inferior (far from it) instead it seemed less presentable and looked more like a homemade meal.
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star View Post
The closest I came to 'authentic chinese' cuisine' I think (outside of china) was in an eastern block country that had for political reasons accepted alot of chinese and packed them into condensed high rise dwelling. The Chinese Restaurant downstair served food that was not as 'colourful', 'sweet' or 'glossy' as the food you get in the west. I would not say it was inferior (far from it) instead it seemed less presentable and looked more like a homemade meal.
This is true. I eat at my friend's house all the time. The food doesn't look like stuff one would think of when it's time for "chinese food", but it still tastes good.
post #6 of 26
ill take my "orange chicken" any day, thank you very much.
post #7 of 26
having my fair share of "authentic Chinese cuisine" the Chinese food I ate in some establishments in San Francisco, all Cantonese, are pretty much up there.
post #8 of 26
You can find authentic cuisine but most of the Chinese or Thai that I have tried in the US has been mildly or heavily westernized.

I rank PF Changs among the worst offenders. They took what was one of the most efficient and healthy forms of cooking in China (preparing food in a wok) and completely stuffed it... the amount of rubish they wrap food in stuns my friends from Asia.
post #9 of 26
PF Chang's is hardly meant to be authentic. It's Cauc-Asian. If you are fortunate enough to live on the west coast, Hawaii, or a major city with a Chinatown, some pretty authentic food can be found, I think. Although I have never been to China, I have many friends who are Chinese and have traveled there, so I am relaying their opinions.
post #10 of 26
There's alot of places in los angeles that serves authentic korean-chinese cuisine. Chachangmyun, kanpongsewu, yangjangpi, etc. Those three are the staples of any orders taken by any sunday korean after-church crowd.
post #11 of 26
This is pretty easy. In a metro area with an ethnic area..... look inside.... if you don't see any white people, then that is a sure sign it's pretty authentic. Now if you want even more authentic, befriend someone and hopefully they take you back to their parent's place. (That idea is not intended for people of this forum with yellow fever )

Or better yet, get a cookbook about the cuisine you are interested in. The better cookbooks should talk about the basic concepts for that particular cuisine. It will be your starting point. The whole idea is I think for you to have better understanding about the guiding principles for a cuisine so that you can replicate the concept, favors, aroma, texture, etc.
post #12 of 26
If it tastes good, I don't care.
post #13 of 26

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Edited by merkur - 7/28/11 at 2:01am
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRon View Post
PF Chang's is hardly meant to be authentic. It's Cauc-Asian. If you are fortunate enough to live on the west coast, Hawaii, or a major city with a Chinatown, some pretty authentic food can be found, I think. Although I have never been to China, I have many friends who are Chinese and have traveled there, so I am relaying their opinions.

Things are definitely better out west in this regard! Even in 'local' areas in cities back East though, friends who are originally from overseas tell me that the food isn't quite the same - friends who grew up here after their parents moved over have a different take on things though. New York might be an exception though.

I haven't lived in China so as with others, I am just passing along what I have been told by those far more well versed than I.
post #15 of 26
there are a very few really authentic palces where you can get the various asian cuisines in the US and Europe - you have to really look for them. the question is, if you want to. I like both authentic and inauthentic chinese, but I look for authentic thai and indian - and with thai I'll eat inauthentic, within indian I won't touch it if it isn't really authentic.

sometimes a "Take" on a food becames a cuisine in itself - I love indian style chinese food, even though it isn't authentic chinese food.
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