HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
What are you cooking today? Tell us about it

Favorite Americanized-Chinese dishes??

ipsedixit Oct 30, 2006 09:22 PM

Well, we just had an office meeting catered by a local "Chinese" joint. Typical stuff of sweet-and-sour that and orange-chicken this, kung-pao whatever ...

But I digress.

I am curious if you have a favorite Americanized-Chinese dish in the vein of Broccoli Beef, Pepper Steak, Orange Chicken, Slippery Shrimp, Kung-Poa Beef, Moo Shu Pork, etc.

I think my favorite of this crass bunch has to be the Orange Chicken.

It's sort of an ingenious dish. It combines the qualities of chicken nuggets and sweet/tangy sauce all into one dish so as to eliminate the interim, and sometimes messy, step of dipping.


  1. LA Buckeye Fan Sep 23, 2010 12:26 PM

    Paper wrapped chicken?

    1. p
      piccola Dec 30, 2007 10:06 AM

      To be honest, I don't know enough about Chinese cooking to tell what's authentic - though I'm savvy enough to question the whole "chop suey" thing.

      I like veggie lo mein, eggplant in black bean or garlic sauce, "Buddha's delight", vegetarian egg foo yung and steamed veggie dumplings.

      1. t
        TampaAurora Dec 29, 2007 05:12 PM

        Crispy Orange Beef, Mongolian Beef, Lo Mein, Sesame Chicken

        1. f
          fara Dec 29, 2007 04:37 PM

          chicken and broccoli with a light white sauce
          cashew chicken
          lemon chicken
          moo shu shrimp
          americanized potstickers alla cheesecake factory
          shrimp lo mein
          these chicken wings in sort of a teriyaki-soy sauce my dad and I would when i was a kid. so good with shrimp lo mein.
          spare ribs polynesiaan style

          i never liked egg rolls though, they could easily be so much better than the standard chinese american version. what is that red stuff, anyone know?

          1. m
            mercyteapot Dec 27, 2007 10:36 AM

            Ever have the cream cheese wontons at Pick Up Stix? I guess that's not really an Americanized version of a Chinese dish, though, just an American dish utilizing a Chinese ingredient. They are tasty, though.

            I like moo goo gai pan, lemon chicken and cashew chicken, too. Oh, and those walnut prawns that are so good have never seemed very authentically Chinese, either.

            1. w
              Who does like Southern Charm Dec 27, 2007 10:31 AM

              I love Peking Duck

              1. j
                joth68 Dec 27, 2007 10:28 AM

                Peking Ravioli
                The General's Chicken
                Crab Rangoon


                1. f
                  fallingup Dec 27, 2007 10:20 AM

                  mee fun noodles

                  sizzling rice soup (with lots of shrimp)

                  szechuan family-style tofu (spicy deep fried tofu mm!!)

                  1. a
                    Avalondaughter Dec 27, 2007 10:17 AM

                    I love Moo-shu pork and general tso's chicken. I also love pork almond ding.

                    There have been some metions of wor-shu-op. I LOVE that to death, but not that many restaurants in my area make it.

                    1. g
                      Grubbjunkie Nov 8, 2006 04:36 PM

                      As I recall the New England Pu Pu Platter always came with ribs, egg rolls, chicken wings, and beef skewers. And some cherries with or without pineapple on skewers over the flaming blue stuff.

                      I seem to remember a few with fried shrimp. Not really shrimp toast but close. And I don't remember getting boneless pork, only ribs.

                      A real chinese meal was a pu pu platter, pork fried rice, sweet and sour something, egg drop soup, and drink served in a pineapple. Never mind that it was closer to polynesian, we never cared, we were eating exotic ethnic food.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Grubbjunkie
                        Bob W Nov 8, 2006 09:26 PM

                        Chicken wings! That's the component I was forgetting.

                        Thanks Grubbjunkie!

                      2. n
                        NancyC Nov 8, 2006 05:17 AM

                        There are some things mentioned here that actually are "authentic" Chinese dishes as opposed to American-Chinese. Just because something was invented recently and is easily accessible, does not mean it wasn't invented in Asia for Asians. For example, it was YEARS before I saw lettuce wraps on American menus--and I was surprised to see it was now being made with chicken.

                        On that note, my most guilty pleasure is Crab Rangoon. I don't even care if it's only cream cheese, it works. I know some folk only like the takeout version, but I'm actually pretty happy with the homecooked version as well. At least you have the option of using light cream cheese and real crab and loading it with garlic...before dunking it in oil. Or heaven forbid--baking (never tried that one...doesn't sound right). A crab rangoon craving and no ingredients in the apt is the ONLY reason I will order from the local greasepit--and as I'm too ashamed to show my Chinese face in there I have to get delivery. Sigh.

                        When I was younger my parents would occasionally make Moo Shu, although I'd forgotten what it was called until people mentioned it here. When I Googled it though, the ingredients didn't seem quite like what we had. I remember pork, bean sprouts, carrots, and crushed peanuts mixed with sugar, wrapped in thin pancake. We were pretty young and never had it in restuarants so I assumed it was something my parents liked from growing up in Taiwan but who knows?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: NancyC
                          Blueicus Nov 8, 2006 08:28 AM

                          I've certainly had Moo Shu in regional Chinese restaurants that are not American Chinese and at least my mother told me it's one of those regional Chinese dishes from one of those provinces I'm not from.

                          1. re: NancyC
                            jumpingmonk Aug 6, 2010 05:34 PM

                            I too am a deep lover of a good crab Rangoon. That's the problem I am a lover of a GOOD crab Rangoon, a lot of the takeout ones are absoutley terrible, my main comlain is all of the places who make the filling SWEET. I am however lucky enough to have three places within occasional drivng distance who do make good rangoons (And yes all of them make it "in house") For anyone else who Happens to live in Westchester (NY) and has a craving those three my top three are 1. Taste of China, Tarrytown (an odd shape to those as well, sort of a beggars purse) and 2. Highland Oriental's (Ossining) giant triangles which are very good (though you probably don't want to order much else from the menu)
                            Number three is New Garden (Harstdale) though there are sort of rangoons from the opposide direction. They use white dough (as opposed to the bright yellow stuff usally used for rangoons and the shape is a bit like an standard wonton or an oversized tortolloni. The filling is what sets this one apart, it's almost ALL crab with only enough cream cheese to bind it. Different but quite addictive. BTW to the person who asked who invented them, as far as I've heard the answer is Trader Vic himself, apparently he needed a snack that would compliment the Mai Tai well.

                            1. re: jumpingmonk
                              NancyC Sep 21, 2010 04:48 PM

                              How funny to see a new reply to my years-old post. Because earlier this year, after not making crab rangoon perhaps since this original post, I discovered canned Malaysian spiced crab in the grocery store. I must say, that that spicy-crab-and-cream-cheese mixture can be happily eaten with a spoon, let alone wrapped in wonton skin and fried. The "Shanghai-style" skins you see in the Chinatown groceries seems thinner and works perfectly.

                              1. re: jumpingmonk
                                onceadaylily Sep 21, 2010 05:23 PM

                                The last time my boyfriend ordered these from our usual place, I asked, "Can we henceforth call these cream cheese fried puffs?" I know how this place makes them, I know what they will taste like, but *every* time I hear the word 'crab', it lodges in my brain, and then I have that first bite hiccup, the one that says, "There is NO crab in here whatsoever! NONE! What damn a rip-off . . . even if they were only three bucks for the bag."

                                NancyC: Thanks for the tip. I'll keep my eye out.

                                1. re: onceadaylily
                                  jumpingmonk Sep 21, 2010 07:15 PM

                                  There are times when that can be to ones advantage, for a while another place in Hartsdale (K.Fung's) that also offered cheese wonton's only, in accordance with the fact that the other two ingrediants were cream cheese and scallions, instead of using crab, they were using smoked salmon. Really icky, as I have never like the taste of "cold smoked" salmon when it's heated up (on the other hand I love "hot smoked" salmon a.k.a baked salmon)

                            2. chowmeow Nov 8, 2006 04:13 AM

                              Anyone remember the pu pu platter? It came w/skewers of beef, shrimp toast, & perhaps 2 other appetizers, all of which you heated on a flame.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: chowmeow
                                Bob W Nov 8, 2006 04:18 PM

                                In New England, you would not find shrimp toast on the pu-pu platter. I never heard of shrimp toast or crab rangoon until I went to college in Baltimore.

                                The pu-pu platters I remember always had egg rolls, spareribs, and boneless pork. I know I'm forgetting something. New Englanders please help!

                                1. re: Bob W
                                  fara Dec 29, 2007 04:31 PM

                                  potstickers of course! and perhaps some fried shrimp.

                              2. RaleighRocker Nov 8, 2006 04:09 AM

                                Oh yeah-don't forget the Pu-Pu platter!

                                1. RaleighRocker Nov 8, 2006 04:08 AM

                                  When I was a kid all the chinese places we had in new york always had pistachio ice cream & kumuats for dessert. Does tha exist anymore?

                                  I am eating pizza now & totally wishing it was a warm plate of shrimp in lobster sauce.......damn!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: RaleighRocker
                                    Striver Nov 8, 2006 02:19 PM

                                    I definitely remember the pistachio ice cream - and for some reason, it usually had cherries in it! Also, in addition to the common fortune cookie, some places served almond cookies with dessert.

                                    1. re: RaleighRocker
                                      CindyJ Nov 8, 2006 06:06 PM

                                      The Chinese restaurant desserts I remember are pineapple chunks, red Jello, almond cookies, kumquats and (sometimes) lychee nuts.

                                    2. mamaciita Nov 6, 2006 10:03 PM

                                      My children will eat ANYTHING stir-fried and labelled "Chinese." Good for me because any concievable vegetable can be "Chinese."

                                      Mine--I'm with Crab Rangoon.

                                      1. Foodrat Nov 6, 2006 06:09 PM

                                        -Princess Chicken (aka General Tso's Chicken)
                                        -Chinese Chicken Salad
                                        -Cashew Chicken
                                        -Sweet & Sour Pork (but only my MIL's...who happens to be Chinese)
                                        -Crab Rangoon (who made this up? It's embarassingly good!)

                                        1. chef chicklet Nov 6, 2006 06:07 PM

                                          Won ton Soup -Piping hot
                                          and Chicken Chowmein -spice it up with the heavenly Chef Spicy Chili Sauce (cant' eat it any other way now)

                                          1. m
                                            michaelyu Nov 6, 2006 06:31 AM

                                            No one has mentioned Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.

                                            The question remaining is was there lobster in the sauce (as in "plum sauce"), or was the sauce meant for lobster (as in "duck sauce")? Given that this would be ordered from the corner Chinese take out, you'd think there was NO WAY there would be lobster in the sauce itself. Otherwise, there would have been a "Lobster with Lobster Sauce" on the menu. So then, why is a classic dish called "Shrimp with Lobster Sauce", instead of "Shrimp with Shrimp Sauce" or "Shrimp with Sauce"? Things that make you go hmmmm...

                                            The other thing I noticed was that in the NE US, the lobster sauce was gravy-like with minced pork (particularly in Boston), while in the West Coast (Cantonese places near Berkeley, the sauce was white - corn starch and egg whites).

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: michaelyu
                                              Striver Nov 6, 2006 01:48 PM

                                              Shrimp with Lobster Sauce was mentioned above in an earlier post (Jimmy, 10/31).

                                              In NYC, Lobster Cantonese was basically Lobster with Lobster sauce; my guess is that someone asked for shrimp with "the same sauce they put on the lobster" - hence, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. In NYC, it was a white sauce AND contained minced pork.

                                              1. re: michaelyu
                                                CindyJ Nov 8, 2006 06:04 PM

                                                Striver is exactly right about the Lobster Sauce -- it's the sauce that's used in Lobster Cantonese, at least in NYC and environs. As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, that was the only lobster dish I ever knew existed. And I can remember bringing home an empty lobster claw shell and teasing my very kosher grandmother with it. (Her response -- "FEH!")

                                              2. sourisverte Nov 6, 2006 06:19 AM

                                                Shrimp toast, sesame noodles, honey glazed walnut prawns. And, of course, green tea ice cream!

                                                1. l
                                                  linlinchan Nov 6, 2006 05:47 AM

                                                  There's a storefront/takeaway counter near my house that sells everything in a set, freshly-cooked dish with one scoop of rice, a fried dumpling and a crab rangoon, for I think anywhere from $4.00 to $6.50 depending on what.

                                                  90% of the time I go I get the Kung Pao Beef... soooo good and spicy it's amazing.
                                                  Additionally, I grew up in NJ with more "Authentic" (compared to the midwest, etc.) Chinese food than where I am now, so I literally had never even seen or heard of a 'crab rangoon' until I moved to St. Louis for college. But they're soo good. Authenticity be damned.

                                                  1. jfood Nov 4, 2006 01:52 PM

                                                    Current favorites include -

                                                    - gen tsao chix
                                                    - pan fried noodles w chicken

                                                    1. rockhopper Nov 4, 2006 01:32 AM

                                                      Chicken and Broccoli with garlic sauce from Great Taste in Maple Shade, NJ. Eat it every friday night.

                                                      It's not that sweet yu hsiang stuff.

                                                      1. b
                                                        bijoux16 Nov 4, 2006 12:08 AM

                                                        I don't think this has been mentioned yet - big fat prawns fried in crispy tempura batter practically drenched with sweet/tangy mayonnaise, with candied walnuts. i don't know what the official name for this dish is, but it's so good and so bad at the same time

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: bijoux16
                                                          Foodrat Nov 6, 2006 06:06 PM

                                                          Usually it's just called "Shrimp with honey walnuts"

                                                        2. litchick Nov 3, 2006 12:20 AM

                                                          Oh god, any moo shu whatsoever. But I think the American-Chinese food I'm most nostalgic for was the sesame chicken, extra sesame seeds and broccoli, from a little 24-hr dive on 8th Ave between 29th and 31st in NYC. For $4.99 it could feed me for two days, and it was sooooo fried. (mmmmmmmmm.... fried.....)

                                                          1. s
                                                            shauben2007 Nov 3, 2006 12:18 AM

                                                            General Tso's!


                                                            1. amandine Nov 2, 2006 11:45 PM

                                                              I really like lettuce wraps.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: amandine
                                                                piccola Nov 8, 2006 03:50 AM


                                                              2. k
                                                                Kelli2006 Nov 2, 2006 05:07 PM

                                                                Mooshu pork.

                                                                1. s
                                                                  Scampi Nov 2, 2006 02:57 PM

                                                                  Pork LoMein
                                                                  Chicken EggFooYung
                                                                  Sesame Chicken
                                                                  Chicken Wings
                                                                  Crab Rangoon

                                                                  1. a
                                                                    Atahualpa Nov 2, 2006 01:51 PM

                                                                    Orange Chicken with spicy and sweet hoisin sauce.

                                                                    1. n
                                                                      Narcissus Nov 2, 2006 01:36 PM

                                                                      Hong Kong Chicken (very similar to Wor Sue Gai). Basically Fried Chicken and Gravy. MMMMMM. 30 years ago at a place called the "China Girl" in Dayton they made a dish called "Goofy Gai". It was like Wor Sue Gai only there was ham wrapped around the chicken before it was battered and some other alterations. As a kid it was good.

                                                                      1. TonyO Nov 2, 2006 12:39 AM

                                                                        Moo Goo Gai Pan anyone ???

                                                                        1. sheilal Nov 1, 2006 02:09 PM

                                                                          Lo Mein
                                                                          Sesame chicken - extra spicy. But ONLY if it comes with the garlicky, deep brown sauce, not that horrid candy red sauce. Ugh . . .

                                                                          1. free sample addict aka Tracy L Nov 1, 2006 02:22 AM

                                                                            Tomato beef chow mein, perfect comfort food.

                                                                            1. MaspethMaven Nov 1, 2006 12:34 AM

                                                                              not that I ever liked it, but Chicken Almond Ding.

                                                                              also, I used to go to an old fashioned red velvet booths and tiki bar chinese restaurant where they served rumaki. Must have been all those Zombies and Mai Tais they were serving...

                                                                              1. NJFoodie Oct 31, 2006 10:21 PM

                                                                                1. General Tso's chicken with whole peppers
                                                                                2. Cashew Chicken (with LOTS of large cashews)
                                                                                3. Spicy Pork --HOT HOT HOT

                                                                                Last week, my Mom said, "I really miss good ol' Chow Mein. Why don't we get that anymore? We haven't had it since the 70's." I bought it for her. She remarked, "I don't remember this gelatinous goup. Was it always like this?" I said it was and she went on to eat the spicy pork.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: NJFoodie
                                                                                  kare_raisu Nov 1, 2006 02:13 AM

                                                                                  how is the spicy pork prepared?

                                                                                  1. re: NJFoodie
                                                                                    CindyJ Nov 3, 2006 03:18 PM

                                                                                    I miss "good ol' Chow Mein," too. This is going to sound REALLY weird, but I remember as a kid, going to a corner stand not far from my neighborhood in Brooklyn and buying a Chow Mein sandwich for about 10-15 cents. It was chow mein on a hamburger bun, topped with chow mein noodles.

                                                                                    1. re: CindyJ
                                                                                      Striver Nov 3, 2006 04:57 PM

                                                                                      You're not alone - I remember them; even more, I fondly recall getting chow mein in a "taki cup" (?), which was a bowl made of chow mein noodles, from a stall on the Rockaway Beach boardwalk.

                                                                                  2. Bob W Oct 31, 2006 08:54 PM

                                                                                    The classics can still be found at the Tahiti in Dedham, Mass. Check out the menu. The place has been there since '67 and I suspect that other than the prices, the menu hasn't changed too much. The "American Dishes" are still available -- strong evidence of a place caught in a time warp.


                                                                                    1. ipsedixit Oct 31, 2006 07:46 PM

                                                                                      Reading all of this sort of piqued my curiosity about something ...

                                                                                      ... is "almond tofu" an Americanized Chinese dessert dish?

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                        Blueicus Oct 31, 2006 08:15 PM

                                                                                        I don't think so... few companies sell make it yourself almond tofu kits (sort of like jello or mango pudding kits) and the only one I'm familiar with is Robertson's, which to my knowledge isn't a quintessential American company.

                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                          NancyC Nov 8, 2006 04:55 AM

                                                                                          Definitely not! Very popular in Taiwan/HK.

                                                                                        2. Striver Oct 31, 2006 06:55 PM

                                                                                          Subgum Wonton, Roast Pork Fried Rice, Lobster Cantonese.

                                                                                          Add those to the fat eggrolls, carmelized barbecued spareribs, and wor shu op(sometimes garnished with fruit, as in pineapple op or lichee op) already mentioned.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Striver
                                                                                            piccola Nov 8, 2006 03:49 AM

                                                                                            Always wondered what the heck "subgum" was...

                                                                                            1. re: piccola
                                                                                              Striver Nov 8, 2006 12:45 PM

                                                                                              I have no idea what it actually means, but dishes labelled "subgum" were kind of kitchen sink entrees with the usual veg mix of snow peas, water chestnuts, and bok choy plus chicken, beef, shrimp, pork, and sometimes lobster. Subgum wonton was all of the above in a cornstarchy sauce surrounded by deep-fried wontons. Ummmmm....cornstarchy...

                                                                                          2. j
                                                                                            Jimmy Oct 31, 2006 05:33 PM

                                                                                            No Doubt the Quintessential New York Chinese-American dish is Shrimp with Lobster Sauce....when I moved to New England I ordered it and what came to the table was some brown mess with tiny shrimp...not the Egg based sauce that is better when cold !
                                                                                            True, the Egg Rolls in N.y. were better than anywhere else.

                                                                                            Have any of you tried Suey Kow Soup ?..this is the ULTIMATE contribution of NY Chinese to the soup world.

                                                                                            1. Candy Oct 31, 2006 05:16 PM

                                                                                              War Su Gai, batter fried chicken with a brown sauce and slivered almonds all over the top

                                                                                              Tea Smoked Duck

                                                                                              Any Mu Shu

                                                                                              A recipe my mom got a recipe for sweet and sour from a Chinese restaurant in Tokyo, run by Koreans, and it is not the gloppy red sauced stuff. It was always my birthday dish as a kid.

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Candy
                                                                                                kare_raisu Oct 31, 2006 05:23 PM

                                                                                                can i ask for the recipe? I heard of a Japanese or korean style sweet and sour called'sabuta.'

                                                                                                1. re: kare_raisu
                                                                                                  Candy Oct 31, 2006 07:50 PM

                                                                                                  Bone and cube lbs. pork loin. Place it in a batter made of tsp. sherry, 1 tsp. salt, 3/4 C. sornstarch, 2 beaten eggs and 3 Tbs. soy sauce. Mix all well and coat the pork.

                                                                                                  Heat oil in a wok at a comfortable depth for frying and heat over med-high heat. When a drop of batter sizles and fries begin adding the pork frying 4-5 pieces at a time when brown and golden remove to a rack to drain. When all of the poprk has been fried and drained t can be held in a warm oven for an hours or so.

                                                                                                  The restaurant it came from was Sun Ya and in the mid-50's was a favorite with my parents and their friends.

                                                                                                  When you are ready to finish the dish, add 1/4 C. oil to a clean wok. When the oil is hot add 1 Lg. onion sliced lengthwise, cubes of bell pepper, sliced water chestnuts and a drained can of pineapple chunks (yes, fresh might taste better but it would not taste right). When the vegetables have fried and are tender crisp return the pork to the wok and add a sauce made of:

                                                                                                  1 1/2 tsp. corn starch, Tbs. sugar, 1/4 C. cider vinegar. Stir until well blended and the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the hot poprk adn veg and stir to coat well. (My DH loves it whwn I double the sauce). Sometimes I have added sliced bamboo shoots and some baby corn to up the vegetables. We always had it with plain white rice.

                                                                                                  1. re: Candy
                                                                                                    Candy Oct 31, 2006 08:01 PM

                                                                                                    P.S. Sometimes I add about a 1/2 tsp. dark sesame oil to the pork batter. It is a nice modification.

                                                                                                    1. re: Candy
                                                                                                      kare_raisu Nov 1, 2006 02:09 AM

                                                                                                      candy, youre awesome -thank you

                                                                                                      your mom just asked the owners...and they gave her the recipe?

                                                                                                      1. re: kare_raisu
                                                                                                        Candy Nov 1, 2006 01:13 PM

                                                                                                        That was it. Ask and receive. Times have changed!

                                                                                                        1. re: Candy
                                                                                                          Candy Nov 2, 2006 12:50 AM

                                                                                                          Sorry, just read over my recipe, my bad. It is 1.5 -2 lbs. of cubed pork in about 1" cubes and 2 tsp. sherry, I use a medium dry. In the sauce it was 2 Tbs sugar. I know I typed it I don't know why it did not appear.

                                                                                              2. k
                                                                                                kernel Oct 31, 2006 02:00 AM

                                                                                                Butterfly shrimp with bacon. by the way, the pressed duck used to be served more frequently in NYC under the name "wor shu op" or something similar. Most places don't offer it.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: kernel
                                                                                                  MVNYC Oct 31, 2006 08:10 PM

                                                                                                  Yes Buterfly shrimp with bacon is the best. I have loved this since i was a child. besides that shrimp with lobster sauce, moo shu pork, ny egg rolls, and general tso's are all good once in awhile.

                                                                                                2. f
                                                                                                  fara Oct 31, 2006 01:05 AM

                                                                                                  kosher chicken won ton soup
                                                                                                  chicken wings with sweet soy sauce -- had this at the university food court as a kid and have never seen them since.
                                                                                                  i'm surprised no one's mentioned this one: chinese-american bbq ribs!
                                                                                                  shrimp w/black bean sauce
                                                                                                  moo shu shrimp, aah moo shu, definitely the cheese steak of chinese-american inventions.i love tearing into the pancake and getting different textures: crunchy-soft cabbage, mushrooms, complexly sweet plum sauce, shrimp..
                                                                                                  but actually the really cheap corner places in NY turned me off to chinese-american dishes(half fried chicken, chicken nuggets, french fries and....terrible fried rice. that is what many many poor people in NY live on, and it all comes from the corner "chino.") I'm just now relearning to like it with expensive and better quality suburban places -- mainly b/c no true chinese cuisine around here.

                                                                                                  1. TongoRad Oct 31, 2006 12:25 AM

                                                                                                    There is a takeout place not too far from where I work that does a really good job on the Crispy Orange Beef. The sauce is not too sweet, and they actually include a boatload of orange zest slices in the dish to provide a seriously nice bitter component. I'm the only one I know that doesn't pick around them.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: TongoRad
                                                                                                      JMF Oct 31, 2006 09:50 PM

                                                                                                      It's hard to find good crispy orange beef but I consider that my benchmark dish for Americanized Chinese restaurants. Usually if they don't make that well they make nothing much well.

                                                                                                      1. re: JMF
                                                                                                        TongoRad Nov 1, 2006 12:25 AM

                                                                                                        You may be right about that. In this particular case it is probably the cook, rather than the place. Whenever I see him back there I know the food isn't going to be bland. In the shredded Sczechuan beef he adds a heaping spoonful of chile paste to the wok in addition to the dried pods. His shrimp with garlic sauce will have you smelling of garlic when you get home. His hot and sour soup is actually hot and sour, etc...

                                                                                                        One could certainly do a hell of a lot worse at a takeout place for lunch.

                                                                                                    2. g
                                                                                                      Grubbjunkie Oct 31, 2006 12:17 AM

                                                                                                      General Tso's Chicken gets my vote too, but only if it's fairly spicy and not ridiculously gloppy sweet. It's similar to sesame chicken, orange chicken, etc.: Deep fried nuggets with a sauce that is supposed to balance sweet, aromatic, and spicy. When good it's really good, but when it's bad it's horrible.

                                                                                                      1. j
                                                                                                        jamsy Oct 30, 2006 11:58 PM

                                                                                                        Chicken balls and moo-shu pork. Growing up in a Chinese household, I had no idea what moo-shu pork was. Only found out this year... *yum*

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: jamsy
                                                                                                          Food_Fiend Oct 31, 2006 02:14 AM

                                                                                                          I remember being young and reading a Garfield comic strip that mentioned egg foo young and mu shu pork. I'm from a Chinese household and kept asking my parents what those things were, thinking at the time that they were traditional Chinese dishes...Now I know better..

                                                                                                        2. muimi07 Oct 30, 2006 11:56 PM

                                                                                                          Orange chicken and sweet and sour pork. So bad but so good.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: muimi07
                                                                                                            Pei Oct 31, 2006 01:53 AM

                                                                                                            My mother's one great shame is that I love love LOVE orange chicken when it's done right.

                                                                                                            That, and ketchup on fried rice. But only the ham/egg/carrot/peas fried rice that is already Americanized anyway.

                                                                                                            1. re: Pei
                                                                                                              kare_raisu Oct 31, 2006 02:13 AM

                                                                                                              Omurice w/o ketchup is unthinkable

                                                                                                              1. re: Pei
                                                                                                                Blueicus Oct 31, 2006 06:08 PM

                                                                                                                There's a dish known in Hong Kong translated directly as "Western Style Fried Rice", which includes ketchup, hot dog bits, ham, and frozen veggies. At least, there used to be. I don't have exact memories, but I must've eaten it as a child.

                                                                                                                1. re: Blueicus
                                                                                                                  mrsbuffer Dec 30, 2007 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                  *Chicken with Broccoli in Garlic Sauce
                                                                                                                  *Shrimp Egg Rolls
                                                                                                                  *Crab Rangoon
                                                                                                                  *Shrimp Toast
                                                                                                                  *Chinese Spareribs (on the bone, not too lean)
                                                                                                                  *There was a place on 7th Ave in between 27th and 28th in Midtown Manhattan that made the best noodle soup - you chose the noodles and the add-ins (I always got lo mein noodles, spinach and roast pork). This same place had pan-fried shrimp dumplings - chopped shrimp mixed with scallions...
                                                                                                                  *Shrimp with Cashews
                                                                                                                  *Lobster and Roast Pork Lo Mein...

                                                                                                                  One of my son's best friends from school is Chinese and his parents ran the Chinese restaurant next to the laundromat where we used to wash clothes. So John (my DS) and Kevin (DS-BFF) would get served dinner from the restaurant. Of course, Yee (the father) would make them lobster and steak...spoiled them for life...


                                                                                                                  1. re: mrsbuffer
                                                                                                                    jolivore Aug 6, 2010 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                    It's still there: Ginger House, dark wood walls, low prices and flavors of old days, but no Char Sui Ding or Pressed Duck.

                                                                                                                2. re: Pei
                                                                                                                  KevinB Nov 2, 2006 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                  My Chinese wife thinks we're crazy, but my elder daughter and I both enjoy take-out fried rice with the eerily glowing sweet and sour sauce from the chicken balls on top.

                                                                                                                3. re: muimi07
                                                                                                                  mamamia Oct 31, 2006 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                  I love orange chicken
                                                                                                                  *ducks the rotten tomatoes*

                                                                                                                  Panda Express is a crime against humanity (misdemeanor only), but whenever I'm at the mall I have to partake in some orange chicken in the food court.

                                                                                                                4. w
                                                                                                                  writergirl Oct 30, 2006 11:44 PM

                                                                                                                  I think this is an East Coast dish (or at least I've never seen it here in LA) General Tso's Chicken.

                                                                                                                  I wonder if General Tso and Colonel Sanders ever got together to talk about work in the armed poultry industry...

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: writergirl
                                                                                                                    JBC Oct 31, 2006 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                    It actually is in L.A., and probably most everywhere else, as I found on a To-go menu in my desk.

                                                                                                                  2. f
                                                                                                                    Food_Fiend Oct 30, 2006 11:40 PM

                                                                                                                    Broccoli beef, orange chicken, and Mongolian beef.

                                                                                                                    1. chowser Oct 30, 2006 11:36 PM

                                                                                                                      Crab rangoons.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: chowser
                                                                                                                        wanderlustre Oct 31, 2006 01:07 AM

                                                                                                                        Agreed! Excellent with spicy mayo.
                                                                                                                        I'm Chinese from SoCal and currently on a trip through the mid-west. My question is: What the heck is Egg Foo Young? I see it on all the menus around here and have no idea what it is...

                                                                                                                        1. re: wanderlustre
                                                                                                                          raytamsgv Oct 31, 2006 03:26 AM

                                                                                                                          It's an egg patty with bean sprouts mixed inside of it. Usually, it's accompanied by a salty brown sauce.

                                                                                                                          1. re: wanderlustre
                                                                                                                            SarahEats Oct 31, 2006 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                            Roast Pork Egg Foo Yung is something I discovered later in life and it's my new favorite Chinese dish. It's basically an omelet filled with onions and roast pork (or whatever other kind of meat you want) and served with a brown gravy.

                                                                                                                            Here's a picture: http://tasteofhomecooking.blogspot.co...

                                                                                                                            1. re: SarahEats
                                                                                                                              macca Oct 31, 2006 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                              I loved EFY when I was a kid. My parents used to go out dancing every Sat night, and would get stop for Chinese food ( at a small place in town nicknamed Dirty Mzry's- another thread entirely). Always included EFY. ME dad would wake me up at about 2 am- and I would have some EFY with my parents, and stumble back to bed. It was so good- and I have NEVER found another place that makes it quite like that.

                                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                                          SuzMiCo Oct 30, 2006 10:16 PM

                                                                                                                          Cashew Chicken!!!

                                                                                                                          Every Sunday night as a kid we brought in sweet and sour shrimp, veggie fried rice, beef with broccoli and cashew chicken. I loved the cashew chicken. No one else was allowed to touch the cashew chicken leftovers.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: SuzMiCo
                                                                                                                            kare_raisu Oct 31, 2006 12:01 AM

                                                                                                                            I heard a romour that this dish actually originates from Missouri. I think you can get a egg foo young sandwich in st louis.

                                                                                                                          2. s
                                                                                                                            S U Oct 30, 2006 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                            peking pork (aka sweet n' sour pork)

                                                                                                                            1. w
                                                                                                                              Waysic Oct 30, 2006 10:04 PM

                                                                                                                              I'll have to go with Moo-shu Pork. Everytime I see this on the menu (which is quite often), my knees buckle and I have to order it. I especially like the places that serve this in real moo-sho wrapping which is paper thin. A lot of establishments serve it in tortilla's, which is much too doughy for my taste.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Waysic
                                                                                                                                ipsedixit Oct 30, 2006 10:10 PM

                                                                                                                                Yup, "authentic" moo-shu pork has to come with paper thin rice wrappers that should be translucent.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                  kare_raisu Oct 30, 2006 11:59 PM

                                                                                                                                  My vote goes for Moo Shu Pork as well. It is - hands down - the king of Americanized Chinese cuisine.

                                                                                                                                  --So many wonderful contrasting flavors and textures: thin blanket-like wrapper, earthy hoisin, vegetal green onion, crunchy cabbage, supple egg, and rich pork. What more could you ask for in a dish. Points go automatically to anything that you can wrap up burrito style.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kare_raisu
                                                                                                                                    Terrie H. Nov 4, 2006 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                                    There was a place here that made THE best moo shu, with fresh bamboo shoots and water chestuts, a little spinach in the mxiture, and, instead of mixing the scrambled egg into the mix, they placed the thinnest egg crepe over the top. It was delicious. I miss that place.

                                                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                                                silence9 Oct 30, 2006 09:56 PM

                                                                                                                                Pressed duck (which some call 'almond duck'). My father, an Orson Welles-type fellow in size and appetites, would order it as his secret/second lunch (in his wife's absence) with myself as the only witness. Very difficult to find in Los Angeles in 2006.

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: silence9
                                                                                                                                  wendy8869 Nov 1, 2006 12:41 AM

                                                                                                                                  I agree. If you ever hear of it in the LA/OC area please post. I miss that stuff.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: wendy8869
                                                                                                                                    mehfactor Nov 1, 2006 02:13 AM

                                                                                                                                    You can get it as Almond Duck at Trader Vic's in Beverly Hills. Strange but tasty. Not cheap.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: wendy8869
                                                                                                                                      OldieButGoodie Nov 3, 2006 01:57 AM

                                                                                                                                      They have it at the New Formosa Cafe in Boyle Heights on Cesar Chavez near Soto. Great tasting nostalgic food from the 50's and 60's.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: silence9
                                                                                                                                      Rapierfl Dec 27, 2007 08:41 AM

                                                                                                                                      As my farewell to holiday dietary indescretion for 2007, I enjoyed a big order of wor shu op ("pressed duck") last night. It is delicious, decadent and reserved for rare, special "by myself" cravings (it's a dish I don't want to share). I finished it off this morning for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                      A small Chinese restaurant (Lin Garden) here in Temple Terrace, FL (Tampa, FL) makes it several times a week, It's delicious, thick slices of boneless duck, deep fried, covered with toasted, sliced almonds and served on a bed of crispy lettuce. A generous side of a rich, creamy yellowish/brown sauce (not sweet) is served alongside.

                                                                                                                                      This is the sort of "Chinese" dish that satisfies a certain spot in my tummy other foods don't quite hit. Definitely comfort food.

                                                                                                                                      This post has me thinking that maybe I'll postpone my return to prudent eating one more day and have another order tonight! My cardiologist would not be amused.

                                                                                                                                      P.S. This "Chinese" dish should not be confused with the French "Le canard à la presse" as served at La Tour d'Argent. There is no special press required to prepare Wor shu op.

                                                                                                                                    3. J T Oct 30, 2006 09:44 PM

                                                                                                                                      How about the poster child of Americanized-Chinese food, Chop Suey. I was introduced to it by my high school cafeteria, speaking of "youth".

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: J T
                                                                                                                                        monkeyrotica Nov 6, 2006 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                        I'm in the chop suey camp as well. First tried it as the result of looking at an old Edward Hopper painting of two women eating chop suey. It's usually the cheapest and most filling thing on the menu.

                                                                                                                                        I'm also big on the "House Special Soup." Beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, and vegetables in a rich broth. Simple and filling.

                                                                                                                                      2. Xericx Oct 30, 2006 09:39 PM

                                                                                                                                        Sweet and Sour Chicken: "it reminds me of my youth"

                                                                                                                                        1. raytamsgv Oct 30, 2006 09:38 PM

                                                                                                                                          New York-style egg rolls. We used to make them in our restaurant. They were delicious!

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: raytamsgv
                                                                                                                                            morebubbles Oct 31, 2006 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                                            I don't know NY style egg rolls (but love egg rolls!). What did you put in them?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: morebubbles
                                                                                                                                              raytamsgv Oct 31, 2006 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                                              According to other chowhounds, they are the big fat egg rolls (about six inches long and 2 inch diameter) with celery, chicken, and pork inside. They are dipped in beaten eggs and then rolled in flour. Then you steam them to cook the skin before you fry them.

                                                                                                                                          Show Hidden Posts