Top 10 (20?) American-Chinese dishes
Long story why I need this list. Basic reason people from different parts of the US complaining about the differences in regional American Chinese food. I hope to reconcile the various answers hounds post and eliminate regional specialties. Please note where you live or grew up.
In my mind they are:
Peking ravioli (pot sticker, dumpling etc...)
Egg or spring roll
Hot and sour
kung pao ----,
beef and broccoli
sweet and sour ---
cashew chix or shrimp
15 to 20 years ago I would have included egg foo young, lobster sauce and moo goo gai pan. I write this as a Southern New Englander with frequent NYC and Boston influences.
I haven't seen shrimp kew on here anywhere. Fresh fried shrimp in a light brown sauce with broccoli, snow peas, and water chestnuts. A little hole in the wall in Bellaire (Houston) does this along with great American classic egg rolls. My favorite Trout classic is Now It Can Be Told, the one that made Dwayne run amuck.
I grew up in Northwest Indiana, about 35 miles outside of Chicago. I have now lived in Florida for 21 years. I also lived Singapore for a year. He's my list in no particular order of preference:
1. Chili crab
2. Pepper crab
3. Beef with green pepper and onions in oyster sauce
4. Har gau (shrimp dumplings)
6. Hot and sour soup
7. Chicken rice
8. Salt and pepper calimari/cuttlefish/squid
9. Peking duck
10. Sweet and sour shrimp--if the sweetness and sourness are balanced. Most U.S. version of this dish just contain an overly thickened super sweet sauce. This was not the case 30 years ago.
I would also classify "Har Gau", "Hot & Sour soup" and "Peking Duck" as Chinese-Chinese dishes. One could say there are Americanized versions of these but the poster would need to specify what version he/she was thinking of in that case.
"Chicken Rice" could be considered as Chinese-Chinese or Malaysian-Chinese/Singaporean-Chinese depending on what exactly one is talking about.
I grew up in southern CT and am in my late 50s. Until the 1970s Chinese American Food was strictly Cantonese.
Every Thursday Night we had the same take out order from Golden Inn in New Haven
Won Ton Soup, which had seaweed, not scallions
BBQ Spare Ribs
Pork Egg Rolls
Lobster Cantonese, made with minced pork in white sauce NO peas
Roast Pork Egg Foo Yung
White Meat Chicken Chow Mein (NY style, not like lo mein)
Seven Stars and the Moon
No one had yet discovered Szecuan, General Tzo, Mu Shu, Hot and Sour or Broccoli.
In 1972 was living in Philadelphia, only places open after midnight for hot food were small Chinese joints in ChinaTown (10th and Race) with no English menu, we were usually served what the family was eating, often Mu Shu Pork
I rarely admit this out loud, but I was born in New Haven and lived there from 72 until 80ish. I remember the chicken chow mein now, celery and onions in a whitish sauce with crunchy noodles right? I also remember feeling grown up when I switched from won ton to hot and sour soup.
When I was a kid in the early 1970s (northen NJ) we got wor sho op, a pressed duck dish with brown sauce and crispy duck skin. I think it had pork in the layers, but as I was a kid my memory could be wrong on that. We also got:
Sweet & sour pork (with pinkish red syrupy sauce) the pork was large chunks in a light batter, not like what I have seen since.
In late 1970s a Hunan place opened and we always went there. I don't remember the names of any of that.
Here and now in central New Hampshire:
General Tso's (grown up sweet & sour)
Corn egg drop soup
Subgum Lo mein
House special bean curd ( which is almost always triangles of fried tofu in a black bean sauce)