The history of Chinese cuisine in America goes back in the mid-nineteenth century when over thirty thousand Chinese migrated from Canton (a region in China) to San Francisco. The number of Chinese restaurants started to increase along with the population growth. However, some traditional Chinese dishes have been modified by Chinese Americans, as many Asian ingredients were not available in the New World. Today American-Chinese food has grown into a separate cuisine that differs from the authentic one by its Americanized style.
Sweet and Sour Pork
Sweet and Sour Pork is a traditional Chinese disհ made with deep-fried chunks of pork mixed with bell peppers, onions & pineapple seasoned with a sweet and sour sauce. Originally, this recipe came from Cantonese cuisine in the 18th century, but it got popular in the US only two hundred years later. In American cuisine, Sweet and Sour Pork is a way sweeter than in a traditional Chinese version. Besides, in an American recipe, the pork comes with no bones.
Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken, also named Gong Bao, is a stir-fried chicken (marinated in rice wine, cornstarch, and baking soda) with vegetables and peanuts. This dish is a perfect mixture of salty, sweet, and spicy flavors. If you are a fan of traditional Chinese food and haven't tasted Kung Pao Chicken yet, you definitely missed a lot. You can get the authentic Chinese recipe on the internet and cook it at home. The only tricky part is the sauce that needs to be cooked strongly as per authentic recipe to make perfect Gong Bao Chicken.
Egg Fried Rice
Fried rice with egg is one of the most favorite dishes of Chinese Americans. This dish consists of simple ingredients, nothing but rice, eggs, vegetables, sometimes shrimp, and soy sauce. Like Caesar salad, fried rice may have different variations of ingredients depending on the region where it's being cooked. Remember that fried rice is usually served with hot sauces. This recipe is pretty simple to manage at home, as all ingredients are easy to find almost in every grocery store.
Dumplings are a classic Chinese food similar to Italian ravioli at first glance. It consists of dough stuffed with different fillings and wrapped around. One of the most common fillings for dumplings is meat or seafood, but sometimes there can be a piece of dough with no filling. There are too many methods of cooking dumplings, such as billing, frying, baking, or steaming. Dumplings are very popular in Chinatowns, and you can find them almost in any Chinese restaurant.
Chow Mein translated from Chinese means stir-fried noodles that originally came from Northern China. It comes with fried vegetables and shredded chicken breast and tricky sauce made with soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Do not confuse Chow Mein with Chop Suey, unlike the former; the latter is not a traditional Chinese dish; it's a Chinese American dish based on the old-school cooking techniques.
Beijing Roast Duck
Beijing Roast Duck (also known as Peking Duck), called the first dish to taste in China, is a national symbol of the country. Traditionally, Roast Duck is being served in the skin with classic hoisin sauce, slow-roasted, glazed, and more. To get the best out of it, try Peking Duck with cabbage, roasted vegetables, a warm red beet salad, mashed potatoes with caramelized onions, or mashed pumpkin. Unlike a chicken, a duck has a thick coat of fat that gives more crispiness and flavors to the dish.
Fried Shrimps with Cashew Nuts
Similar to many dishes from Chinese cuisine, Fried Shrimps with Cashew Nuts are not only full of bright colors but also are very simple to cook. This dish is an integral part of the Chinese New Year table, but you can easily make it anytime you want as the ingredients are in open access in the US. Staying loyal to the Cantonese cuisine, it should be emphasized that the mixture of mild & delicate flavors and crispiness of shrimps makes the dish a perfect appetizer salad.
Wonton is a type of dumpling usually found in Chinese cuisine similar to jiaozi or gyoza (but they are different). Traditionally, Wonton is known as "hun tun," which is translated as chaos. Wonton is a dough stuffed with different fillings, whether steamed or boiled. Wonton soup is one of the simplest dishes to make at home. It contains dumplings stuffed with meat, shrimp, and vegetables seasoned with sauce and sesame oil. Ingredients may be different depending on the region. Some cooks even add noodles and green onions.
MoPo Tofu is one of the famous dishes from Chinese cuisine that has huge popularity worldwide. It can be found almost in any Chinese restaurant, but there may be different variations of recipes. Originally, the authentic recipe contains minced beef/chicken and tofu cheese served with rice. However, there is also a combination of meat and vegetables. Similar to other Chinese dishes, MaPo Tofu has spread over the world, customizing its recipe as per local tastes.
Spring rolls, also known as spring pancakes, are symbols of the Spring Festival held in China every year. Spring rolls are a small appetizer that is being served either fresh or fried. It is a thin piece of dough stuffed with meat, seafood, noodles, or vegetables. They are similar to egg rolls; the only difference is that their wrap is not made out of eggs. Spring rolls are very popular sneak items in the US, but they can be as big as a hamburger compared to traditional Chinese rolls.