American Chinese Vs Traditional Chinese Food: 5 Reasons Why Chinese Food Is Better Than Western Cuisine!

Chinese food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world, with dishes that are so varied and delicious.

But what comes to your mind when you think of American Chinese food? Will it be more like Chinese cuisine or the Western counterpart? This article will give you the answer and help decide which one is better for you.

What is special about American Chinese food?

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American Chinese food is a cuisine that was developed by early immigrants from China who were limited to ingredients found on this side of the Pacific.

By the 1980s, American Chinese food had become one of the most popular cuisines in the United States.

Chinese chefs created variants on their traditional Chinese dishes from the availability of American ingredients.

These are not that different from the dishes you find in China, but they are distinctly Americanized to adapt to American taste at the same time.

For example, there will rarely be rice and soy sauce, but some classics like sweet and sour chicken or chow mein are still maintained.

American Chinese dishes can be found in Chinese families or American Chinese restaurants throughout the United States, mainly in the North region.

What is special about traditional Chinese food?

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Chinese food is one of the most popular and ancient cuisines in the world.

Traditional Chinese food is a balance between hot and cold, spicy and mild, sweet and savory tastes.

There are different types of dishes to choose from that all have their own unique flavor profile.

One way that Chinese food stands out is in how much attention it pays to texture and freshness.

Chinese not only enjoy eating delicious food, but they believe that sharing food can bring closeness and luck to your loved ones.

Indigenous people use a lot of fresh vegetables like mushrooms, bamboo, water chestnut, buns, and tofu in their daily meals.

What are the differences between American Chinese and traditional Chinese food?

There are some key differences between American Chinese food and traditional Chinese cuisine that will be unraveled in this section.

Based on these unique characteristics, you can choose which one seems to work better for you:

American Chinese dishes usually have more sauce than the real thing

Americans enjoy drizzling the sauce over their dishes to make them more palatable.

It can be either store-bought or homemade sauce in which their taste reflects well against all kinds of different flavors from the main dish.

They also usually use cornstarch to thicken some watery sauces, meanwhile, the Chinese mainly use soybean instead.

Most of the time, tofu and mushrooms aren’t included in Americanized versions of Chinese food

Tofu and mushrooms are two staples in traditional Chinese cuisine.

They can be served in any Chinese meal as one of the main proteins.

However, these ingredients seem to appear only in vegan American Chinese dishes and are usually cut down from some classics that also call for meat.

Traditional Chinese cooking uses natural flavors while American Chinese heavily relies on processed ingredients

As a result of the different social and cultural contexts, traditional Chinese cooking heavily relies on natural flavors to create its dishes.

Meanwhile, American Chinese cuisine mainly uses store-bought processed ingredients, from meat, beans, to the sauce due to their convenience.

American Chinese dishes tend to take on sweeter and heavier tones

Americans use more sugar and dairy products in their dishes so American Chinese dishes seem to be sweeter and heavier.

For example, Pao mo (or known as mutton stew) is lighter and more savory in China, but when it comes to America, the taste is slightly changed with a sweeter tone.

Traditional Chinese dishes include rice, buns, and homemade noodles, while American Chinese food use bread instead

Another staple in traditional Chinese cooking is their use of rice grain.

Rice, buns, or noodles are all made from scratch from whole grain.

They can even enjoy these ingredients as an individual dish, whereas, American Chinese cuisine usually lacks these classics.

For example, Americans enjoy sweet and sour chicken with bread or just alone as a snack, while indigenous Chinese serve this dish with steamed white rice.

What are the similarities between American Chinese and traditional Chinese food?

American Chinese food has become a separate cuisine, but deep down, they originated from China.

They are just American-style of Chinese food, therefore, you can definitely find similarities between this kind of food and the traditional Chinese version:

They all contain some traditional dishes like General Tso and Chow mein

You can find some classic Chinese dishes in America with a very close taste to the authentic version, such as General Tso and Chow mein.

Since the ingredients to make these dishes are mainly available worldwide, replicating the traditional recipe is not a hassle.

They use a lot of vegetables and spices in their recipes

Both cuisines are well known for their uses of vegetables and spices in their recipes.

Although the Chinese might use more fresh herbs and spices that they find in the garden and Americans are likely to stick with process ingredients, their resulting dishes are full of flavor from various kinds of spices.

Which one is better?

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The Western counterpart may not be as authentic as the traditional cuisine, but it absolutely suits your taste buds in some ways, especially if you are an American.

If you are a Chinese who is living in the United States, American Chinese cuisine can recall classic dishes in your home country and help you deal with nostalgia.

There will be no cuisine better than the other, but it all depends on your preference.

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