The following guest article, “Chinese Comfort Foods for the American Palate”, was submitted by Richard Brody, aka Mee Rich Yee. The Chinese Quest welcomes original articles pertaining to the Chinese dining experience. Your article should pertain to Chinese restaurants, Chinese food, etc. For more information, please contact us.
Ahhh, Comfort Food!
How often have you either referred to some particular type or style of cooking as being Comfort Food? Yet I believe that this also is true when it comes to eating our favorite types and tastes of Chinese food and/or cuisine? Most people are anything but Mavens when it comes to the intricacies, seasonings and sauces, as well as the preparation. However, what generally makes it challenging for one person to recommend a restaurant to someone else is that there are vastly different styles (regional, etc.), as well as the very real component of human nature that we have individual personal favorites, likes and dislikes. To some, the authenticity of the food factors to a large degree, while others care more about how much they enjoy the food’s taste (think of it like you do when considering how often your personal movie critique differs so widely from the critics).
Therefore, I have done a very unscientific, casual, relaxed and probably somewhat meaningless informal poll, asking people simply, what their personal Chinese comfort food might be (for the sake of this discussion, comfort food merely meant their “go to,” or have a craving for dishes). Here were the most often stated responses, but remember this group was only slightly more than 100 participates, and the mere fact that I spoke to them probably indicates that they are neither random or indicative of a larger and more scientific sampling:
- Egg Roll or Spring Roll – This is even more interesting because so many different restaurants prepare these differently, thus the taste and even the appearance differs.
- Soup – Generally, the venerable Wonton Soup was mentioned most!
- Lo Mein – Shrimp, Pork, and Vegetarian, in that order!
- BBQ Spare Ribs
- Shrimp in a sauce (most mentioned, in Lobster Sauce)
- Pepper Steak
- Steamed Dumplings (Pork, then Beef)
- Other noodle dishes (Chow Mein, Chow Fung, etc)
- Chinese Mustard and Duck Sauce (interesting that condiments broke the Top 10)
- Fried Rice (Pork, Shrimp, then Vegetarian)
These may not be your particular Comfort Foods, but I’m sure you have your personal ones. They generally are not the most exotic or unusual, but merely consistent, tasty, and your go to dishes.
What are your Comfort Foods (choose as many as you like, or add your own)?
–Mee Rich Yee nee Richard Brody