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8 Chinese Dishes that Chinese People Don’t Eat

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I would anything, but I won’t eat THAT!   What is THAT?  That is not only NOT Authentic Chinese food.  But it isn’t even food that a proper Chinese person would eat.  There are just some things that you see at Chinese restaurants…. even some times at the most authentic looking Chinese restaurants, that some of those dishes really aren’t the real deal.

You will never find Chinese people eating some of the things that YOU think are Chinese. But, are NOT!  And, they’ll check you out to see what you are eating.  Not that you will be mocked.  But, you will definitely be “classified”.  And you don’t want to be flagged as that guy (or gal).  Once flagged, you will never get the super secret Chinese menu that only the true gourmands are privy to.

Let’s face the facts, we all know that most, if not all, of the Chinese cuisine that is available in this country is, in reality, a fusion of Chinese and American influences—and, depending on the restaurant in question, dishes may draw on inspiration from many other parts of the world in addition to that. Indeed, in all probability, anyone who had lived all their life in China would have a hard time recognizing many of our best-loved dishes as examples of their national cuisine!

American Chinese food is generally less spicy than the native Chinese food. Usually, local ingredients common in America but no often used in China, are used to prepare the dishes. For example, the use of broccoli is very common in the Americanized version, while it is rarely used in the authentic cuisine, where bok choy, water chestnuts, and lotus root are extensively used.

So, what are the eight “Chinese” dishes that Chinese people don’t eat?  Well, rather than telling you, let’s go right to the source.  Enjoy this video… and don’t be THAT guy that thinks that they’re so worldly.

Another way to make sure that you are eating the real thing is of course, to read all our articles about authentic Chinese dishes, and also our reviews of Chinese restaurants.  We will always keep you not only on the straight and narrow, but we will make you the cool guy that others will look up to.

Are you guilty?  Sound off in the comments!

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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  1. I live in Hong Kong, and I assure you that broccoli is VERY popular here! You are right that it was not traditionally a part of Chinese cuisine because there was no broccoli in China until it was introduced by the Europeans. BUT, the same thing can be said for many other ingredients – tomatoes, for example. And I must say, nobody cooks broccoli better than the Chinese (and I FINALLY figured out their trick! Do you want to know what it is?). Speaking of spiciness, it depends on what part of China. Cantonese cuisine, which is what most people outside of China think of when they say “Chinese food”, is considered to be one of the country’s Eight Great Cuisines, and it is definitely NOT spicy. The hallmark of Cantonese cookery is enhancing rather than masking natural flavours. Two of the other Eight Great Cuisines are Hunanese and Sichuanese, and, yes, they ARE spicy, but the spices used are different. Sichuanese cuisine uses numbing spices (which I personally am not overly fond of), whereas Hunanese cuisine favours conventional peppers, which I ADORE!!! As for the other five types, I’ve tried them all and none of them are especially spicy – only Sichuanese and Hunanaese. BTW, I visited the village where most of the original Chinese Americans came from, and the food was very similar to traditional “Chinese American” food. Chinese food varies from villlage to village, town to town. Just because it differs from Hong Kong style Chinese food does not necessarily mean it’s not authentic. The fried rice I had in that village was VERY similar to what we used to get in California back in the day … and VERY different to what you would get in Hong Kong. Anyway, love this site! Always something interesting to read!

  2. Well, I live in Italy, I sometimes go to Chinese restaurants, and I’ve never seen any of this food.
    Not saying Italian Chinese restaurants are more authentic, but I think this is a clue that these dishes aren’t authentic Chinese food, or we’d get it here too, right? 🙂

    When I lived in Dublin, I shared my apartment with a Chinese girl. We had lots of fun in the kitchen swapping Chinese and Italian recipes… and I ate a lot of authentic Chinese foo. It was fun 🙂

  3. Guilty He omitted spare rib tips

  4. All kinds of guilty. Some of my favorite American Chinese foods are on this list and I won’t stop eating them. May stop ordering them out… or not. Here in the hinterlands of Reno, NV, even the Asians eat a lot of these foods, so the times, they are a-changing, baby.

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