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4 Authentic Chinese Foods You Should Consider Instead of Takeout

4 Authentic Chinese Foods You Should Consider Instead of Takeout

Traditional Chinese cuisine focuses mainly on fresh ingredients, fast preparation and simple cooking techniques. It is almost always served family style with one dish for each component of the meal (i.e. one plate for vegetables, one plate for steamed fish, etc.). Depending on which region of China you are in, you can try different specialty dishes native to that area.

Here are 4 must-try Chinese foods that are the real deal:

1. Xiao long bao (soup-filled dumplings)

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Xiao long bao is the specialty dish of China’s Jiangnan region, which includes Shanghai and Wuxi. The dumplings consist of a flour skin usually filled with pork and a savory broth. They are commonly steamed and served in bamboo baskets. Just make sure not to pop the dumplings with your chopsticks! Use a spoon.

2. Peking duck

Photo by Becky Hughes

Peking duck originates from Beijing and is considered one of China’s national dishes. The key to fantastic Peking duck is crispy skin and juicy meat. It is usually served with scallion, cucumber, Hoisin sauce or a sweet bean sauce, paper-thin rice pancakes and steamed buns.

3. Mapo tofu

Photo courtesy of Rewards Travel China Inc.

This dish is for the truly adventurous and spice fanatic. Mapo tofu is the most famous dish of China’s Sichuan province, which specializes in spicy foods. Mapo tofu consists of bean curd tofu mixed in a bean-based chili oil sauce, oftentimes served with minced meat or fermented black beans. Personally, I like my mapo tofu mixed with white rice to dampen the spiciness of the chili and saltiness of the beans.

4. Hot pot

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Though many Asian countries serve hot pot, it originated in China. Hot pot starts with a pot of broth or stock at the center of the table. Sometimes the stock is divided into two parts for different flavors of broth. Once the broth begins to simmer, you add vegetables, followed by any ingredient your heart desires: sliced beef or lamb, tofu, rice noodles or seafood. Watch it carefully! Once an ingredient is cooked, you immediately remove it with a slotted spoon and dip it in the sauce of your choice: sa cha (soybean and dried shrimp) sauce, chili sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, satay sauce and more. At the end of the meal, you drink the broth. With all of those infused flavors, it is nothing short of delectable.

More articles on Asian food:

View the original post, 4 Authentic Chinese Foods You Should Consider Instead of Takeout, on Spoon University.

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5 Myths and Misconceptions about Chinese Food in America

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

I still remember my first time eating at a Chinese restaurant in the States. So many dishes on the menu confused me why, for example, had I never heard of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Crab Rangoon” before? In fact, most of the dishes in that restaurant were not authentic Chinese stuff. This isn’t to say American-Chinese food isn’t delicious I’m always up for creamy crab filling encased in perfectly crisp wonton skins and love opening up a fortune cookie at the end of a meal. However, it’s surprising how many misconceptions Americans can have about what is Chinese food. Here’s my take on five distinctly un-Chinese parts of American-Chinese cuisine.

1. Broccoli is Chinese

In the States, Broccoli seems to find its way into every plate of stir-fry. There are dishes named after broccoli, like “Beef and Broccoli.” Even foods like Sesame Chicken will have little obligatory florets of the vegetable. The funny thing is, broccoli is a cold-season crop it doesn’t even grow in the tropical regions of Asia.

2. Put Soy Sauce in Everything

Sometimes, when I order a bowl of hot-sour soup, the waiter hands me some near-black concoction that tastes overwhelmingly of soy sauce. Too often, half-hearted restaurants seem to think that if they add enough soy sauce to the food, it will become Chinese. However, so many of my favorite Chinese foods, such as ma-you-ji (sesame oil chicken), don’t use any soy sauce.

3. Stir-fry, Stir-fry, Stir-fry

Yes, stir-fry is a part of Chinese food. But, it’s really only a tiny part of the picture. There are countless delicious non-stir-fry foods you should try out if you ever have the chance. For example, treat yourself to a street food tour. You can’t go wrong with classics like cong-you-bing (scallion pancakes) or ma-qiu (sweet sesame balls).

Photo courtesy of Hoicelatina

4. Menus have 200+ choices

Going to a new Chinese restaurant here usually means I have to read through a dizzying menu selection. Even if I knew for sure that I wanted noodles, I’d have to choose between 20 types of chow mien. In comparison, most restaurants back home have short menus with only three or four types of noodles.

5. That take-out box

I love the take-out boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants. They’re microwaveable, come with a useful little handle, and are generally adorable. However, I’d never seen them before coming to the States. Instead, restaurants usually put leftovers in plain old plastic bags, tied up with a rubber band.


5 Myths and Misconceptions about Chinese Food in America

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

I still remember my first time eating at a Chinese restaurant in the States. So many dishes on the menu confused me why, for example, had I never heard of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Crab Rangoon” before? In fact, most of the dishes in that restaurant were not authentic Chinese stuff. This isn’t to say American-Chinese food isn’t delicious I’m always up for creamy crab filling encased in perfectly crisp wonton skins and love opening up a fortune cookie at the end of a meal. However, it’s surprising how many misconceptions Americans can have about what is Chinese food. Here’s my take on five distinctly un-Chinese parts of American-Chinese cuisine.

1. Broccoli is Chinese

In the States, Broccoli seems to find its way into every plate of stir-fry. There are dishes named after broccoli, like “Beef and Broccoli.” Even foods like Sesame Chicken will have little obligatory florets of the vegetable. The funny thing is, broccoli is a cold-season crop it doesn’t even grow in the tropical regions of Asia.

2. Put Soy Sauce in Everything

Sometimes, when I order a bowl of hot-sour soup, the waiter hands me some near-black concoction that tastes overwhelmingly of soy sauce. Too often, half-hearted restaurants seem to think that if they add enough soy sauce to the food, it will become Chinese. However, so many of my favorite Chinese foods, such as ma-you-ji (sesame oil chicken), don’t use any soy sauce.

3. Stir-fry, Stir-fry, Stir-fry

Yes, stir-fry is a part of Chinese food. But, it’s really only a tiny part of the picture. There are countless delicious non-stir-fry foods you should try out if you ever have the chance. For example, treat yourself to a street food tour. You can’t go wrong with classics like cong-you-bing (scallion pancakes) or ma-qiu (sweet sesame balls).

Photo courtesy of Hoicelatina

4. Menus have 200+ choices

Going to a new Chinese restaurant here usually means I have to read through a dizzying menu selection. Even if I knew for sure that I wanted noodles, I’d have to choose between 20 types of chow mien. In comparison, most restaurants back home have short menus with only three or four types of noodles.

5. That take-out box

I love the take-out boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants. They’re microwaveable, come with a useful little handle, and are generally adorable. However, I’d never seen them before coming to the States. Instead, restaurants usually put leftovers in plain old plastic bags, tied up with a rubber band.


5 Myths and Misconceptions about Chinese Food in America

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

I still remember my first time eating at a Chinese restaurant in the States. So many dishes on the menu confused me why, for example, had I never heard of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Crab Rangoon” before? In fact, most of the dishes in that restaurant were not authentic Chinese stuff. This isn’t to say American-Chinese food isn’t delicious I’m always up for creamy crab filling encased in perfectly crisp wonton skins and love opening up a fortune cookie at the end of a meal. However, it’s surprising how many misconceptions Americans can have about what is Chinese food. Here’s my take on five distinctly un-Chinese parts of American-Chinese cuisine.

1. Broccoli is Chinese

In the States, Broccoli seems to find its way into every plate of stir-fry. There are dishes named after broccoli, like “Beef and Broccoli.” Even foods like Sesame Chicken will have little obligatory florets of the vegetable. The funny thing is, broccoli is a cold-season crop it doesn’t even grow in the tropical regions of Asia.

2. Put Soy Sauce in Everything

Sometimes, when I order a bowl of hot-sour soup, the waiter hands me some near-black concoction that tastes overwhelmingly of soy sauce. Too often, half-hearted restaurants seem to think that if they add enough soy sauce to the food, it will become Chinese. However, so many of my favorite Chinese foods, such as ma-you-ji (sesame oil chicken), don’t use any soy sauce.

3. Stir-fry, Stir-fry, Stir-fry

Yes, stir-fry is a part of Chinese food. But, it’s really only a tiny part of the picture. There are countless delicious non-stir-fry foods you should try out if you ever have the chance. For example, treat yourself to a street food tour. You can’t go wrong with classics like cong-you-bing (scallion pancakes) or ma-qiu (sweet sesame balls).

Photo courtesy of Hoicelatina

4. Menus have 200+ choices

Going to a new Chinese restaurant here usually means I have to read through a dizzying menu selection. Even if I knew for sure that I wanted noodles, I’d have to choose between 20 types of chow mien. In comparison, most restaurants back home have short menus with only three or four types of noodles.

5. That take-out box

I love the take-out boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants. They’re microwaveable, come with a useful little handle, and are generally adorable. However, I’d never seen them before coming to the States. Instead, restaurants usually put leftovers in plain old plastic bags, tied up with a rubber band.


5 Myths and Misconceptions about Chinese Food in America

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

I still remember my first time eating at a Chinese restaurant in the States. So many dishes on the menu confused me why, for example, had I never heard of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Crab Rangoon” before? In fact, most of the dishes in that restaurant were not authentic Chinese stuff. This isn’t to say American-Chinese food isn’t delicious I’m always up for creamy crab filling encased in perfectly crisp wonton skins and love opening up a fortune cookie at the end of a meal. However, it’s surprising how many misconceptions Americans can have about what is Chinese food. Here’s my take on five distinctly un-Chinese parts of American-Chinese cuisine.

1. Broccoli is Chinese

In the States, Broccoli seems to find its way into every plate of stir-fry. There are dishes named after broccoli, like “Beef and Broccoli.” Even foods like Sesame Chicken will have little obligatory florets of the vegetable. The funny thing is, broccoli is a cold-season crop it doesn’t even grow in the tropical regions of Asia.

2. Put Soy Sauce in Everything

Sometimes, when I order a bowl of hot-sour soup, the waiter hands me some near-black concoction that tastes overwhelmingly of soy sauce. Too often, half-hearted restaurants seem to think that if they add enough soy sauce to the food, it will become Chinese. However, so many of my favorite Chinese foods, such as ma-you-ji (sesame oil chicken), don’t use any soy sauce.

3. Stir-fry, Stir-fry, Stir-fry

Yes, stir-fry is a part of Chinese food. But, it’s really only a tiny part of the picture. There are countless delicious non-stir-fry foods you should try out if you ever have the chance. For example, treat yourself to a street food tour. You can’t go wrong with classics like cong-you-bing (scallion pancakes) or ma-qiu (sweet sesame balls).

Photo courtesy of Hoicelatina

4. Menus have 200+ choices

Going to a new Chinese restaurant here usually means I have to read through a dizzying menu selection. Even if I knew for sure that I wanted noodles, I’d have to choose between 20 types of chow mien. In comparison, most restaurants back home have short menus with only three or four types of noodles.

5. That take-out box

I love the take-out boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants. They’re microwaveable, come with a useful little handle, and are generally adorable. However, I’d never seen them before coming to the States. Instead, restaurants usually put leftovers in plain old plastic bags, tied up with a rubber band.


5 Myths and Misconceptions about Chinese Food in America

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

I still remember my first time eating at a Chinese restaurant in the States. So many dishes on the menu confused me why, for example, had I never heard of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Crab Rangoon” before? In fact, most of the dishes in that restaurant were not authentic Chinese stuff. This isn’t to say American-Chinese food isn’t delicious I’m always up for creamy crab filling encased in perfectly crisp wonton skins and love opening up a fortune cookie at the end of a meal. However, it’s surprising how many misconceptions Americans can have about what is Chinese food. Here’s my take on five distinctly un-Chinese parts of American-Chinese cuisine.

1. Broccoli is Chinese

In the States, Broccoli seems to find its way into every plate of stir-fry. There are dishes named after broccoli, like “Beef and Broccoli.” Even foods like Sesame Chicken will have little obligatory florets of the vegetable. The funny thing is, broccoli is a cold-season crop it doesn’t even grow in the tropical regions of Asia.

2. Put Soy Sauce in Everything

Sometimes, when I order a bowl of hot-sour soup, the waiter hands me some near-black concoction that tastes overwhelmingly of soy sauce. Too often, half-hearted restaurants seem to think that if they add enough soy sauce to the food, it will become Chinese. However, so many of my favorite Chinese foods, such as ma-you-ji (sesame oil chicken), don’t use any soy sauce.

3. Stir-fry, Stir-fry, Stir-fry

Yes, stir-fry is a part of Chinese food. But, it’s really only a tiny part of the picture. There are countless delicious non-stir-fry foods you should try out if you ever have the chance. For example, treat yourself to a street food tour. You can’t go wrong with classics like cong-you-bing (scallion pancakes) or ma-qiu (sweet sesame balls).

Photo courtesy of Hoicelatina

4. Menus have 200+ choices

Going to a new Chinese restaurant here usually means I have to read through a dizzying menu selection. Even if I knew for sure that I wanted noodles, I’d have to choose between 20 types of chow mien. In comparison, most restaurants back home have short menus with only three or four types of noodles.

5. That take-out box

I love the take-out boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants. They’re microwaveable, come with a useful little handle, and are generally adorable. However, I’d never seen them before coming to the States. Instead, restaurants usually put leftovers in plain old plastic bags, tied up with a rubber band.


5 Myths and Misconceptions about Chinese Food in America

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

I still remember my first time eating at a Chinese restaurant in the States. So many dishes on the menu confused me why, for example, had I never heard of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Crab Rangoon” before? In fact, most of the dishes in that restaurant were not authentic Chinese stuff. This isn’t to say American-Chinese food isn’t delicious I’m always up for creamy crab filling encased in perfectly crisp wonton skins and love opening up a fortune cookie at the end of a meal. However, it’s surprising how many misconceptions Americans can have about what is Chinese food. Here’s my take on five distinctly un-Chinese parts of American-Chinese cuisine.

1. Broccoli is Chinese

In the States, Broccoli seems to find its way into every plate of stir-fry. There are dishes named after broccoli, like “Beef and Broccoli.” Even foods like Sesame Chicken will have little obligatory florets of the vegetable. The funny thing is, broccoli is a cold-season crop it doesn’t even grow in the tropical regions of Asia.

2. Put Soy Sauce in Everything

Sometimes, when I order a bowl of hot-sour soup, the waiter hands me some near-black concoction that tastes overwhelmingly of soy sauce. Too often, half-hearted restaurants seem to think that if they add enough soy sauce to the food, it will become Chinese. However, so many of my favorite Chinese foods, such as ma-you-ji (sesame oil chicken), don’t use any soy sauce.

3. Stir-fry, Stir-fry, Stir-fry

Yes, stir-fry is a part of Chinese food. But, it’s really only a tiny part of the picture. There are countless delicious non-stir-fry foods you should try out if you ever have the chance. For example, treat yourself to a street food tour. You can’t go wrong with classics like cong-you-bing (scallion pancakes) or ma-qiu (sweet sesame balls).

Photo courtesy of Hoicelatina

4. Menus have 200+ choices

Going to a new Chinese restaurant here usually means I have to read through a dizzying menu selection. Even if I knew for sure that I wanted noodles, I’d have to choose between 20 types of chow mien. In comparison, most restaurants back home have short menus with only three or four types of noodles.

5. That take-out box

I love the take-out boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants. They’re microwaveable, come with a useful little handle, and are generally adorable. However, I’d never seen them before coming to the States. Instead, restaurants usually put leftovers in plain old plastic bags, tied up with a rubber band.


5 Myths and Misconceptions about Chinese Food in America

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

I still remember my first time eating at a Chinese restaurant in the States. So many dishes on the menu confused me why, for example, had I never heard of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Crab Rangoon” before? In fact, most of the dishes in that restaurant were not authentic Chinese stuff. This isn’t to say American-Chinese food isn’t delicious I’m always up for creamy crab filling encased in perfectly crisp wonton skins and love opening up a fortune cookie at the end of a meal. However, it’s surprising how many misconceptions Americans can have about what is Chinese food. Here’s my take on five distinctly un-Chinese parts of American-Chinese cuisine.

1. Broccoli is Chinese

In the States, Broccoli seems to find its way into every plate of stir-fry. There are dishes named after broccoli, like “Beef and Broccoli.” Even foods like Sesame Chicken will have little obligatory florets of the vegetable. The funny thing is, broccoli is a cold-season crop it doesn’t even grow in the tropical regions of Asia.

2. Put Soy Sauce in Everything

Sometimes, when I order a bowl of hot-sour soup, the waiter hands me some near-black concoction that tastes overwhelmingly of soy sauce. Too often, half-hearted restaurants seem to think that if they add enough soy sauce to the food, it will become Chinese. However, so many of my favorite Chinese foods, such as ma-you-ji (sesame oil chicken), don’t use any soy sauce.

3. Stir-fry, Stir-fry, Stir-fry

Yes, stir-fry is a part of Chinese food. But, it’s really only a tiny part of the picture. There are countless delicious non-stir-fry foods you should try out if you ever have the chance. For example, treat yourself to a street food tour. You can’t go wrong with classics like cong-you-bing (scallion pancakes) or ma-qiu (sweet sesame balls).

Photo courtesy of Hoicelatina

4. Menus have 200+ choices

Going to a new Chinese restaurant here usually means I have to read through a dizzying menu selection. Even if I knew for sure that I wanted noodles, I’d have to choose between 20 types of chow mien. In comparison, most restaurants back home have short menus with only three or four types of noodles.

5. That take-out box

I love the take-out boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants. They’re microwaveable, come with a useful little handle, and are generally adorable. However, I’d never seen them before coming to the States. Instead, restaurants usually put leftovers in plain old plastic bags, tied up with a rubber band.


5 Myths and Misconceptions about Chinese Food in America

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

I still remember my first time eating at a Chinese restaurant in the States. So many dishes on the menu confused me why, for example, had I never heard of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Crab Rangoon” before? In fact, most of the dishes in that restaurant were not authentic Chinese stuff. This isn’t to say American-Chinese food isn’t delicious I’m always up for creamy crab filling encased in perfectly crisp wonton skins and love opening up a fortune cookie at the end of a meal. However, it’s surprising how many misconceptions Americans can have about what is Chinese food. Here’s my take on five distinctly un-Chinese parts of American-Chinese cuisine.

1. Broccoli is Chinese

In the States, Broccoli seems to find its way into every plate of stir-fry. There are dishes named after broccoli, like “Beef and Broccoli.” Even foods like Sesame Chicken will have little obligatory florets of the vegetable. The funny thing is, broccoli is a cold-season crop it doesn’t even grow in the tropical regions of Asia.

2. Put Soy Sauce in Everything

Sometimes, when I order a bowl of hot-sour soup, the waiter hands me some near-black concoction that tastes overwhelmingly of soy sauce. Too often, half-hearted restaurants seem to think that if they add enough soy sauce to the food, it will become Chinese. However, so many of my favorite Chinese foods, such as ma-you-ji (sesame oil chicken), don’t use any soy sauce.

3. Stir-fry, Stir-fry, Stir-fry

Yes, stir-fry is a part of Chinese food. But, it’s really only a tiny part of the picture. There are countless delicious non-stir-fry foods you should try out if you ever have the chance. For example, treat yourself to a street food tour. You can’t go wrong with classics like cong-you-bing (scallion pancakes) or ma-qiu (sweet sesame balls).

Photo courtesy of Hoicelatina

4. Menus have 200+ choices

Going to a new Chinese restaurant here usually means I have to read through a dizzying menu selection. Even if I knew for sure that I wanted noodles, I’d have to choose between 20 types of chow mien. In comparison, most restaurants back home have short menus with only three or four types of noodles.

5. That take-out box

I love the take-out boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants. They’re microwaveable, come with a useful little handle, and are generally adorable. However, I’d never seen them before coming to the States. Instead, restaurants usually put leftovers in plain old plastic bags, tied up with a rubber band.


5 Myths and Misconceptions about Chinese Food in America

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

I still remember my first time eating at a Chinese restaurant in the States. So many dishes on the menu confused me why, for example, had I never heard of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Crab Rangoon” before? In fact, most of the dishes in that restaurant were not authentic Chinese stuff. This isn’t to say American-Chinese food isn’t delicious I’m always up for creamy crab filling encased in perfectly crisp wonton skins and love opening up a fortune cookie at the end of a meal. However, it’s surprising how many misconceptions Americans can have about what is Chinese food. Here’s my take on five distinctly un-Chinese parts of American-Chinese cuisine.

1. Broccoli is Chinese

In the States, Broccoli seems to find its way into every plate of stir-fry. There are dishes named after broccoli, like “Beef and Broccoli.” Even foods like Sesame Chicken will have little obligatory florets of the vegetable. The funny thing is, broccoli is a cold-season crop it doesn’t even grow in the tropical regions of Asia.

2. Put Soy Sauce in Everything

Sometimes, when I order a bowl of hot-sour soup, the waiter hands me some near-black concoction that tastes overwhelmingly of soy sauce. Too often, half-hearted restaurants seem to think that if they add enough soy sauce to the food, it will become Chinese. However, so many of my favorite Chinese foods, such as ma-you-ji (sesame oil chicken), don’t use any soy sauce.

3. Stir-fry, Stir-fry, Stir-fry

Yes, stir-fry is a part of Chinese food. But, it’s really only a tiny part of the picture. There are countless delicious non-stir-fry foods you should try out if you ever have the chance. For example, treat yourself to a street food tour. You can’t go wrong with classics like cong-you-bing (scallion pancakes) or ma-qiu (sweet sesame balls).

Photo courtesy of Hoicelatina

4. Menus have 200+ choices

Going to a new Chinese restaurant here usually means I have to read through a dizzying menu selection. Even if I knew for sure that I wanted noodles, I’d have to choose between 20 types of chow mien. In comparison, most restaurants back home have short menus with only three or four types of noodles.

5. That take-out box

I love the take-out boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants. They’re microwaveable, come with a useful little handle, and are generally adorable. However, I’d never seen them before coming to the States. Instead, restaurants usually put leftovers in plain old plastic bags, tied up with a rubber band.


5 Myths and Misconceptions about Chinese Food in America

By adding your email you agree to get updates about Spoon University Healthier

I still remember my first time eating at a Chinese restaurant in the States. So many dishes on the menu confused me why, for example, had I never heard of “General Tso’s Chicken” and “Crab Rangoon” before? In fact, most of the dishes in that restaurant were not authentic Chinese stuff. This isn’t to say American-Chinese food isn’t delicious I’m always up for creamy crab filling encased in perfectly crisp wonton skins and love opening up a fortune cookie at the end of a meal. However, it’s surprising how many misconceptions Americans can have about what is Chinese food. Here’s my take on five distinctly un-Chinese parts of American-Chinese cuisine.

1. Broccoli is Chinese

In the States, Broccoli seems to find its way into every plate of stir-fry. There are dishes named after broccoli, like “Beef and Broccoli.” Even foods like Sesame Chicken will have little obligatory florets of the vegetable. The funny thing is, broccoli is a cold-season crop it doesn’t even grow in the tropical regions of Asia.

2. Put Soy Sauce in Everything

Sometimes, when I order a bowl of hot-sour soup, the waiter hands me some near-black concoction that tastes overwhelmingly of soy sauce. Too often, half-hearted restaurants seem to think that if they add enough soy sauce to the food, it will become Chinese. However, so many of my favorite Chinese foods, such as ma-you-ji (sesame oil chicken), don’t use any soy sauce.

3. Stir-fry, Stir-fry, Stir-fry

Yes, stir-fry is a part of Chinese food. But, it’s really only a tiny part of the picture. There are countless delicious non-stir-fry foods you should try out if you ever have the chance. For example, treat yourself to a street food tour. You can’t go wrong with classics like cong-you-bing (scallion pancakes) or ma-qiu (sweet sesame balls).

Photo courtesy of Hoicelatina

4. Menus have 200+ choices

Going to a new Chinese restaurant here usually means I have to read through a dizzying menu selection. Even if I knew for sure that I wanted noodles, I’d have to choose between 20 types of chow mien. In comparison, most restaurants back home have short menus with only three or four types of noodles.

5. That take-out box

I love the take-out boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants. They’re microwaveable, come with a useful little handle, and are generally adorable. However, I’d never seen them before coming to the States. Instead, restaurants usually put leftovers in plain old plastic bags, tied up with a rubber band.