Chinese food is quite popular across the United States. However, what Americans consider Chinese food is not something Chinese citizens would consider Chinese food. Authentic Chinese food is diverse and delicious and differs radically from its Americanized form. Read on and discover just a few authentic Chinese dishes that you must try.
Xiaoji Dun Mogu
This dish from the Liaoning province in the northern portion of China is quite straight forward and hearty and is not dissimilar to some dishes that are considered southern "comfort food" in the United States. This dish, which is almost always served family style, is a hearty, thick stew which consists of hazel mushrooms, chicken, and potato noodles. It is considered a tradition to eat this in order to combat the harsh winters that are expected every year in Liaoning.
Much like xiaoji dun mogu, Harbin hongchang is a food from northern China and is often consumed to combat the very harsh winters. This dish is endemic to the Heilongjiang province, is a hearty sausage dish, and is also eaten with equally dense Russian breads. In fact, Harbin hongchang is actually an import from Russia and given a Chinese twist by seasoning it with a hefty dose of black pepper and garlic. This dish is as equally as spicy and flavorful as it is hearty. It is traditionally served with a glass of Harbin beer.
Gou Rou Guo
Although an overstatement, it is true that in certain areas of China, dog meat is considered a delicacy. In the Jilin province, which shares a border with North Korea, you will find this hearty, delicious stew, which is filled to the brim with dog meat and pickled veggies. This is often described as a "hot pot" meal, in which you are served a piping hot broth, and then a side of vegetables and dog meat, which you can soften in the broth according to your own taste. The texture of dog meat is often times compared favorably with veal, as it is soft, somewhat fatty, and incredibly flavorful.
Much like many central areas of countries and continents, the center of China is known for its high grain output. A dish like yangrou huimian is the direct culinary result of this factor. It is a soup that uses a lamb broth as its base, which is slow boiled for approximately five to ten hours, then a chewy, wheat flour–based noodle is added to the mixture, making for a dense, hearty stew that will warm you up on the coldest of days.
Keep these dishes in mind next time you visit a restaurant such as Lilac Blossom Restaurant.