Differences Between Traditional and Westernized Chinese Cuisine

With years of experience in the produce business, Cesare Della Santina currently manages his own company, CDS Brokers, an importer of produce from all around the world. In his free time, Cesare Della Santina enjoys cooking, with a preference for Asian cuisines.

Americans love Chinese food – but most are eating a Westernized version rather than tasting authentic Chinese cuisine. One major difference is that American Chinese food is mostly fried in a wok or a deep fryer, while traditional Chinese food is cooked in many ways, including stewing, braising, steaming, and boiling. Breaded and deep-fried fare is not typically found in China – this is an American construction.

Beyond the difference in cooking methods, American Chinese food often incorporates different ingredients, and meals are usually focused on meat with rice and vegetables as sides. In traditional Chinese cuisine, vegetables, rice, and noodles are often the main course. Furthermore, Westernized Chinese cuisine uses ingredients not found in traditional cuisine, including carrots and onions. Authentic Chinese cuisine also draws on a greater array of spices, while American Chinese food focuses primarily on salt and sugar.

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