Why do non-Chinese people like Chinese food?
Jim Gordon Taught myself to cook authentic traditional dishes in the early 1970s. Am a ...
Written Aug 6 2015
Why do foreigners like Chinese dishes?
Many foreigners like good food and appreciate variety and novelty in food.
Some foreigners know and appreciate the eight principal regional cuisines of China or at least some of those cuisines.
Some foreigners love spicy hot food like the dishes of Hunan and Sichuan.
Image from What is the best Ma Po Tofu recipe?
Some foreigners love fresh seafood as used in the coastal cuisines of China.
Some foreigners love Cantonese dim sum or dumplings buns and noodles from other regions.
Some foreigners follow vegetarian diets and appreciate Chinese dishes that use no meat/dairy products.
Some foreigners like the low prices of some dishes in Chinese restaurants.
I have heard that foreigners show a great passion for Chinese food. Is that true?
upxed Aug 1 2015
we get tired of pizzas hot dogs and burgers and need some variety
generally speaking it is relatively inexpensive
when we order at a restaurant the food is on the table in a few minutes (often times Chinese food involves stir frying which takes only minutes to cook)
it tastes good
'family style' serving allows you to try a little bit of everything when you're with a group (the bigger the group the better)
there are often leftovers which allows us another meal (sometimes two) later in the week
it's practically the only type of food you can eat at a restaurant on Christmas and New Years day
What's not to like?
Little known fact: In China Chinese food is just called food. (ba dump bump)
Peter Flom Sichuan Hunan Cantonese.... I love them all!
Written Oct 8
Originally Answered: Why do so many people like Chinese food?
There really is no such thing as “Chinese food”. I mean of course there is the food people eat in China. But it’s at least as varied as “European food”. The foods of the various parts in China have pretty much nothing in common.
What there is in America anyway is a set of foods that people expect to be on the menu in a Chinese restaurant. These foods come from various parts of China and are (in most Chinese restaurants in the USA) very Americanized (regardless of the quality - fast food glop is Americanized so is Shun Lee (an expensive Chinese place in NYC).
If you go to restaurants in the Chinatowns of USA cities with large Chinese populations you can find more authentic regional dishes - and most Americans don’t like much of that food. When I order it reactions from the staff range from “you no like” to “most westerners don’t like that are you sure?” to “Oh! You like Chinese food” to just having puzzled expressions or making me point again to the item on the menu.
But to your question - Chinese cooks at successful Chinese restaurants adapt their food to local tastes.
Why then are there more of some types of restaurants than others? Why for example are there more Chinese restaurants than German ones in New York City? Partly it’s the size of the local population. Partly it’s the cachet associated with different cuisine partly it’s cost (there are a lot of very inexpensive Chinese places). Partly it’s habit.
Brandon M. Schneider Living Outside of Life's Box
upxed Aug 7 2015
A personal picture showcasing Hot Pot cuisine in Shanghai China roughly 5 minutes away from my university.
I had the opportunity of studying abroad in China for 6 months and needless to say that after the experience my taste for Chinese food will never be satisfied with what is served Chinese dish wise here in the United States.
Let me elaborate. For the longest time my "experience" in consuming Chinese food consisted of greasy Chinese buffets Panda Express and instant noodle. I was worried going into China that staple foods such as rice and noodle were going to be bland just like their American counterparts.
Boy was I wrong.
There's limitless positivities to say about the experience that comes with eating Chinese cuisine. Never before had I had the opportunity to:
Eat Chinese food family style.
Explore different ethnicities of Chinese cuisine ie. Sichuan.
Try an endless variety of Chinese dumplings i.e.. Xiaolongbao.
Eat with unique Chinese utensils outside of chopsticks.
Consume street cuisine that can be qualifiable as both filling and delicious. (In elaboration street food in America is either one or the other)
Try a plethora of asian cuisines cooked and served equivalently to their respective styles outside of China ie. Korean Barbecue Teppanyaki etc.
Discover a liking for hot pot.
Consume "USA taboo" foods ie. chicken feet octopus etc.
In summary Chinese cuisine further enhances the experience of living studying and exploring China. In my time of world travel China's diverse offerings trump any other country's food.
Disagree? Buy a plane ticket to China. You're welcome.
Written Aug 8 2015
Hmm let's see! A average American restaurant menu consists of about 7 to 10 menu items to choose from. Usually one or two items from the beef pork poultry or seafood categories. In short very little choice. To say the American menu lacks variety would be an understatement.
A Chinese menu typically has over a 100 items that are very well priced well portioned (large quantity) made when ordered and other than rice or soup not simply warmed up microwaved or served out of a huge premade pot or tray.
Also the same basic item can be made in many different ways based on regional cooking styles and taste entirely different. In the American menu for example you can have chicken that is deep fried baked broiled or breaded but bottom line is it still tastes the same. One is just more dry or oily than another.
For home cooking most Chinese dishes are simple and fast (20 minutes or less including prep time) containing on average no more than 3 ingredients and a few sext condiments. Most American meals take well over an hour to prepare unless you are just microwaving a hotdog or frying bacon.
Chinese food is mostly healthier as vegetables are typically fresh not frozen and are cooked just long enough to be slightly tender so they retain all their nutrient value. Meats are always cooked until well done so there is little risk of bacteria.
The only drawback to most Chinese food (Asian food in general) is that it is low in protein so you can eat until you are full but 30 minutes later might be hungry again.
If you are getting your Chinese food from a Panda Express or some other chain establishment here in the States or even some stand alone restaurant in some average size city you are not getting "real" Chinese food. It is Americanized. If you want "real" or as close to real as you can get then you must dine in cities with actual Chinatowns like LA San Francisco NYC Houston Dallas Seattle Toronto or Vancouver.
想吃正宗的，或者接近正宗的中餐，得去洛杉矶 旧金山 纽约 休斯顿 达拉斯 西雅图 多伦多 温哥华的中国城找家饭店。
Another way to tell if the food is being prepared in the traditional style is to see what language the menu is in. If it is ONLY in English it is not traditional at all. If it is in both Chinese and English you have a chance at the real thing but you had better tell the wait person you want it prepared traditionally. If it is only in Chinese it's a good bet you will get it how they like it. To be 100% sure go with a Chinese friend that speaks Chinese and have them do the ordering.
Jay Verkuilen Associate Professor of Psychometrics CUNY Graduate Center
Written Oct 7
Originally Answered: Why do so many people like Chinese food?
What do you mean by “Chinese food”? There are many different kinds ranging from Americanized “Panda Express” to deeply authentic Chinese high and low cuisines.
I’ve had Chinese food I loved and other kinds I really really didn’t. My favorite kinds are Xi’an Hunan Beijing and Sichuan. I was meh about Shanghai style or Cantonese dim sum—bland and lacking the aspects of Chinese cuisine I like—and had some that was downright disgusting including deep fried intestines and a version of Mao Zedong’s favorite pork belly dish.
And yes I’ve had the real thing at least as real as you can get in the USA: Home cooking from Chinese friends and Chinese food in Flushing being two examples.
The wierdest? Japanese style Chinese food. If American style Chinese food has certain characteristics such as corn starch and lots of sugar the Japanese style was typically Japanese in its approach to suck-ti-tude. It was very bland. Even the Sapporo was a bit skunky.