Chinese food and I have had a long and wonderful relationship. Whether it be Christmas day meals after the movies (guess which December Holiday I celebrated), or late night second dinners after hockey practice, I have always been in love with chinese food. And of course like any long-term relationship, the key to keeping things wonderful is a mutual evolution. Not that chinese food in itself has been changing to keep up with me, but rather my perception of the cuisine has changed drastically throughout the years.
Without going into the nuances of the geographic differences in regional chinese cooking, there are two major buckets. There is american-chinese and there is chinese-chinese. From a traditionalist point of view, generals tso chicken and lo mein may not be authentically chinese but quite frankly there’s no denying that they are delicious. American-chinese is what I grew up on. But if you are lucky enough to live in an area where you can eat true and honest chinese food (china towns are a good start) then drop the egg roll and get going immediately!
Last night we went to one of our favorites in NY’s China Town, Joe’s Ginger. To be completely honest, Joe’s Shanghai has always been our go-to, but unfortunately we are not the only ones. But what seems to be a little known secret right down the street, Joe’s Ginger (same ownership) offers essentially the same menu and never seems to have the line out the door. So as we shared a few orders of pork and crabmeat soup dumplings (quite possibly the greatest thing in the world), Szechuan bean curd , Szechuan string beans, double cooked pork, and Shanghai fried rice it was clear my love affair with chinese food is as strong as ever!
So in continuing the theme of re-dos, for a top chefesque quick fire challenge poll of the week, which of the following classic american chinese food menu items do you want to see me re-vamp in a brand new way…Get to voting and have a great weekend!