Chinese takeout is a weekend staple in America, but did you know that there’s a whole other side of Chinese food you’ve been missing this whole time? Turns out, the sesame chicken and shrimp lo mein that litter our coffee tables on Friday nights are not classic Chinese dishes. American Chinese food is often stickier, sweeter, and unhealthier than traditional dishes.
Ready for another surprise? Check out the reason why you’ll never find Chinese takeout boxes in China.
But have no fear! Turns out, plenty of Chinese restaurants actually have a “secret” menu that they give to Chinese people and fluent speakers. This menu includes traditional Chinese dishes that are bursting with more texture, flavor, and nutrients than the American-Chinese food that we’re familiar with. Here’s how to get in on all the authentic goodness:
Make sure you’re in an authentic Chinese restaurant
Many places have wide menus to