The raging ASIAN FUSION Movement is over!!!
The best chefs are now going beyond the chow fun and pad Thai that have become as American as apple pie to approximate new delicacies like xiao long bao and larb moo.
ZAGAT is bringing a new series to guide To guide us through the new ASIAN CUISINE Movement, outlining the dishes that will define the CHINESE. JAPANESE, KOREAN, and THAI Menus of the future.
This heaping helping serves up some of the CANTONESE, HAINAN, and SICHUAN dishes that are increasingly showing up on American menus.
You think YOU know CHINESE FOOD???
Check out the TOP 5 of the 8 CHINESE DISHES YOU NEED To KNOW.
1.) DAN DAN MEIN (DAN DAN NOODLES)
Before there were “dan dan noodles” here in the U.S., there was dan dan mein.
Original versions of the dish start with warm, long, fresh noodles piled over chile oil.
Many recent takes finish the dish off with minced pork and pickled vegetables (ya cai) such as mustard greens. Depending on the cook’s taste (and, of course, the customer's), other versions include peanut oil, peanuts, peanut butter, sesame paste, dark soy sauce, black Chinese vinegar, scallions and Sichuan peppers.
Some versions are even served cold.
2.) XIAO LONG BAO (SOUP DUMPLINGS
Affectionately nicknamed “XLB,” these cute Shanghainese steamed soup dumplings usually arrive in a group of four to 10 in a bamboo steamer basket.
Dip the dumpling in the Chinese vinegar (usually provided), and when you bite into them an explosion of pork broth, or “soup,” spills out into your Chinese spoon.
3.) MA PO TOFU
This traditional Chinese dish bucks the reigning American logic, crowning vegan and veggie-friendly tofu with a heaping pile of crumbly pork.
The tofu and pork bob like a dense flock of seagulls in a hot, red sea of chile oil and vegetarian broth. The steaminess of the dish compounds the heat of Sichuan peppercorns infused into the broth.
4.) CHAR SIU BAO (PORK BUNS)
Steamed, paper-white puffs of yeast-risen bread encase a glistening center of sugary barbecue pork chunks.
The seasonings on the meat nod to sweet barbecue sauce styles native to Kansas City, which tends to lend an bright orange tinge to the paper-white bread surrounding it. The bun’s exterior strikes the same nostalgic chord as the Wonder Bread of your youth, making this Cantonese street snack a total crowd pleaser.
5.) CONGEE (CANTONESE)
The chicken noodle soup of China, congee (or jook) is akin to rice porridge.
The grains are cooked in water until they break down, forming the best kind of creamy mush. Restaurants serve it straight-up or adorned with various proteins and vegetables. Sometimes it's even served with unsweetened fried Chinese donuts for dipping. If you like pho and ramen, try congee.
Congee is total COMFORT FOOD.
PEACE, LOVE, And BLESSINGS;