There is no doubt of the love Americans have for Chinese food. There too is great debate about what is the best Chinese food to order from menus that often feature dozens of dishes. However, many people may be wondering how all this love started. Thrillist.com writer Adam Lapetina offers some insight into the growth of Chinese food in the United States:
It started in California
The foundations for what we know as Chinese food were laid in the mid-1800s, when a huge influx of Chinese immigrants came to California during the Gold Rush, mostly from Canton (today known as Guangzhou). The newcomers started opening restaurants, and eventually began settling elsewhere thanks to the railroad expansion. That resulted in the establishment of Chinatowns all over the place (never forget, Jack Nicholson!).
In San Francisco, where the biggest Chinatown outside Asia is located, one can throw a stone and hit a Chinese restaurant. However, individuals with discriminating palates shouldn’t settle for anything less, especially if they are out to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday or wedding anniversary. They should go for the gold, and specifically look for the following delectable staples in their menu. Here is some of the best food to order from Chinese restaurants:
Chinese cuisine would simply be incomplete without this staple. After all, it is considered to be one of China’s national foods. This dish is a favorite because of its thin and crispy skin that covers mouthwatering meat. People can further savor the scrumptious meat strips with a variety of sauces like sweet or sour, plum, or hoisin sauce, a popular Chinese dipping sauce.
Kung Pao Chicken
While this dish’s origin is a frequent topic for debate— some records say it’s an original Sichuan dish, some say it’s from the Guizhou province—it remains to be among the most popular Chinese cuisine staples. The addition of peanuts or cashews to the roasted chicken is a definite enhancer, taking its yumminess up a notch. Vegetarians who don’t want to partake in meat, though, have alternatives to enjoy from established restaurants like Chili House SF, including Kung Pao tofu and Kung Pao prawns.
Noodles and Dumplings
What’s Chinese cuisine without these two elements? Noodles come in a variety of composition: bean thread, egg, and rice stick. Meanwhile, dumplings come in various fillings, including mince pork, ground chicken, and beef for the meat-loving population, and diced shrimp and vegetables for the vegetarians.
For those marking a momentous occasion soon, consider serving Chinese cuisine for the guests. However, they should keep in mind that the best Chinese food in San Francisco consists of the above staples. Get those chopsticks ready!
(Image and Excerpt Source: 10 LITTLE-KNOWN HISTORICAL FACTS ABOUT AMERICAN CHINESE FOOD, thrillist.com, January 13, 2014)
Chinese cuisine has had a long history. However, many people often take the health benefits of Chinese food for granted, thinking that no food that delicious is good for the body. The Foodnetwork.com staff lists down some of the basic ingredients in Chinese food that offer health advantages.
The first on the list is ginger, which is a popular tool in Eastern medicine and known to relieve nausea and stimulate appetite. Another common component in Chinese meals is tofu. This is a great way for people to add protein to their diet without actually consuming meat, one of the primary sources for protein. Tofu is well-known for its bone-building calcium. Cabbage, particularly the Bok Choy variety, is also a staple in Chinese cuisine, and it offers the benefit of immunity-strengthening vitamins like A and C.
With these benefits, those who have events coming up will be making a wise choice if they go with a Chinese food catering service for their special occasion in San Francisco, especially if the guests expected are health-conscious individuals who are active in outdoor activities or workout programs. However, there are ways to maximize the health advantages of Chinese food without sacrificing its sumptuous taste. Here are a few tips:
Encourage the use of chopsticks
Using chopsticks to consume the meals instead of standard utensils allows people to take in smaller portions. A study from the Cornell University revealed that using chopsticks helped people slow down. As a result, people will be able to savor the meals more.
Choose the sauces well
For people to fully cherish what dim sum in San Francisco can offer to their palate, they have to add a few drops of Chinese staple sauces like sweet and sour sauce. However, some healthier alternatives which generate the same effect are oyster sauce and hoisin sauce.
Go for steamed, poached, roasted, and barbecued varieties.
The amazing thing about Chinese cuisine is that there are several ways to prepare them. Some popular dishes are breaded or fried like Crispy Garlic Flavor Prawns. However, you should consider healthier but equally delicious options like Kung Pao (roasted) prawns or chicken, steamed scallops with garlic, or steamed Chinese cabbage with garlic, all of which are offered at Chinese restaurants like Chili House SF.
In San Francisco where the largest Chinatown outside of Asia is located, choosing Chinese food for a special event is a natural choice. However, people shouldn’t forget that these meals offer countless health benefits, and there are countless ways to make the most of them.
(Source: The Health Benefits of Chinese Food, foodnetwork.com)
Have you always believed that MSG is bad for your health? Scientists at the American Chemical Society’s Reactions (ACS) have recently debunked this myth, as detailed by Medical Daily reporter Lizette Borreli. The food additive has been linked to the age-old “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome,” but there is no strong scientific evidence proving that MSG caused the discomforts experienced by the scientist who coined the term.
“Glutamate is found in tons of common foods that are rich in protein — meat, dairy products, and vegetables all have glutamate,” say the scientists in the YouTube video, “Is MSG Bad for You?” The flavor enhancement we taste in MSG foods comes from the amino acid, l-glutamate. Glutamate occurs naturally within our bodies as we process and metabolize food, making it a very abundant and very common part of our diet. The monosodium part in MSG is so we can easily sprinkle it on a dish.
A rule of thumb: Take MSG criticisms with a grain of salt and consume responsibly.
MSG– or monosodium glutamate– gives food an added kick of umami , the fifth basic flavor (aside from sweetness, saltiness, sourness, and bitterness) characterized by a delicious, savory taste. Although MSG has been found perfectly safe for enhancing food, the best chefs in the world do not rely on the additive; instead, they bring out the natural umami in their ingredients.
The carefully crafted, mouthwatering entrees offered by authentic Chinese restaurants in San Francisco give your taste buds an incredible epicurean experience. From simple snacks to heavy dishes, each major ingredient and seasoning is meticulously selected and combined to produce appetizing courses that keep you coming back for more.
To relish an interesting mix of natural umami goodness, try classic and contemporary Chinese food. Bite into crunchy egg rolls, fried prawns, and other Mandarin-style dim sum and dumplings, and don’t forget to dip them in their complementary sauce. Have a taste of tangy, saucy dishes like Dong Po pork or Szechuan-style chicken.
Renowned chefs like Chef Han of Chili House use only the freshest, high-grade meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, spices, and condiments to cook meals that are bursting with flavor. You don’t even have to go all the way across the world to experience it. You only need to visit the finest Chinese restaurants in San Francisco to satisfy that Chinese food craving.
(Source: Food Myth Debunked: Why MSG Chinese Food Criticisms Should Be Taken With A Grain Of Salt , Medical Daily, Aug 26, 2014)
San Francisco is one of the most visited destinations in the country, and its Richmond District is home to popular attractions like Golden Lake Park, the Presidio, and Mountain Lake Park. Of course, the area’s biggest draw is still its affluent Chinatown, one of the many notable ones in the metropolis.
While temples and shops are sure to be on many people’s itinerary when visiting Chinatown, those who love spicy food have reason to be excited as well. After all, you can dine at a San Francisco Chinese restaurant to sample some of the hottest— and yummiest— Szechuan cuisine.
Better yet, eating piquant delicacies is not only good for your palette; it’s great for your health, too. Read on to know the health benefits that spicy food can offer:
Heat Equals Heart Health
According to article March 27, 2012 article from ABC News, spicy food can help improve people’s cardiovascular health:
…New research on hamsters suggests that those who like it hot may get some added heart-health benefits from capsaicinoids, the compounds that give chili peppers from jalepenos to habaneros their kick.
Researchers fed hamsters diets high in cholesterol, and spiced up the food for some groups of the animals with varying levels of capsaicinoids.
The hamsters fed any capsaicinoids had lower levels of cholesterol in their blood, particularly LDL or “bad” cholesterol. They also had decreased plaque in their arteries compared with the hamsters that got no capsaicinoids.
Sweat those Pounds Away
Did you know that eating spicy cuisine can temporarily boost your metabolism by up to 8%? As you might know, the faster your metabolism is, the more calories you’ll burn.
An Australian study also found that people who regularly ate hot dishes tend to fall asleep quicker at bedtime, woke up less during the night, and had an easier time getting out of bed.
If you plan to indulge your love for spicy Asian cuisine, be sure to eat a renowned Chinese restaurant in San Francisco like the Chili House, where you can enjoy signature dishes like Chicken with Explosive Chili, Frog with Flaming Chili Oil, and Tender Fish Filet Boiled in Szechuan Pickled Mustard Broth. Your tummy and your entire body will thank you for it!
(Source: Spicy Compound May Boost Heart Health , ABC News, May 27, 2012)