Despite what the Master Wok in the food court may tell you, authentic Chinese food does not consist of ten different types of orange-tinted, deep-fried chicken. In fact, what is commonly considered "Chinese food" in the West actually originated in 1950s San Francisco, when Chinese cuisine was adapted to suit the American palate. This meant the use of white meat instead of dark meat and small bones, vegetables as sides or garnish rather than the emphasis of the dish, and use of local produce like tomatoes, broccoli, carrots and onions instead of Chinese broccoli, bok choy and daikon.
Photo by Mai Pham Crispy-skinned Peking duck is served with steamed buns at Shanghai Restaurant.
While some dishes that are popular in America -- like moo shoo pork, chow mein and egg foo young -- actually are native to China, there are plenty of other authentic Chinese dishes that deserve our attention.
Here are five great ones that can be found locally:More »