Are you someone who could step into any Chinese restaurant in the country and order the same thing: orange chicken? There's no doubt that orange chicken is delicious, and its name makes pretty clear what it is. But if it's the only Chinese dish you ever order, you're really missing out. The names of these other Chinese dishes may not be quite as approachable, but they are truly delicious and deserve a spot on your order sheet.
Kung Pao Chicken
This is a good one to try the first time you branch out from orange chicken. It comes dressed in a similar sweet and sticky sauce, but the sauce is flavored with chilis and garlic, so it has a bit more bite. Kung Pao chicken is also tossed with peanuts, which add a crunchy element to the dish. Enjoy it over white rice to tone down the spice a bit.
Moo Goo Gai Pan
Its name is long and complex, but this dish is actually simple and a good choice if you're trying to follow a healthy diet. It's stir-fried vegetables, meat, and bamboo shoots served over rice. Chicken is often used, but you can order pork, beef, or shrimp at most restaurants, too. The sauce is light and flavored with soy sauce, garlic, ground white pepper, and oyster sauce. Don't worry — in spite of the oyster sauce, it does not taste fishy.
This is a noodle dish that you'll probably enjoy if you like pasta. Thick rice noodles are typically used. They're simmered and then stir-fried in a wok, so they get a nice layer of crispiness on the outside. Vegetables are tossed with the noodles. Bean sprouts, strips of carrot, and snow peas are popular ingredients. Chow mein is often a vegetarian dish, but many restaurants serve it with meat or seafood as well.
As the name suggests, this dish is fun to eat. It's made with big, fat noodles that barely resemble the pasta you're probably used to eating. The noodles are tossed with green onion, bamboo shoots, onion, and the meat of your choice — usually beef. The sauce is a cross between a gravy and a soy sauce reduction, and it's delicious over rice.
The next time you're in a Chinese restaurant, fight the urge to simply order orange chicken, and try one of these delicious dishes instead.
For more information about Chinese cuisine, contact a Chinese restaurant like Savor Flavor Asia.