Experiences - Asia

Chinese Dishes Invented Outside China

Chinese food is popular all over the world and as a result of that, there have been several traditional recipes which have undergone adaptations and makeovers to suit the local palate and flavour. With Asian Inspirations, explore four dishes that aren’t really Chinese but, nevertheless, have taken the world by storm. Here we list down four Chinese dishes invented outside China.

1. Egg Roll

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Image Courtesy: stu_spivack used under the Creative Commons Licence

The Egg Roll is a piquant dish which was adapted from spring rolls and is generally served as an appetiser. Deep-fried or baked, an egg roll is crisp and usually stuffed with shrimp, pork, or chicken. Vegetables such as cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots and spinach can be added to the stuffing to add flavour and crunch. Egg rolls are available in many versions, but none of them are traditionally Chinese in origin. However, they still remain one of the world’s top must-eats.

2. Chop Suey

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Image Courtesy: Dirk Vorderstraße used under the Creative Commons Licence

A common misconception is that Chop Suey is originally a Chinese dish, but in reality the Chinese in America invented it. This dish consists of a starch-thickened sauce served with plain white rice or stir-fried chow mein. The sauce is usually a combination of meat (such as fish, chicken, prawn, pork or beef) and vegetables (such as celery, bean sprouts and cabbage). It is a crisp, succulent, and delicious dish, savoured all over the world, but very uncommonly in China.

3. Fortune Cookie

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Image Courtesy: C.P.Storm used under the Creative Commons Licence

Fortune Cookies are yet again another American invention and not, as popular belief suggests, a beloved trait of Asian culture. A fortune cookie is a crisp cookie made with vanilla essence, sugar, flour, and sesame seed oil. It is served with a fortune wrapped inside it. This fortune is nothing but a small strip of paper with a vague prophecy typed on it. These fortune cookies are served at the end of a meal in Chinese restaurants around the world but rarely in China.

4. Dim Sum

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Image Courtesy: Alpha used under the Creative Commons Licence

The Dim sum is a famous Australian-Chinese inspired dumpling-style snack. It was first cooked in Melbourne and it later made its way to China and the rest of the world. There are two varieties of dim sums available. The meaty version of this delicacy usually consists of small amounts of lamb or pork, cabbage and some flavour. The vegetarian version normally contains carrots, vermicelli, greens and spices. Both versions can be steamed, pan-fried or deep-fried, but not barbecued. It is usually served as a side or an appetiser.

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