Most North Americans love Chinese food, whether it be in a dine-in restaurant or out of a cardboard takeout box with wire handles. However, there is a very distinct difference between Chinese food found in most Westernized restaurants and traditional, mainland Chinese food. At Hot Impression, we are known for our rich, authentic dishes that are presented in the Chinese mainland style!

So, what are the major differences between Westernized and Traditional Chinese food?

Cooking Methods

One major difference between the two is the methods used to cook the food. The food  found in Americanized Chinese restaurants is typically cooked through frying. Most dishes are cooked using various frying methods, in a wok or deep fryer.

While traditional Chinese food may also be fried, it is not the main cooking method. Stewing, braising, baking, steaming, boiling and even fermenting, are some of the additional methods used to prepare traditional Chinese dishes. Moreover, deep frying is not typically used in authentic dishes.

Major Ingredients

Americanized Chinese food typically consists of a main meat, with side dishes such as rice or noodles with vegetables. The opposite is actually the case with authentic Chinese dishes, which use ingredients like vegetables, rice, noodles and soybeans most often. Also, as a general rule, some ingredients found in Westernized entrees, such as broccoli, carrots, onions, tomatoes and dairy products are not commonly used in authentic dishes. 

Moreover, meats utilized in Westernized Chinese food are those that are more conservative and acceptable for eating in Western countries such as beef, pork and chicken. Authentic Chinese dishes utilize a wider range of protein sources including tofu and other meat sources that would seem unappealing to Western palates such as chicken cartilages.

Flavour Profile

Westernized Chinese food tends to focus more on sweeter, heavier tones than traditional Chinese dishes. You can expect heavier use of additional soy sauce, sodium and sugar in these dishes, and likely far less spice. Sweet and sour chicken, anyone?

Contrarily, authentic Chinese food employs a selection of more fragrant chilies and spices that take your taste buds on a journey to our mainland. At Hot Impression, the spiciness of all of our dishes can also be adjusted to your preference and taste buds!

Fortune Cookies

Fortune cookies must be authentic to Chinese culture, right? The answer is no! Fortune cookies actually originated in Japan during the 19th century. They were later made famous by Chinese restaurants in California. However, some authentic Chinese restaurants (like us) do still serve them due to their popularity!

So, there you have it! The major differences between Westernized and traditional Chinese cuisine. By no means are we putting our Westernized friends down, however if you have yet to try traditional Chinese cuisine, we encourage you to do so and find out the difference for yourself!

Feel free to call us at (647) 748-4646 to order takeout. Our online menu can be found here. You can also find us on multiple delivery platforms including UberEats, Fantuan, FoodHwy, Lanyangyang and FOD!

Scroll Up