When Americans get the urge for takeout, it goes without saying that they’re talking about Chinese food. Popular dishes like Broccoli Beef, Pork Fried Rice, Crab Rangoons, and General Tso’s Chicken are staples in Chinese restaurants all over the country. But did you know most of these dishes would be a mystery to those who actually live in China? American Chinese food is a wonder all in its own, with very little in common with authentic Chinese food you’d find on the other side of the globe.
American Chinese food was born in California in the mid 1800’s. The Gold Rush and demand for miners and railroad workers led to a large influx of Chinese immigrants to The Golden State. The immigrants started opening restaurants and soon began expanding to new American cities and establishing Chinatowns all over. Without many typical Chinese ingredients readily available to the immigrants, they improvised with what was available to them at the moment and made it pleasant to the standard American palate. Syrupy-sweet dishes, like Sweet & Sour chicken, came to be due to the widespread (and cheap) availability of canned fruits like pineapples and cherries.
Many popular dishes include vegetables that aren’t even common in China, like broccoli, carrots, and onions. Even though an American Ch
inese menu looks little like one you’d find in China, it isn’t ignoring its roots. General Tso, for example, really did exist! Whether the famous chicken dish that shares his name actually has anything to do with him, though, remains unknown. Hot dishes like General Tso’s chicken, Kung Pao chicken, and Mushu pork were introduced and popularized in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, when Taiwanese immigrants brought spicier foods with them to America. Branding this new, spicy cuisine as Szechuan style, and significantly tweaking the food to suit the locals, Taiwanese chefs changed the face of American Chinese food.
At Szechuan House, we specialize in the Szechuan style of authentic Chinese food. We bring the most exceptional flavors of the Sichuan province all the way to Houston, Texas, where spicy food is most appreciated! You can view our full menu online, but the best way to enjoy our quality food is to experience it for yourself. Come to Szechuan House to dine in or take out classic Chinese dishes and outstanding Szechuan flavor in every bite!