My Top 5 Chinese Food Entrees

Chinese new yearHappy Chinese New Year, Modern Philosophers!

It’s the Year of the Goat, and I thought I’d ring in the new year with a My Top 5 post about the only thing Chinese of which I have any knowledge: the food.

Oddly enough, I used to hate Chinese food when I was kid.  Whenever we’d go out for it, I never had any idea what to order, so it made me dislike all Chinese food in general.

Over time, though, my taste buds evolved and entered into a trade agreement with the Chinese restaurants in every city in which I’ve worked or lived.  When I ran the Tutoring Clinic in California, I spent a lot of time at the Chinese place across the street.  It was a combo Chinese restaurant and donut shop.  I was in unhealthy food paradise!

Enough babbling.  Here’s my list:

Adm. Wei Han1. General Tso’s Chicken  Could any other entree possibly top the list?  The man was a General and also the greatest chef in the history of that great country!  Want to know why China is always outpacing the United States?  They put their fast food chicken future in the hands of a General, while we put ours in the finger licking hands of a mere Colonel.

2. Sesame Chicken  Can you tell me how to get, how to get the best Sesame Chicken on the street?  There is a caveat to this entry, however.  When I worked in Stamford, CT, there was a place that made the greatest Sesame Chicken I have EVER tasted.  I became addicted and would eat nothing else when we ordered from that place.  However, I have never been able to find another Chinese restaurant that makes its Sesame Chicken the same way.  The place across from the Tutoring Clinic came the closest, but that delicious recipe seems lost to me forever, thereby costing this entree the top spot on the list.

3. Lemon Chicken  I’ve always heard that the college years are our experimental ones.  While I was at NYU, Lemon Chicken became my go to Chinese entree for some reason.  I’ve never quite figured out why, and I’ve rarely ordered it again since earning my degree.  Maybe someone with a BFA just doesn’t do Lemon Chicken?

4. Sweet & Sour Pork  Yes, Modern Philosophers, I do eat something other than chicken!  Sweet & Sour Pork was the first entree I ever really developed a taste for, so you could call it my Gateway Entree to the rest of the Chinese menu.  For the record, I hate any place that serves the sweet & sour sauce on the side.  I want it put directly on my entree so it has a chance to congeal a little in the takeout container on the journey home.

chinese food5. Shrimp with Lobster Sauce  I live in Maine now, Modern Philosophers, so it woulda been wicked awkward not to pick something with a little lobstah in it.   While I’m generally not a seafood guy, sometimes, you’ve just got to mix it up.  When that feeling hits, this is my entree.

Honorable Mention: Egg Foo Young, Beef with Broccoli, Boneless Spare Ribs

What about you, Modern Philosophers?  Do you agree with My Top 5?  What did I miss?  What would you have excluded?  Has this post made you crave Chinese food?

Happy Chinese New Year!

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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32 Responses to My Top 5 Chinese Food Entrees

  1. El Guapo says:

    I’ve heard there was never actually a General Tso.

  2. Kung Pao Chicken is absolutely the best, but I’m a total sucker for cashews. Pretty much anything with shrimp, and broccoli and chicken. Chinese food is a little tough for me because I get to flash my hipster celiac card, and not get to eat anything with soy sauce/any sauce…which is most of it; but there’s a lot of rice dishes, and that’s awesome. Otherwise I stick with Pho. Except that’s Vietnamese. And it isn’t Vietnamese New Year.

  3. Pamela Edwards says:

    Your top 5 is pretty great . To add to …Won Ton Soup , Shu Mai , Chicken Wings , Moo Goo Gai Pan , Spring Rolls & Dumplings . Yes , you started a craving . Break out the chopsticks .

  4. D. Parker says:

    I expected more lobster considering the whole Maine thing, but actually really like your list and similar to what I had earlier.
    But thanks to Tamarah I’m now thinking of Pho. 😉
    Happy Chinese New Year! 🙂

  5. E.L. Wicker says:

    I love Indian, Mexican, Italian etc, but I really don’t like Chinese food. I can’t put my finger on why though. I do love prawn crackers though!

  6. Nest Nearly Empty says:

    Here in the UK we are little obsessed with your little cardboard boxes for Chinese take out. We see them in films all the time but they aren’t here in UK…. I wonder why? We have ugly foil or plastic dishes and we want your cool film ones! Lol

  7. alesiablogs says:

    Generals get in more trouble…hum…think Petraus. On the other hand when did Col. Sanders ever do anything wrong? Kill a chicken…Oh well…..

  8. jan says:

    Happy Chinese New Year to you as well. My favorite is Sweet and Sour soup…

  9. ksbeth says:

    moo shoo pork, almond chicken and egg rolls and ….)

  10. Louise says:

    hmmm sesame chicken, sweet and sour pork, egg rolls……..god i am hungry now and the best chinese place nearest to me is closed on a subnday. Happy goat year……Stay warm .

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