The Tang: Does Authenticity In Chinese-American Food Matter?


Hi, my name is Eric. I graduated from NYU’s hospitality program in 2015. I started cooking when I got into college. I spent most of my time learning, starting from the classics: French cooking, Italian cooking. And then I started seeing connections in between – like, you know, this technique is similar to that technique in China. So I just kept learning, kept reading cookbooks after cookbooks. Chinese food, I feel like the presumption or the stereotype, if you may, is that it lacks character. It’s greasy, it’s unhealthy. But even now, in these past five years, it’s changed so much. I feel like nowadays, it’s better represented, but there’s still a long way to go in terms of bringing different categories, different items, different techniques, different flavors I’m not a big advocate of authenticity. If you put care into something, you can make it good, and that’s all that matters. If it’s good, that’s all that matters Like, I’m not saying authenticity is bad, but if you can bring more authentic food from China to the States it’ll definitely be helpful in terms of elevating the image and the quality of the food scene. 吃饭了! (Time to eat!) What are you tasting? It’s really vinegary, but they also use chili oil So I think it’s meant more as a palate cleanser in between these noodles It’s just like really fresh. It’s so soft I really like the noodles, because he talked about how they steam it So it’s still al dente, but it has the flavor infused in it already But it has a really good texture. It IS filling, but it’s not dense. It has a really good flavorful, savory taste to it. I would eat this every single day! Price point is right, and it’s a huge portion. I would definitely come back. I don’t think I can even finish this on my own. It’s totally different from the Korean jjajangmyeon. The Korean is much sweeter and its heavier on the sauce. I personally like the Korean one better, but this is pretty good too. My mom’s side of the family is from Beijing, where this dish is supposedly originated from When I went to Beijing I had zhajiangmian as well. And the thing is, there, it’s also a lot heavier on the sauce And it’s definitely not as savory as this. I think this one’s lighter on the palate I like it a lot more

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