What should I know about ordering "authentic Yuxiang" items on a menu?

I found this;

My daughter has lived in NYC for a few years, but has been on an extended visit here in the outer reaches of the SF Bay area, and ordering from this place. I sort of assume its a chain, but I don’t know.

https://www.noodleorrice.com/

They have a menu with a list of “Authentic Chinese Food” items , and I’m trying to add a screen shot of the first dozen or so.

I skipped some, but these are from the end of the "authentic " menu.

Some sounds more interesting than others.

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Not the only important fact, but one important one anyway, is that each instance of the word “Authentic” remains nearly meaningless until you successfully interrogate the person who wrote it. :slight_smile:

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“Some sounds more interesting than others.“

Ain’t that the truth…

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Well we got the usual suspects yesterday, like some dry fried green beans that seamed too greasy, but I may go back for a few things when it’s just me.

So no boiled pig blood curd in chili sauce or stir fried pork intestines w/pickled peppers? You disappoint me.:grinning:

I might try the “intestines”. I’m assuming that’s chitlins or tripe, right?

Barring a bad mistake in translation, it would have to be, yes.

Intestines should be chitlins in this case, especially since they seem to use tripe in some of the descriptions. Based on the names, those tripe dishes seen accurate to dishes I’ve seen, as does the intestines dish sound accurate to a dish my family had ordered before. I personally am not a big intestines fan, though I enjoy most of the other offal.

I believe that anyone who IS a big intestines fan should be required to get a cute bumper sticker that says “Big Intestines Fan”, just to throw off everyone else’s concentration a little bit. :slight_smile:

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Are any of these “authenti Yuxiang” dishes vegetarian? Obviously the ones with that sauce on various meats aren’t, but for the eggplant ones, is there typically also pork just because they put pork in everything, or is it vegetarian?

I don’t know. I’ve not been there in person, and the the copy and paste is probably from a delivery company because there is no more information. I might go by and see what I can see.

Just looking at their menu I would not expect to find anything “authentic” at the restaurant. Be it Yuxiang, or some other regional Chinese cuisine.

Thank you.

It seems as if it’s not a chain, which is unusual where its located.

This review made me chuckle

"Noodle or Rice is a fantastic authentic Chinese restaurant, with amazing food and top of the line service. If you’re looking for Americanized dishes that all taste the same, go to the place where they serve “sugar chicken” and everything is in heated serving trays.
However, if you want authentic flavors that are varied and delicious, made to order, and served piping hot by some of the most friendly people you will meet, then this is the place for you! …
On my most recent visit, my friends and I had General Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken, "

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Fish fragrant (魚香) is a sauce cooking method. Its presence implies nothing about what the main ingredient in the dish is. One of Fuchsia Dunlop’s favorite things on the planet is fish fragrant eggplant (https://youtu.be/4uU6DwAi2S8 ) which I started making at home, and has been very popular with the kids (who don’t always warm to spicy food). I tried pan-searing some triangles of tofu and doing that in the fish fragrant style, and that worked well for my wife, not so much for the kids. I have yet to try doing an animal protein in the fish fragrant style.

As far as the menu of this restaurant, it strikes me as what I would expect from a restaurant that caters to both Chinese-experienced and Chinese-naïve palates. It’s too bad that the web menu doesn’t include the Chinese names of the dishes; it’s impossible for me to even guess if some of those authentic dishes actually are, or not. The style does not strike me as showing a single consistent regional cuisine (which is what I usually look for in authentic Chinese cooking), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they do it badly.

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This is something that’s sort of taken for granted when Americans talk about authenticity in American regional specialties. If a sign out front says “South-South-Western-Eastern-Northern North Carolina BBQ”, and you look inside and the menu includes Reuben sandwiches, tortas, deep-fried zucchini, sausage omelettes, AND our famous BBQ, you might start to wonder. :slight_smile:

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True enough. But most Chinese restaurants aren’t going to go the “Big Night” route of authenticity-or-bankruptcy. Unless they’re in a place like the Flushing NY Chinatown, they must cater to an audience of varying levels of knowledge and experience of Chinese cookery, and adapt accordingly. The trick is trying to figure out what that actual thing is that they do best.

Maybe the analogy that comes to mind from my own experience is of New England seafood shacks. Some of them have expertly Greek salads and spanakopita alongside the deep fried fisherman’s platter, and some of them have Portuguese style seafood stews. You can infer something about what culinary background they hail from and what they do well, from what’s on that menu.

Getting back to the original post, the point here is that YuXiang is a fairly common, easily made flavor. Any of them are probably fair game; you don’t necessarily have to opt for intestines or aorta for it to be authentic (though the latter two probably are).

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold