Friday, October 30, 2009

Status Update

Going to start posting on this blog more regularly. It's going to depend on getting interviews from the people who actually know more about the history of dishes that were served at Yang Chow. For example, there are dishes that we used to serve, but have taken off the menu as they weren't popular back in the day, like jellyfish, pig ears, and drunken chicken.

Pig ears and drunken chicken are actually no longer allowed by the health department. It's in the process. I'll go into more detail once I get it.

If you are curious about any particular dishes or styles of Chinese cooking, feel free to leave a comment and I'll go do some investigating.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Many people have questions and concerns about monosodium glutamate, more commonly known as MSG, a flavor-enhancer used in Chinese cooking.

Heavily sauced dishes with lots of flavor from soy sauce or ketchup require less of it, if any at all.  Other dishes that are more bland and less colored, like Chicken and Broccoli, require more MSG.  Beef and Broccoli does not require much because soy sauce is added for flavor whereas Chicken and Broccoli has a chicken broth base and is only seasoned with salt.

Baby Sauteed Shrimp may seem like a candidate for MSG because the sauce is clear, but very little is used in the dish's preparation.  Adding too much MSG would destroy the plump nature of the shrimp, and the natural flavor by itself is part of the appeal.

As always, anything at Yang Chow can be made to your taste, including dishes without any MSG whatsoever.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Keeping It Real!

A lot of places claim to have authentic Chinese food, but what does it really mean to be authentic?

The dictionary defines authentic as "made or done the same way as an original."  Therefore, it's the process by which things are created that makes them authentic.  Many people wonder if Yang Chow serves authentic Chinese food.  If you are one of the wondering, rest assured:  we still employ the same techniques originally introduced in China.  The flavors are modified here and there to match the preferences of our customers.  Ingredients also vary as cost becomes a factor.

When Yang Chow first opened its doors in 1977, pig ears and jellyfish were on the menu along with some other cold appetizers.  Today, these items are nowhere to be found, and that's due to the lack of demand.  The menu has evolved and contains dishes that are the most popular in order to keep inventory levels down.

Some of the more popular dishes will most likely not be found in any restaurant in China, but a majority of the dishes are considered traditional Mandarin or Szechuan staples ( albeit toned down).

In the end, what matters most is flavor, and simply whether you like it or not!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Yang Chow Name

Yang Chow Restaurant was named after the province and city of its founders.  The city of Yang Chow itself has a storied history of affluence and as a cultural center due its location.

During imperial times, the city was the center of trade for salt, silk, and rice. Located by the Yangtze river and Jinghang Canal, it served as an important port for trade.  With its heightened role, the city became a magnate for wealthy merchants.  Like many modern metropolitan cities, Yang Chow soon became equally well known for its varied offerings of gourmet delicacies and other services catered to merchants with disposable income.

With the association of gourmet dining since imperial times, Yang Chow is a name apt for a restaurant that has slowly grown in popularity in the greater Los Angeles area for quality Chinese cuisine.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The History of Slippery Shrimp

Many customers wonder why Yang Chow's most well known dish is named "Slippery Shrimp."  The name came about in the cooking process -- the shrimp are shelled, butterflied, and then coated in corn starch.  When the shrimp are cooked the first time to seal in the flavor of the shrimp and create the crunchy coating, they are taken out of the wok and place on a plate before being cooked again with the sauce.  The very first time the shrimps were taken out of the wok and placed on a plate, the corn starch coating created a protective surface that made the shrimp slip off the plate.  The final product seems anything but "slippery."

The dish was first introduced at Lotus Garden, a prior restaurant owned by Yang Chow's founders.  Slippery Shrimp did not make its way onto any menus until landing at Yang Chow.  It was, for a time, a special off-the-menu item only served by special request.  Now it is a dish enjoyed by many.