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!