To celebrate the Asian Heritage Month, we're teaming up with NTD Television and Epoch Times to find the most authentic Chinese restaurants in America. Click the RESTAURANTS tab to vote for your favorite Chinese restaurant.
We're searching for the best places in five categories of Chinese cuisine:
Sichuan cuisine carries strong local characteristics and mainly comprises of ingredients from Chongqing, Chengdu, northern and southern Chuan regions. Sichuan cuisine employs close to 40 different techniques in its preparation including: braising, basting, dry-steaming, oil dripping, and different kinds of frying - stir fry, pan fry, deep fry, quick fry, dry stir-fry, soft fry and so on. Sichuan cuisine pays particular attention to "balancing the flavors" and regards flavor as its foundation. The six basic flavors concerned are tingly spicy, hot spicy, sweet, salty, tangy, and bitter. More flavors are produced through the combination of two or more of the basic flavors. The secret of the famous "hot" Sichuan cuisine lies in the skillful use of hot chili peppers for its vibrant red color and subtle spicy fragrance. Sichuan cuisine has 24 basic flavors - the most among all the Chinese cuisines.
Shandong cuisine, also called Lu cuisine, is the earliest and most influential cuisine in China. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, many royal courtiers came from Shandong province to the Imperial Palace, and with then came their recipes. Eventually Shandong dishes rose to ultimate recognition in Beijing, which was the capital of several co-existing dynasties at the time. Beijing had no cuisine to call its own since most of the chefs in the King's Imperial kitchen were Shandong master chefs. During this period, Shandong cuisine enjoyed great advancement inside the imperial kitchen. It has the most variety of food types and cooking methods, and its dishes are known for their salty, savory flavor as well as tender and crispy textures.
Cantonese cuisine is known for its wide use of ingredients and creativity. Cantonese chefs are great at customizing food based on the patron's likes and dislikes and can adjust dishes according to seasonal and climatic changes. Cantonese summer and fall dishes taste lighter while the winter and spring dishes pack a richer zest. There's a lot of attention to texture and flavor in Cantonese cuisine. Its basic flavors are sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, salty, and fresh taste. Cantonese dishes have the lightest taste compared with other Chinese cuisines.
The Huaiyang style of cooking emphasizes material selection and uses more sugar than other Chinese cuisines. It is known for its meticulous preparation process and fine balance between rich flavor and pure taste. Huaiyang cuisine focuses on preserving the original flavors of the produce and specializes in braising, stewing, roasting and boiling. These methods bring out the original flavor of the ingredients. Huaiyang dishes borrow fresh, crispy, and tender qualities from southern China and incorporate savor, color, and richness from the north. As a result this cuisine is well-liked by both southerners and northerners.
The long winters of northeast China make local cuisine rely on casserole, stir-fry, qiang and marinating techniques. Northeastern cuisine uses native crops of its mountainous land and is famed for its wild game dishes. Knife skills, shovel skills, command of fire and fire temperature are important in its Chefs' training. Cooking techniques make use of quick stir-fry over high heat, stir-fry over low heat, stewing, barbecuing, glazing and so on. Its dishes are tender but not rare, well-done but not tough. Northeastern recipes are rich in flavors and the dishes are sumptuous and substantial.
Besides the five traditional cuisine systems, there are other authentic restaurants serving Taiwan cuisine, Hunan cuisine, Hot Pot, Chinese BBQ, Noodle, Congee, etc.
How It Works
The Best Chinese Restaurants
Participating restaurants will invite their patrons to vote online for their favorite, most authentic Chinese restaurants through social media platforms and in-store "Best Chinese Cuisine" posters. Voters will get a chance to win weekly dinner vouchers, as well as tickets to the "Feast Asia Banquets" at the prestigious James Beard House.
Top 20 "Best Chinese Restaurants" will be generated by a combination of online votes, mystery diners and panel judges. The "Best Chinese Restaurants" will be given awards on Taste Asia Festival on Times Square in June, 2015.
The Most Authentic Chinese Restaurants
National grand master chefs will visit the top 20 "Best Chinese Restaurants" for tasting. Restaurants will be awarded "The Most Authentic Chinese Restaurants". Selected chefs from our top restaurants will represent the United States to compete in NTD's 7th International Chinese Culinary Competition grand finals in Times Square.
Let the search for America's best, most authentic and delicious Chinese cuisine begin!
Are you a Chinese restaurant serving authentic regional cuisines?
Want to become the hot topic of food critics and foodies?
Yearn to shine at the center of the world Times Square?
Dream to compete in the International Chinese Culinary Competition?
Please contact us at 646-736-2988
The head judge of NTD's International Chinese Culinary Competition since its inception in 2008. Apprenticing under famed master chefs in Szechuan and Shandong cuisines, Qu has over 30 years' experience as a chef. Earlier in his career, he worked at top restaurants in Beijing such as Beijing Hotel (est.1900, known as the "Home base of Chinese cooking") and Feng Ze Yuan Hotel (est.1930, famed for authentic Shandong cuisine), where he regularly prepared state dinners for high-level visiting dignitaries. In the early 1990s, Qu became the executive chef at several Chinese restaurants in Tokyo, Japan, and later in Los Angeles, USA. He holds a bachelor degree in culinary arts from China's Beijing Technology & Business University.
Hailing from "The City of Chefs," Shunde, Guangzhou China, Chef Luo has received many awards for his outstanding contributions to the Asian food industry during his 30-year career. He is known as one of Beijing's "Top 4 Chefs" and has worked as an executive chef for some of the highest reputable restaurants in China. Many of Luo's former apprentices work as head chefs in China's five-star hotels. The titles, "Medal Master of Chinese Cooking," "Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Chef," and "Huang Tai Asian Kitchen Medal" are affirmations of his exquisite cuisine. Chef Luo was the gold medal winner in the 4th International Chinese Culinary Competition in New York's Times Square. In 2014, Chef Luo is the sole master chef representative for the State of New York to showcase in the prestigious Great American Seafood Cookoff.
How it works:
- You help us find top authentic Chinese restaurants in Greater New York and San Francisco Bay Area.
- We send our world class judges.
- We crown the best restaurants in the five cuisines.
Only The Beginning
After we uncover and rate the best restaurants in metro New York and San Francisco Bay Area, a whole lot more excitement will take place on June 26 and 27 on Times Square during the Taste Asia Festival, and then on June 28, two Feast Asia banquets will provide you with ultimate Asian cuisine experience, click here to reserve your seats.