Are you the sort of person who always orders orange chicken when they visit a Chinese restaurant? There's nothing wrong with orange chicken; it's a really tasty dish, which is probably why it is so popular. But if it's the only thing you ever order, you're missing out on a whole other host of Chinese dishes that are also delicious! Here are a couple of dishes to consider trying if you're ready to branch out beyond orange chicken.
Ma Po Tofu
If you're open to trying a tofu Chinese dish, ma po tofu is the way to go. This dish is made with fermented bean paste and chili peppers, so it has both spicy and umami flavors. Most versions also call for some sesame oil and garlic, rounding out the flavor profile. Ma po tofu is best served over white rice to absorb the delicious sauces. You'll see this at many Chinese restaurants, but especially at those that focus more on Sichuan cuisine.
Yangzhou Fried Rice
Chinese cuisine includes a lot of different fried rice dishes, but this is one of the best-known among them. Yangzhou fried rice is typically made with medium-grain white rice. It contains plenty of ham, shrimp, and peas, giving it a well-rounded flavor. It's a complete meal in and of itself; there's no need for a side dish. If you want to introduce kids to Chinese food, this is a great dish to start with since it's mildly flavored and approachable.
Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao chicken is a really popular Chinese dish consisting of chicken in a sweet and sour sauce. The sauce contains chili oil, so it has a little heat, but not too much for the average palate. Kung Pao chicken is best served over white rice. It's a healthier choice than orange chicken since it's lightly pan-fried instead of being battered and deep-fried.
Beef and Broccoli
This dish has a simple name, and it is exactly what that name suggests. Strips of beef and sprigs of broccoli are cooked in a savory sauce made from oyster sauce and soy sauce. The dish is served over white rice for a complete meal. Some Chinese restaurants also make chicken and broccoli, which is the same dish made with chicken instead of beef.
If you feel like you're stuck in an orange chicken rut, order one of these dishes instead. Chinese food is incredibly tasty and diverse, so it's worth tasting some varied options now and then.