Chinese

Chinese

In Scarborough, we are treated to the diverse and varied portrait of Chinese cuisine. Gone are the days when Chinese food in Toronto--and, to an extent, North America--only invoked steaming bowls of chop suey and sautéing woks of General Tso's chicken.

The local classics, well-established community centres of taste and aroma, include fiery Hakka Indian and Szechuan restaurants, as well as hearty Cantonese fare. The pickles and vegetables of Northern Chinese cuisine are found in this city as well, and more recently, the spices and spongy nan of Xinjiang cuisine have taken root in our diverse culinary soils.

Dishes

Char Siu

You might find that this bright red barbecue pork appears in so common of Chinese dishes--pork buns, especially--that you miss out on what makes it so spectacular. Note its sweetness, carefully marinated with hoisin, rice wine, and five-spice, grilled over ... View More or Locate

La Mian

The first ingredient of every bowl of la mian noodles is hard work. If you hear a rubbery tug from a restaurant kitchen followed by the unmistakable slap-slap against a well-floured counter, that's the sound of a skilled chef turning ... View More or Locate

Manchurian Chicken

This spicy dish wasn't forged from the flames of Manchu, but like the long-reigning empire after which it was probably named, its heat will scorch your tongue for a long time. Instead, Manchurian chicken is a staple of Hakka Indian ... View More or Locate

Ma Po Tofu

This is found in so many menus that it's easy to think of nothing else but spicy soft tofu. But the hallmark of this flagship Szechuan dish marks many of its compatriots in the cuisine: the citrusy fragrance of the ... View More or Locate

Xinjiang Lamb Dumplings

Biting into these delicate steamed pockets, some have said, displaces every expectation you might have of where to locate a Chinese dumpling. The wrapping is sturdier and not folded with twists or pot sticker crescents, but instead like hefty houses. ... View More or Locate

Chinese

Culture

The prickle of Szechuan peppercorns in mapo tofu is equally at home in this city’s Chinese culinary landscape as the lamb dumplings underneath a cloud of steam, and the barbecue pork buns that stuff the trays of bakeries.

The Chinese cuisines (in the plural) of Toronto’s east end are as diverse as the origins of its migrants, from all provinces of the home country.

When it comes to Chinese food in Scarborough, one thing’s for sure: you’ll never just settle for sweet and sour or General Tso chicken!

Chinese

History

The popular Eight Cuisines of Chinese Cooking, incredibly, do not apply here in Scarborough. Chinese migrants to Canada came predominantly to British Columbia through the California Gold Rush, and then across the Pacific from Guangdong and Fujian in the Southeast. Dim sum and savoury soups from these regions abundantly feed the fortunate residents of this city.

But Chinese migrants from other regions, especially after the opening of Canadian immigration in 1967, brought their diverse flavours and aromas here. Szechuan and Hunan migrants brought different interpretations of spice and heat, as did the Hakka Chinese from India. Migrants from Xinjiang in the Northeast brought the aromatic, meaty and wheat-based dishes of Central Asia. What resulted is a Scarborough brimming with culinary diversity, serving up new ways to think about what Chinese food is.