What Are Some Descriptions of Common Dishes on Chinese Restaurant Menus?

Wonton soup is a flavorful broth made with traditional Chinese wontons. Thin wonton wrappers are filled with minced pork, rolled into shape and boiled before joining vegetables, green onions and sometimes noodles in a hot soup that typically is served before dinner. Sweet-and-sour pork is often recognized by its reddish-orange color. Bite-size pieces of marinated pork are battered, deep-fried and then served over rice with a tangy sauce made of brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar and soy sauce.

Kung Pao, or Gong Bao, chicken is a spicy Chinese stir-fry that combines chicken, peanuts and chili peppers. In many Chinese-American variations, the chicken is dusted with cornstarch and deep-fried. The dish may also include stir-fried vegetables.

Eggs rolls are popular appetizers and side dishes on Chinese restaurant menus. Barbecued pork, cabbage, bean sprouts and other vegetables are wrapped inside a dough made of water, flour and eggs. The rolls are then deep-fried until crispy and golden.

Chow mein is a traditional Cantonese dish that is commonly served in Chinese-American restaurants. Crispy stir-fried noodles are combined with onions, celery, chicken and soy sauce in most recipes. Some restaurants serve soft, steamed noodles with additional vegetables. Beef, pork, shrimp and tofu chow mein are also common.

Spring rolls are similar to egg rolls but are lighter and often do not contain meat. The thin wrappers do not contain eggs and typically are deep-fried to a bright golden color.