I've part-time at Chinese buffets every chance I got while attending school. In a span of 8 years, I have worked almost all positions in this business and that allowed me to see and learn everything about this business--the good, the bad, and the VERY BAD! I'm here to reveal some of the interesting facts unknown to people outside of this business, answer any questions you couldn't ask your waitress because you're afraid that it's offensive, as well as confirm or bust any "myth" you have about this business and its people.

My Proof:(my last pay stub from the last restaurant I worked at) http://i.imgur.com/ND1sFzr.jpg

Edit I: I already have some interesting facts in mind, if the "right" questions don't get asked for me to tell them I will just post a comment below. Fact 1 Fact 2

Edit II: Alright! I'm back for a few hours, don't worry about being late, I'll answer your questions as I see them in my notification, feel free to leave your questions.

Comments: 417 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

Hurhurrahrah2 karma

Any food that you think is the safest bet at any Chinese restaurants?

wiscbucky5 karma

the typical fried rice and lo mein, they are simple with few ingredients, there aren't many things you can do with them to be greedy and save on costs.

panerli1 karma

why did no one ask him what he WOULDNT order at a chinese restaurant???? ahhhh now i wanna know what i should stay away from...

wiscbucky1 karma

Anything stuffed. You never know if the meat is clean.

prollynotrolly1 karma

Be honest, would you eat there?

wiscbucky1 karma

I do, all the time! I go to buffet dates with my friends while I'm not working and at school.

irishhighviking1 karma

Always fast food American Chinese or any real Chinese joints? Any places with ducks hanging in the window or that make really good bao?

wiscbucky1 karma

Are you asking which type of Chinese food place I worked at? I worked at the typical Chinese buffet and take-out place.

Krinlekey1 karma

How common is it for an American to come in who speaks Chinese? Do most Chinese restaurant workers in the US speak mandarin or cantonese, or is it mixed? My mandarin is not amazing, but not terrible either (according to my Chinese friend). If I tried to order in chinese, would they be just be offended?

wiscbucky1 karma

It's becoming for prevalent with Westerners going abroad to China, for school or business. Most of the restaurant workers speak Mandarin, and this business is dominated by people immigrated from China's Fujian province, the province right next to Taiwan across the ocean. There people came from the City of Fuzhou and the surrounding area, they have their own regional language (people often call it a dialect, suggesting it's a variation of Mandarin, but in reality is a completely different language). They wouldn't be offended, actually a "老外(Lao Why)" (Chinese word for non-chinese person) speaking Chinese is very fascinating to them.

longtimeyisland1 karma

OK. This is really late. I love Chinese food, my girlfriend is from mainland China, I can speak like three words of Chinese. And nowhere in all of my compendium of knowledge, either direct or through my girlfriend have I found a good General Tsos's recipe.

How do you make that tasty tasty chicken happen?

wiscbucky2 karma

The recipe is complicated that's why. People can't make it because it takes so long, even the chef don't make them when they are home. Here is the brief process just to show how time consuming it is to make this dish. I don't have the full recipe though.

  1. Batter is made with eggs and other flavoring. You have to add the right amount of everything to get the right consistency otherwise you can't get the right crunch after you fried the chicken.

  2. The sauce is prepared separately. Lots of ingredient: chicken stock, soy sauce, lots of sugar, that sugary water inside canned pineapple, ground chilli pepper....

  3. Chicken is covered in batter and deep fried, then let to cool.

  4. when order comes in, the fried chicken is again deep fried. Then the sauce is brought to boil in a wok, fried chicken is then pour into the sauce and "stir fried", corn starch is then added to bring that sticky, gooey goodness.

so yes, all the seasoning is done before hand.

Tokbirn1 karma

Okay, I have a question regarding the cooking process.

I love the sesame chicken I get at my local buffet, and there's a Thai place where my sister lives that makes it even better. But I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make it at home. I've done the online recipes, I even found a mix(granted, it was honey sesame), but it's never the same.

Is there something special restaurants do, or do I just need to keep praticing/tweaking etc?

edit: I feel the same about Princess chicken, but I've only ever seen it once. I haven't tried to make that, yet, though...

wiscbucky1 karma

read my reply on how to make (not really) General Tsao chicken. Sesame chicken is GTC without the hot pepper and add sesame.

Edit: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2734wo/ive_worked_parttime_at_chinese_restaurants_in_the/chx72ir

sinz84-3 karma

dogs ?

wiscbucky23 karma

Not at the Chinese restaurants Americans are familiar with.

There are restaurants in some Asian countries that specialize in dog meat, and they farm raise these dogs, just like how people harvest horse meat in some European countries.