Chinese food is so subjective. Well, I guess all food, ethnic or otherwise is.
I grew up with the typical, Chinese take out in the Bay Area only to find that it wasn't really Chinese when I got to the age of majority. It was faux Chinese sold to unsuspecting Americans like me.
How would a typical, white middle class kid from the SF suburbs know that egg foo young was a completely false Chinese fair sold to stupid Americans like me, since the gold rush by entrepreneurs who knew how to make a buck off of Argonaut dreamers?
Then, I had a Chinese business partner who grew up in Jakarta that tried to enlighten me by taking me to so called Chinese restaurants and ordering something that wasn't on the menu which he told me was a house specialty and was written somewhere on the outside of restaurants in Cantonese or, some other Chinese dialect, Like the In-an-Out Burger secret menu. As I couldn't speak any Chinese dialect and could not recognize Chinese characters, I was completely vulnerable to his cultural superiority, language skills and wit.
Later I religiously watched Martin Yan on PBS and thought I was finally enlightened. I learned how to make delicious Chinese fried rice from his shows But, everything tastes better with soy sauce on it. Doesn't it? Kind of like Ketchup on typical American fare.
And, I worked for two years in Oakland's Chinatown with many Asian coworkers from all parts of that continent, who also tried to enlighten me as to what real Chinese was. Dim sum at Peones. The Silver Dragon to see if the Oakland mayor was there.
Hey, all I know is I enjoyed it and really didn't want to know what was in those dumplings. But it was fascinating that most of the local Chines restaurants were owned by Japanese or Korean entrepreneurs. While most of the sushi bars that my coworkers liked were owned by Chinese nationals. What the heck was up with that?
I'm still confused. And find interesting adventure in small Chinese restaurants where I can order crispy duck or honey walnut prawns to put over my fried rice. I actually prefer plain, white rice but the spouse nixes that in favor of the fried rice. At least I always get to order BBQ pork fried rice in deference to her preference for chicken fried rice. That is our compromise.
Oh, and if any of this confuses all of you, I grew up with a mother who claimed German heritage eating some supposed German foods. But then I had a actual, German girlfriend in college who said that not only were those foods that my mother claimed to be German inauthentic, the language she spoke that she said was German was in fact something completely different. It seems my mother had come from a diaspora of Germans who migrated to Russia from the late 1800s to the early 1900s and then all moved to the Dakotas during WW1 and the Russian revolution. They had been out of the motherland long enough to develop their own dialect and food preferences that were local adaptations of their Germanic heritage. Worse, their new diaspora in the U.S. had evolved their language and food into something different twice removed from their original, German heritage.