British Chinese takeout is shocking Americans on TikTok

"A Chinese" British Chinese food

American Chinese food is definitely not authentic, and has a distinct style that caters to American taste. Chinese food in the U.K. also has a distinct style, and Americans are shocked by the differences. In recent weeks there’s been a trend of U.K. TikTok creators unboxing their Chinese takeaway orders that are leaving people in the United States perplexed.

The first difference is grammatical. Instead of saying they’re getting Chinese food, people in the U.K. commonly say that they’ve gotten “A Chinese.” To Americans, is almost sounds like they have a Chinese person held captive.


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The next glaring difference is the absence of soy sauce, and flavor profiles with ginger and garlic. American Chinese food usually has two categories: soy sauce dishes and fried dishes. It looks like U.K. Chinese food is mostly fried food.

Not only do they have American Chinese food staples like egg rolls, spring rolls, and breaded chicken, they also serve chips (known as French fries.) Pretty much ever British Chinese food order on TikTok includes chips, which is a combination that we surprisingly don’t do in the United States.

“Salt and Pepper” chips and “Salt and Pepper” chicken are two popular orders that include bell peppers, not simply ground pepper. Another popular dish called “Crispy Beef” is also fried, and is more on the saucy side. It looks like it may have some soy sauce in the flavor profile.

One of the oddest things about U.K. Chinese food orders is the fact that it always includes yellow curry sauce, which is generally poured over everything on the plate. They also have bright red sweet and sour sauce, which Americans are more familiar with in Chinese dishes. This, too, is poured over the plate, and sometimes even mixed with the curry sauce.

Friend chicken and pork balls often come with sweet and sour sauce, but more sweet and sour sauce is often order.


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