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Man Up Your Chinese Takeout Order

Do NOT order orange chicken


First of all, orange chicken is not an American dish, no matter what your hipper-than-thou friends might suggest. Orange chicken is a variation of General Tso's Chicken, and is indeed more popular in the US than in China, but it's not some totally American creation made to fool white people. Orange chicken is Chinese food, through and through... but that doesn't mean you should eat it.

Orange chicken is arguably the most popular Chinese dish in America because of one simple reason: it doesn't really taste like Chinese food. With its sweet, mildly orange-flavored sauce, orange chicken tastes more like a sort of crowd-pleasing candy than a legitimate Hunan delicacy. This is most likely where the myth concerning the dish's possible American origins came from: orange chicken doesn't really taste all that Chinese, so many Americans assumed it wasn't (whether out of jingoistic pride or personal shame, we shall never know). 

Either way, orange chicken is a cop-out dish. It makes everybody happy (not unlike American Idol), and is therefore boring, pointless, and completely unimpressive (not unlike American Idol). If you wanna man up your Chinese takeout, you better get something unusual. Something rare. Something nobody would ever, in their right, Americanized mind, would ever think of ordering.

With that in mind: 


Always ask if duck vaginas are in season

As always, Louis CK is helpful when it comes to squaring up what is or isn't manly. As he says, duck vaginas are material proof that we, as a species, have completely annihilated another species. As nothing is more inherently manly than genocide and meat-eating, the wholesale consumption of duck vagina will exponentially increase your takeout meal's manliness factor.

If you're not willing to take the plunge and order mallard sexual organs, however, I can't blame you. Still, don't hesitate to order something totally unusual and broaden your horizons. In San Francisco, I once received a bowl of chicken foot soup, which is exactly what it sounds like.

The chefs had cut off a chicken's foot, boiled it in some broth, added some vegetables, and served it to us. With the foot still in it. It was actually pretty disgusting, and not entirely pleasant to look at even when I wasn't eating it, but it was different. After that meal, I could safely say I had tasted chicken foot soup, and regale innumerable future acquaintances with its specifics.

Imagine how boring my night would have been if I'd settled for a few scoops of orange chicken and white rice.


Order a week's worth of food, and eat it all in a twenty minute period


You know what they say about Chinese food: it makes you hungry an hour after you eat it. One could technically try to avoid this problem by simply eating Chinese food alongside less carb-heavy dishes, or by eating very small amounts of Chinese food throughout an entire day, but balls to that -- we're trying to man up your Chinese takeout, not make it safer.

Rather than bitching out and attempting to safely consume your noodles and rice over the span of a day, cram all that food into your body in less than an hour. Conventional wisdom says you'll be hungry again in an hour, no matter how much you eat? Then fuck conventional wisdom, right in the eye, by rapidly eating enough Chinese food to make you literally burst at the seams, thus making you feel totally full for the next day and a half.

This may not be the "safest" way to enjoy your dinner, but who gives a shit? You've managed to satisfy yourself in an orgy of gluttony and lo mein, while simultaneously flipping the bird to the status quo. Who cares if your body will be rocked by indigestion for the next 48 hours? You've won, and that's what counts.

You will, however, need to know how to deal with the inevitable bowel movements which accompany any good Chinese dinner, which is where our next point comes into play: 


The greasier, the better


Greasy food, in addition to being one of those wonderful vices which will kill you quicker than a bullet despite feeling like total bliss, is actually your friend when it comes to pure Chinese-food-binging utility. Greasy foods may clot your arteries and eventually cause a coronary, yes, but they also come out the other end much easier than healthy, organic foods. If you're following the above steps (and shame on you if you aren't), you'll probably have eaten eight pounds of shrimp and battered chicken by the time you're finished, and all that food will need somewhere to go -- and fast.

Greasy food will get rid of all the grunting and clenching and pushing that you might get from a huge dinner full of red meat or shellfish; those lo mein noodles, so shiny with grease that it seemed they'd been slathered with hair gel, are your friends once it comes time to sit on that porcelain throne we must all eventually retire to. It will be messy, yes, but it will also be quick and relatively painless.

Ideally, you might as well sit on the toilet before you even start eating. Have your enormous Chinese dinner while sitting on the pot, and you won't even have to get up when it comes time to return the food back to the Earth from whence it came.


Learn how to handle your leftovers


I saw the subpar Schwarzenegger movie End of Days a long time ago, and while I can remember almost nothing about the actual plot, one moment in particular stands out in my mind. 

Arnold plays Jericho Cane (yes, really), a badass, burnt-out ex-cop or something. Just to quickly show how incredibly badass and burnt-out he is, the director decides to show us how Jericho Cane eats breakfast. The audience watches in testosteriffic suspense as Arnold wakes up, chugs a bottle of whiskey, takes a day-old Chinese takeout box from the fridge, pours the contents into a blender, liquifies it, and then chugs the whole thing like it was a motherfucking protein shake

This is the only admissible way to deal with your Chinese leftovers, if you're shameful enough to have any in the first place. You ideally should have consumed every last gram of food the night before, but if you found yourself incapable of completing the task, then feel free to make yourself a goddamned Chinese food smoothie the morning after.

Because that is fucking awesome.


Steve attanasie

Double Viking