Minnesota Rice

Showcasing Asian cuisine in the Twin Cities.

China Restaurant

Chinese-American 401 N Grove St, Blue Earth, MN 56013 May 2020 $2.10 - $18.25 /bechinarestaurant

Eating at China Restaurant was an intense personal experience. I (Paulina) grew up in China Restaurant. My parents own China Restaurant and I grew up eating the food from China Restaurant everyday. When I was younger, I made menu sculptures on the floor and did my homework in the booths until I was old enough to wait tables and run the restaurant. I brought Sandy along to China Restaurant so she could see how I grew up and taste the food of my childhood. Because of my personal connection, I had to feature this restaurant as part of our project, even though it's located in Southern Minnesota. I'm going to switch POV's starting now (sorry, English teachers).

The interior of China Restaurant was exquisite - there were red chairs, golden artwork on tables, shimmering curtains, and gleaming chandeliers. It was a fancy restaurant with aesthetically pleasing furniture and color theme -- from Sandy's eyes, it was not something she expected from a Chinese restaurant in Blue Earth. We got the chance to see the kitchen and witness the behind the scenes of running a restaurant. With 30 years of experience under his belt, Paulina’s father (Kinh Hoong) prepares each dish fresh daily.

We chose dishes recommended by Paulina, which are most popular among customers.

Orange beef

Orange beef is double-fried beef with an orange glaze, with steamed broccoli lining the edges of the plate (this was also Sandy's favorite dish). The crispy batter surrounding the meat crumbles in your mouth, leading you to the layer of crunchy beef. The orange sauce had a fresh authentic orange taste, whereas other restaurants' orange sauces taste artificial, vinegary, and don't have an orange flavor. The vinegar, soy sauce, and orange peels made the dish pop in our mouths. The steamed broccoli on the side balanced out the orange beef. Paulina likes pairing this dish with lo mein.

Shrimp lo mein

Lo mein is soft noodles stir fried with shrimp, carrots, onion, cabbage, and celery. The shrimp was large, juicy, and seared to perfection. The vegetables balanced out the oil and sauces. Lo mein had thick noodles and a soft, chewy texture. Lo mein can be eaten on its own or as a side dish. It has all you need - meat, carbs, and veggies.

Crab rangoon

Crab rangoons are deep fried wontons with savory cream cheese stuffed inside. This is a staple appetizer that most people include with their orders. Paulina was waiting months to eat this - she pictures crab rangoons as a comfort food. Folded into four peaks, the wonton skin had a crispy, golden body and crunchy tips. The inside filling of the crab rangoon was the star -- the warm cream cheese melts into your mouth as you chew on the crunchy wonton skin. The filling was savory, with crab meat, garlic, and salt mixed with the cheese. Paulina has tried many crab rangoons, and has never found one to compare to this one.

Egg roll

Egg rolls are another popular appetizer. The plump egg roll, encased in crispy brown skin, is stuffed with beef, cabbage, and onions. This egg roll is quite filling, especially for an appetizer. The best part is the crunchy skin that envelopes the savory filling.

Shrimp chow mein

Shrimp chow mein was a light entree with shrimp, cabbage, onion, and carrots glazed with a white sauce and topped with crunchy chow mein noodles. The white sauce complemented the dish and made it light and flavorful. The texture in this dish was exciting - when you bite into it you first experience the crunchy chow mein noodles and then the crisp vegetable and chewy shrimp. It paired well with the rice. Shrimp chow mein is a great dish if you are looking for something light, but filling and tasty.

Cashew chicken

Cashew chicken was a flavorful dish filled with cashews, chicken, diced carrots, and celery with a flavorful sauce, The crunchiness of the cashews in each bite brought out the textures of the chewy and soft chicken and vegetables. The star of the dish was the cashews, which elevated the sauce with its nutty flavors. Sandy would have never expected nuts to be featured in an entree -- usually she would eat nuts by themselves as a snack. The cooked cashews were soft and paired well with the rest of the ingredients. This is Paulina's favorite, go-to dish at China Restaurant - she likes to order it spicy, because it adds an extra kick.

As the only Asian restaurant in Blue Earth, China Restaurant is a gem. It remains one of the best rated Chinese restaurants in Southern Minnesota, and has won the title as a "Top 100 Chinese Restaurant" in the United States. The decor in the restaurant is stunning, and has elements of Chinese culture embedded in it, from jade statues of bok choy, lanterns, and a lucky waving cat. Their menu has a variety of dishes for everyone in the family and can accommodate to most dietary needs. China Restaurant is a great place to visit especially when surrounded by family, accentuated by its multiple family tables. It's a deeply personal place for Paulina, and we invite you to get a bite of delicious Chinese food in rural Minnesota.