Chinese cuisine is very popular worldwide and has a history dating back over 1000 years. There are so many scrumptious dishes to choose from, and you can quickly whip up any of these recipes at home to enjoy Chinese food whenever you want.
Here are some classic favorites that anyone can prepare.
You can use frying pans and oven dishes for these recipes, or do it all in one pot with a Dutch oven. If you aren’t familiar with Dutch ovens, they look like this: https://unocasa.com/products/enameled-cast-iron-dutch-oven.
General Tso’s Chicken
This famous Szechuan recipe serves 6 people.
- 2 teaspoons sesame or wok oil
- 2 pounds cubed chicken breast (skins removed)
- 3/4 cup of your favorite hoisin sauce
- 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari (use tamari if you eat gluten-free foods)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup rice or rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- One inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 6 green onions, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Rice or noodles (for serving)
- Fresh cilantro leaves (for serving, optional)
In your Dutch oven, first heat the oil. Then brown the chicken cubes for about 5 minutes (the chicken doesn’t have to be fully cooked).
Mix in a separate, small bowl the hoisin sauce, soy sauce or tamari, brown sugar, vinegar, red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. Pour into the Dutch oven with the chicken and stir well. Cover and let simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Put the cornstarch over the chicken mixture and mix well to soak up all the juices from the pan’s bottom.
Now stir in the chopped green onions, sprinkle the cilantro leaves on top, and immediately serve the rice.
Wok-Style Veggies in Honey and Black Bean Sauce
This veggie dish is so delicious, and everyone will want to grab their chopsticks. This recipe serves 6 people.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame or wok oil
- Cubed flesh of 5 Sweet gourds (for 2 cups of flesh. You can use spiny gourds, butternut squash, or dumpling squash)
- 2 medium-sized Chinese cabbage, finely sliced
- Half a small head broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 heads of bok choy, finely sliced
- One 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
- 6 shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 8 canned water chestnuts, drained and minced
- 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste (or not, see below)
- 2 teaspoons black bean paste (or use 3 teaspoons of black bean and garlic paste, if you can find it)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (the juice of 1 lime)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in your Dutch oven first. Then add the sweet gourd flesh, the Chinese cabbage, the broccoli, the bok choy, and the ginger. Saute the veggies for a few minutes. Next add the water chestnuts, shitake mushrooms, and remaining ingredients.
Mix well all of the ingredients, heat through for 5 minutes, and serve with rice.
Note: If you want to add cubed tofu, add it at the end and heat it through. You would need about 1/2 cup tofu per person.
Shrimp and Broccoli Lo Mein
This dish serves 8 people.
Ingredients for the sauce
- 2/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (or other favorite hot sauce)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sesame or wok oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
Ingredients for the noodles
- 1 pound lo mein noodles (or you can use whole grain spaghetti noodles)
- 1/4 cup sesame or wok oil
- 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 small heads broccoli florets (about 5 scant cups)
- 2 cups julienned carrots
- 2 red bell peppers, finely sliced (about 2 cups)
- Sesame seeds, fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
First cook the noodles, following the directions on the package. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce. Stir well and set aside.
Now heat the oil in your Dutch oven over medium heat, add the shrimp, and cook till pink (about 4 minutes). Take the shrimp out of the pot. Set aside.
Put the vegetables into the Dutch oven and saute for 6 minutes or till tender.
Return the shrimp to the pan, add the sauce and the noodles, and stir well. Heat through for about 2 minutes.
Serve with the cilantro leaves and sesame seeds.
Happy Chinese eating at home!