I’ve been cooking for about 30 years. I’m pretty comfortable with cooking any “American” dish and my family heritage means it’s essential for me to know how to make great Italian comfort foods. I decided over the last year to branch out a little and try my hand at other styles of cooking.
So, with wok in hand, I’ve started to recreate some of my favorite Chinese takeout dishes. These Chinese take-out dishes are all fairly simple to make. The key to most of these dishes is finding an Asian market nearby. If you can’t, Amazon has a lot of the hard-to-find ingredients.
Hot and Sour Soup
When you make hot and sour soup at home you can tune the heat and sourness level to your liking. Some of these ingredients might seems a little strange but luckily, Sarah at the Woks of Life includes a handy glossary of Chinese cooking ingredients.
I love Egg Rolls dipped in either sweet and sour sauce or that crazy hot Chinese mustard. I always thought these were hard to make but a great short cut is to buy pre-made egg roll wrappers.
Dan Dan Noodles
I first tried Dan Dan Noodles at a delicious Chinese restaurant in Philadelphia. These noodles are include ground pork and are served in a spicy brown sauce. It’s served as an appetizer but it’s hardy enough to act as a main course.
Kung Po Chicken
I like my Chinese takeout spicy so when I make this dish from Tastes Better from Scratch I include plenty of Szechuan and chili peppers.
General Tso’s Chicken is a dish that is a Chinese take-out staple in the US. I was shocked to learn that it actually isn’t an authentic Chinese dish. This dish was invented by a Chinese chef who fled China in the 40s and created the dish while living in Taiwan. In the early 70s he moved to New York City and opened a restaurant where the dish become popular.
The secret to great fried rice is to let the cooked rice sit for a day or so. I usually break apart the day-old rice clumps by hand before dropping it into the wok.
Throw some of these recipes in ClipDish, find yourself a local Asian grocery store and try your hand at some of these dishes. Cooking Chinese food isn’t hard but most people don’t try it because its feels unfamiliar. Be fearless! You’ll learn to work with ingredients you’re not used to and give yourself more options when you’re wondering “What should I make for dinner?”