Chinese food is a great way to expand your personal recipe book, especially if you love to use simple, fresh ingredients with quick cooking time. These top ten dishes are famous all over the world, and are must-haves in your collection of Chinese food recipes.
Fried Rice – A must have dish in Chinese restaurants, fried rice is the ultimate Chinese food, and can be one of the most flexible in your cookbook because you can use leftover rice and ingredients to make it. Of course, you can use fresh ingredients but it’s best to use rice that has been kept in the fridge overnight for best results. Ingredients usually involved in making fried rice are eggs, scallions, diced meat of either beef, chicken or pork, ham, shrimps and vegetables such as celery, peas, carrots, bean sprouts and corn. There are many varieties of fried rice but the more popular ones are the Yangchow and Fujian fried rice.
Kung Pao Chicken – Kung Pao chicken or Kung Po chicken is a Chinese dish from Szechuan cuisine and is considered to be a delicacy. The recipe for this mouth watering dish commonly calls for diced chicken that is pre-seasoned and quickly stir-fried with unsalted roasted peanuts, red bell peppers, rice wine or sherry, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and chili peppers. Alternatively, you can use prawn, scallops, beef or pork in place of the chicken.
Moo Shu Pork – This is a dish of northern Chinese origin and a favorite of many. Ingredients in a Mu Xu pork recipe often include green cabbage, wood ear mushrooms, scrambled eggs, carrots, bean sprouts, day lily buds and scallions. Celery, onions, bell peppers, snow pea pods, bok choy and Shiitake mushrooms are occasionally used. The vegetables are cut into long and thin strips before cooking, with the exception for bean sprouts and day lily buds. Fried Mu Xu pork is then wrapped in moo shu pancakes that is brushed with hoisin sauce and eaten by hand. Moo shu pancakes are thin wrappers made of flour that is easily available in supermarkets and steamed just before eating.
General Tso’s Chicken – General Tso’s chicken is a Hunan dish that tastes spicy and sweet and very popular in Chinese restaurants in America and Canada where it’s often marked as a “chef’s specialty”. General Tso’s Chicken recipe commonly involves battered chicken deep-fried and marinated with hot chili peppers, scallions, sugar, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger.
Egg Rolls – Egg rolls are one of the most popular Chinese foods, and for good reason. This savory roll is made by wrapping a combination of chopped cabbage and meats and sometimes noodles in a sheet of dough. It is then dipped in egg and deep fried to perfection. Egg rolls are generally bigger in size than its cousin spring roll, its skin is thicker and crunchier; and have more filling.
Fortune Cookies – Chinese cooking would simply not be complete without the addition of a recipe for fortune cookies. The ingrediesnts you need to make these treats are some sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla extract, making them a simple way to add some fun to your home cooked Chinese food.
Orange Chicken – This appetizing Chinese dish is made of chicken chopped into bite size pieces and battered, and then fried with thick sweet and spicy chili sauce flavored with orange. The traditionally Chinese recipe for orange peel chicken as it’s sometimes called, is to deep fry the chicken first and then stir fry it in a lightly sweet soy-based sauce flavored with dried orange peels. Vegetables like baby carrots and bok choy are used as the garnishing. However, cooks in Western restaurants do not use dried orange peel but rather orange juice or fresh orange peel and a substantial amount of sugar to make the sauce. Chili peppers and steamed broccoli are used as garnishing instead.
Sweet and Sour Pork – This savory-sweet famous Chinese dish is of Cantonese origin. It is a good dish to prepare when you are planning on having guests, who will be wildly impressed with your cooking skill. As with other Chinese food recipes, the key to making a great Sweet and Sour Pork dish is in the sauce made of sugar, ketchup, white vinegar, and soy sauce. Its ingredients include pork, onion, bell pepper and pineapple chopped into bite size pieces.
Mapo Dofu – Mapo doufu or Mapo tofu is a popular Chinese dish from the Szechuan province. Ingredients used for this recipe include tofu or beancurd, and minced beef or pork cooked in a bright red spicy sauce based on chili.
Chop Suey – Chop suey or “za sui” or “shap sui” literally means ‘mixed pieces’ is an American-Chinese dish usually employs leftover vegetables and meats stir fried quickly in a sauce thickened with starch. It is a great dish when you need to use up the last of yesterday’s chicken or pork roast and can incorporate meats of any kind such as pork, shrimp, beef, fish or chicken and various vegetables from bean sprouts to cabbage and celery. Chop Suey is often eaten with rice.