Chinese food is one of the most popular options for takeout and delivery food out there. It’s estimated that 1/3 of Americans order Chinese food monthly.
Unfortunately, takeout can quickly add up. Some people spend as much as $232 a month on food they don’t prepare themselves. But, if you’re looking to save money, it’s worth experimenting with ways to make your own Chinese food.
Read on to learn these simple Chinese food recipes you can make at home.
1. Mapo Tofu
Vegetarians will definitely want to think about learning the recipe for mapo tofu when they’re exploring their different vegetarian options. This is an especially good choice if you’re a fan of spicy food.
Obviously, you’ll need a good tofu supply to make mapo tofu. You’ll also need red chili flakes, black bean garlic sauce, fava bean sauce, and Sichuan peppercorns. Heat some oil on the stove, and then combine all the different sauce ingredients together.
Separately, you’ll want to cook the tofu. Once both are cooked to perfection, you can simply combine and serve!
You can eat mapo tofu on its own, or you can eat it with other foods. It goes great on a nice bed of white rice, combined with some boiled broccoli.
2. Fried Rice
One of the top easy Chinese food recipes you can learn to make is fried rice. Fried rice is easily customizable, based on your preferences and your dietary restrictions.
Of course, the main ingredient in fried rice is well, rice. You’ll also need eggs, oil, salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Cook your rice, and beat your eggs. You’ll start out by cooking your eggs on the stove, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the eggs, and add your rice and other ingredients to the pan with more oil. Once you’ve thoroughly combined the ingredients, you can add the eggs back to the mix.
Once you’ve gotten the basics of fried rice down, it’s time to mix it up. Add different flavors and spices to make it more delicious. If you’d prefer some more protein, think about adding shrimp or tofu to the mix.
Of course, presentation is a major part of making food. You’ll want to have the proper tools to present your fried rice. So, make sure you learn about Chinese food containers before you start cooking.
Dumplings can take. a little more work than some of the other entries on this list, but once you get the tricks down they’re totally worth it. Of course, there are multiple different types of Chinese dumplings you might want to consider trying out. Some examples include wontons, baozi, shu mai, xiao long bao, jiao zi, and char siu bao.
These different types of dumplings have different available fillings, and use different wrappings. Some may be intended to go in soup, and others may not be. These dumplings can be fried, boiled, broiled, or baked.
Before you get fancy, you’ll probably want to start out by using premade dough. This will help you practice the different techniques before you raise the difficulty level. Basically, you’ll want to practice your folding skills to ensure that the fillings don’t fall out during the cooking process or before you manage to bite into them.
The best thing about dumplings, beyond their taste, is how they hold up. You can prepare a big batch of dumplings, freeze them and eat them at your convenience. That will help you avoid the struggles of figuring out what to eat for lunch or dinner each and every day!
4. Chow Mein
If you’re a big fan of noodles, you’ll definitely want to learn to make chow mein. For the noodles themselves, you’ll need dried egg noodles, bean sprouts, leeks, oil, pepper, and sesame seeds. For the sauce, you’ll need tamari sauce, soy sauce, and sesame seed oil.
You can also add vegetables to your chow mein, along with the protein of your choice. Tofu and chicken are both great options. To add a little more spice to the mix, you can add chili flakes or hot sauce to taste.
Start by boiling your noodles. Mix your sauce ingredients together. While you’re doing that, heat up your frying pan. Fry your eggs, and then add oil and the noodles to your pan.
After a minute or so, you can add your bean sprouts and any other vegetables you may want to include. Then, add the sauce, and make sure all your ingredients are properly combined. Voila, a delicious portion of chow mein!
5. Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet and sour chicken is a major staple of American Chinese food. But, it’s not nearly as difficult to make as you might have thought. You’ll need chicken, eggs, oil, cornstarch, sugar, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, soy sauce, ginger, pineapple juice, and ketchup.
Start by cutting up your chicken into small cubes. Combine the sugar, vinegar, garlic powder, soy sauce, ketchup, pineapple juice, and ginger to create the sauce. Dip the chicken in a combination of corn starch and egg. Heat the oil, and fry the chicken in it. Once that’s complete, you can combine the sauce and the chicken.
If you’re looking for healthy Chinese food recipes, you might want to consider switching out the chicken for tofu or another meat substitute.
Start Cooking These Chinese Food Recipes Today
So, why order out? You can create these delicious Chinese food recipes in the privacy of your own home. And, once you’ve mastered these dishes, there are tons more out there for you to explore.
Do you need more advice? Read through a few of our other food-focused articles for everything you need.