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Travel Guide 2   >   China   >   Recipes

   
 

Chinese Recipes


Chinese meals are generally based around two main elements: firstly, a starchy "main food" (Mandarin Chinese: Zhushi) dish such as noodles, rice or steamed buns ("mantou"), and secondly, accompanying meat, seafood or vegetables (Mandarin Chinese: Cŕi).

Chinese meals

It would wrong however to think of China as simply being home to a single cuisine. Each region of the country has developed its uniquely culinary style, and additionally overseas Chinese communities around the world have both adapted traditional Chinese dishes, and developed entirely new dishes.

Some popular Chinese dishes include:
  • Baozi (xiaolongbao) - Steamed buns usually containing meat soup (sometimes seafood or vegetables may be used instead). The buns are initially prepared using a meat gelatin filling, but when the bun is steamed, this melts and becomes soup.

  • Congee - A porridge, usually made from rice, although sometimes barley, cornmeal, millet or sorghum may be used instead.

    Baozi

  • Guotie - Fried dumplings containing ground (minced) meat and/or vegetables.

  • Jiaozi - Steamed dumplings containing ground (minced) meat and/or vegetables.

  • Shuijiao - Boiled dumplings containing ground (minced) meat and/or vegetables.

  • General Tso's chicken - Deep-fried chicken in a sweet-spicy sauce. This dish is very popular in Canada and the US, but is virtually unknown in China.

  • Kung Po chicken - Chicken cooked with Sichuan peppercorns, Shaoxing wine, and nuts (peanuts or cashew nuts). In Western countries, the dish has been adapted to local tastes and ingredients (for example, by using bell peppers), and additionally other meats, or seafood, may be used instead of chicken.

    Kung Po chicken (Westernized version)

  • Mantou - A steamed bun. One of the staple dishes of North China.

  • Peking duck - Originally from Beijing (which used to be known as "Peking"), Peking duck is one of the most famous Chinese dishes. A duck is glazed with a syrup and roasted, it is then carved in front of diners, and eaten by wrapping the duck meat, with scallions or cucumber, and plum sauce, into small steamed pancakes (Mandarin Chinese: pinyin). In the UK, the duck is generally prepared using more spices, fried instead of roasted, and known as "cripsy aromatic duck".

  • Soy egg - A hard-boiled egg in soy sauce, sugar and water, flavored with herbs and spices.

  • Tea egg - A hard-boiled egg, soaked or stewed in tea.

  • Zhajiang mian - Thick wehat noodles with ground pork, stired-fried with fermented soybean paste.


  • Zongzi - Bamboo leaves filled with glutinous rice and other fillings. Zongzi are boiled or steam before eating.
Here are some recipe books and cookbooks for Chinese food:


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Books about Chinese Cooking and Recipes


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Chinese Soul Food: A Friendly Guide for Homemade Dumplings, Stir-Fries, Soups, and More

By Hsiao-Ching Chou

Sasquatch Books
Released: 2018-01-30
Hardcover (256 pages)

Chinese Soul Food: A Friendly Guide for Homemade Dumplings, Stir-Fries, Soups, and More
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Product Description:
Chinese soul food is classic comfort food you can't resist, and in this cookbook you'll find 80 recipes for favorites you can easily make any night of the week.

Chinese food is more popular than any other cuisine and yet it often intimidates North American home cooks. Chinese Soul Food draws cooks into the kitchen with recipes that include sizzling potstickers, stir-fries that are
unbelievably easy to make, saucy braises, and soups that bring comfort with a sip. These are dishes that feed the belly and speak the universal language of "mmm!" You'll find approachable recipes and plenty of tips for favorite homestyle Chinese dishes, such as red-braised pork belly, dry-fried green beans, braised-beef noodle soup, green onion pancakes, garlic eggplant, and the author's famous potstickers, which consistently sell out her cooking classes in Seattle. You will also find helpful tips and techniques, such as caring for and using a wok and how to cook rice properly, as well as a basic Chinese pantry list that also includes acceptable substitutions, making it even simpler for the busiest among us to cook their favorite Chinese dishes at home. Recipes are streamlined to minimize the fear factor of unfamiliar ingredients and techniques, and home cooks are gently guided toward becoming comfortable cooking satisfying Chinese meals. Any kitchen can be a Chinese kitchen!

The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: Quick and Easy Dishes to Prepare at Home

By Diana Kuan

Ballantine Books
Released: 2012-12-11
Hardcover (208 pages)

The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: Quick and Easy Dishes to Prepare at Home
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  • Ballantine Books
Product Description:
America’s love affair with Chinese food dates back more than a century. Today, such dishes as General Tso’s Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, and Egg Rolls are as common as hamburgers and spaghetti. Probably at this moment, a drawer in your kitchen is stuffed with Chinese takeout menus, soy sauce packets, and wooden chopsticks, right?
 
But what if you didn’t have to eat your favorites out of a container? 
 
In The Chinese Takeout Cookbook, Chinese food blogger and cooking instructor Diana Kuan brings Chinatown to your home with this amazing collection of more than eighty popular Chinese takeout recipes—appetizers, main courses, noodle and rice dishes, and desserts—all easy-to-prepare and MSG-free. Plus you’ll discover how to
 
• stock your pantry with ingredients you can find at your local supermarket
• season and master a wok for all your Chinese cooking needs
• prepare the flavor trifecta of Chinese cuisine—ginger, garlic, and scallions
• wrap egg rolls, dumplings, and wontons like a pro
• steam fish to perfection every time
• create vegetarian variations that will please everyone’s palate
• whip up delectable sweet treats in time for the Chinese New Year
 
The Chinese Takeout Cookbook also features mouthwatering color photos throughout as well as sidebars that highlight helpful notes, including how to freeze and recook dumplings; cooking tidbits, such as how to kick up your dish with a bit of heat; and the history behind some of your favorite comfort foods, including the curious New York invention of the pastrami egg roll and the influence of Tiki culture on Chinese cuisine. So, put down that takeout menu, grab the wok, and let’s get cooking!

Here for the first time—in one fun, easy, and tasty collection—are more than 80 favorite Chinese restaurant dishes to make right in your own kitchen:
 
• Cold Sesame Noodles
• Kung Pao Chicken
• Classic Barbecue Spareribs
• Beef Chow Fun
• Homemade Chili Oil
• Hot and Sour Soup
• Chinatown Roast Duck
• Moo Shu Pork
• Dry-Fried String Beans
• Black Sesame Ice Cream
• And of course, perfectly fried Pork and Shrimp Egg Rolls!

“Diana Kuan chronicles America’s love affair with Chinese food. The Chinese Takeout Cookbook is the perfect reason to throw out those menus cluttering your kitchen drawers!”—Patricia Tanumihardja, author of The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook

Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province

By Fuchsia Dunlop

W W Norton Company
Hardcover (304 pages)

Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province
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Authentic recipes and fascinating tales from one of China's most vibrant culinary regions.

Fuchsia Dunlop is the author of the much-loved and critically acclaimed Sichuanese cookbook Land of Plenty, which won the British Guild of Food Writers’ Jeremy Round Award for best first book and which critic John Thorne called “a seminal exploration of one of China’s great regional cuisines.” Now, with Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, she introduces us to the delicious tastes of Hunan, Chairman Mao’s home province.

Hunan is renowned for the fiery spirit of its people, its beautiful scenery, and its hearty peasant cooking. In a selection of classic recipes interwoven with a wealth of history, legend, and anecdote, Dunlop brings to life this vibrant culinary region. Look for late imperial recipes like Numbing-and-Hot Chicken, Chairman Mao’s favorite Red-Braised Pork, soothing stews, and a myriad of colorful vegetable stir-fries. 65 color illustrations

Essential Chinese Cooking: Authentic Chinese Recipes, Broken Down into Easy Techniques

By Jeremy Pang

Quadrille Publishing
Released: 2016-09-06
Hardcover (160 pages)

Essential Chinese Cooking: Authentic Chinese Recipes, Broken Down into Easy Techniques
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  • Quadrille Publishing
Product Description:
In Essential Chinese Cooking, acclaimed teacher and School of Wok founder, Jeremy Pang brings the authentic flavors of traditional Chinese cooking into your own kitchen. Throughout the six chapters Jeremy outlines the fundamental techniques of Chinese cooking, focusing on a range of delicious, simple-to cook, yet authentic Chinese recipes. It includes simplified techniques such as the Wok Clock, which is a revolutionary way of organizing your ingredients before you start to cook, that will help you turn out exceptional Chinese food in your own home—day in, day out.

Best Chinese Take-out Recipes from Mama Li's Kitchen

By Sarah Spencer

The Cookbook Publisher
Released: 2015-03-09
Kindle Edition (148 pages)

Best Chinese Take-out Recipes from Mama Li s Kitchen
 
Product Description:

Prepare delicious Chinese take-out food with Mama Li’s best secret recipes! From Mama Li’s Kitchen to yours.



The beauty of Chinese cuisine lies in its simplicity. With a few ingredients rightfully chosen and flavorful spices, you can create the most amazing fresh meals in no time. You don’t need to be an exceptional cook or have an immense pantry to enjoy your favorite takeout dishes fresh from your own kitchen. With a few simple ingredients, a couple of tools, and the desire to make your own Chinese takeout cuisine, you can soon be crafting these dishes for yourself.

It has become a tradition in our family to cook like Mama Li. In this book, you will find a collection of her best Chinese take-out recipes from her restaurant.

Mama Li showed me everything I know about cooking Asian foods. One of the warmest memories I have from Mama Li was the patience she showed toward me when she hired me to assist in her restaurant’s kitchen. She would carefully explain and show me how to choose the right ingredients at the market, handle the knife and chop quickly the fresh produces, prepare the secret sauce with just the right amount of spices and ingredients, stir-fry with the most amazing pan in my kitchen, the wok, how to use a bamboo steamer and so much more. I learned so much for those two wonderful years working for Mama Li. Since, then I have continued cooking like Mama Li showed me while adapting the recipes to my own family’s preferences.

In this book, you will find everything you need to know about making at home delicious Chinese take-out dishes including:



•Appetizing take-out soups like Traditional Hot and Sour Soup.
•Classic take-out appetizers like the Traditional Pork Egg Rolls and Shrimp Toasts.
•Vegetable to Go like Eggplant in garlic Sauce.
•Memorable rice and noodle dishes like the Yang Chow Fried Rice or Chicken Lo Mein.
•Chinese chicken and pork masterpieces like General Tso’s Chicken or the Twice Cooked Pork.
•Beef take-out favourite recipes like Szechwan Beef or Kung Pao Beef
•Memorable seafood dishes like Mu Shu Shrimp
•Mama Li specialities such as the Orange beef or Lake Tung Ting Shrimp
•And even desserts including the famous Fortune Cookies

So let’s get cooking! Roll back up and grab your copy today!


Essential Wok Cookbook: A Simple Chinese Cookbook for Stir-Fry, Dim Sum, and Other Restaurant Favorites

By Naomi Imatome-Yun

Imatome Yun Naomi
Paperback (150 pages)

Essential Wok Cookbook: A Simple Chinese Cookbook for Stir-Fry, Dim Sum, and Other Restaurant Favorites
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  • Essential Wok Cookbook A Simple Chinese Cookbook for Stir Fry Dim Sum and Other Restaurant Favorites
Product Description:
All the Recipes You Need to Enjoy Comforting Chinese Food at Home

Ordering Chinese takeout is easy--but it's definitely not the healthiest or most affordable way to enjoy Chinese comfort food at home. With this simple cookbook in your kitchen and a mighty wok in your hand, Chinese favorites are now quicker, healthier, and cheaper than delivery.

The Essential Wok Cookbook is your guide to mastering the wok, the versatile pan that makes possible all of the Chinese restaurant dishes you love--no extra salt, oil, or MSG required. Beyond tips for selecting, seasoning, and caring for your wok, this cookbook also provides:
  • Step-by-step illustrations for how to fold a dumpling, egg roll, and wonton 
  • Fun features on the origin stories and American reinventions of foods such as egg drop soup and fortune cookies 
  • Recipe labels to help you decide what to make when you're short on time (30 minutes or less) and tight on cash (under $10) 
  • Recipe tips to swap ingredients, save time, make a dish more healthy, or kick up the heat 
If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, start cooking today with your wok and see just how far The Essential Wok Cookbook will take you.

Fire up the wok with recipes like Perfect Pork Pot Stickers, Easy Vegetable Stir-Fry, Lighter Egg Foo Young, Sweet Chili Shrimp, General Tso's Chicken, Better Beef with Broccoli, and many more!

Yan-Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook

By Yan-kit So

DK
Released: 2015-01-26
Hardcover (256 pages)

Yan-Kit s Classic Chinese Cookbook
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Learn to cook traditional Chinese food with this extensive collection of authentic Chinese recipes from Chinese cookery expert Yan-kit So. Dim-sum, dumplings, Cantonese food — you name it — this classic book has every recipe and cooking method you need to prepare delicious, authentic Chinese food.

With thirty years as a favorite in home kitchens everywhere, Yan-Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook is a staple for cooking traditional Chinese food. Now this bestselling cookbook is reborn with wonderful photography that makes cooking Chinese food recipes understandable and simple. Even inexperienced cooks can find easy recipes in this complete collection, and more experienced chefs will find plenty to challenge and delight them as well.

Step-by-step instructions, tips and techniques, and complete menu ideas make Yan-Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook inviting for home cooks of all skill levels: Find a new favorite dim-sum recipe, learn a great technique for dumplings, or polish your proficiency in the art of delicious Cantonese food. Yan-Kit's proficiency and expertise in cooking authentic Chinese food makes her the ideal chef to begin a journey into cooking Chinese food, and a trusted ally in guiding you in more expert Chinese dishes.

Wok Cooking Made Easy: Delicious Meals in Minutes [Wok Cookbook, Over 60 Recipes] (Learn To Cook Series)

By Nongkran Daks

Nongkran Daks
Released: 2007-06-15
Spiral-bound (128 pages)

Wok Cooking Made Easy: Delicious Meals in Minutes [Wok Cookbook, Over 60 Recipes] (Learn To Cook Series)
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Product Description:
Prepare delicious wok dishes from China, Thailand, India and all across Asia with this easy-to-follow wok cookbook.

Mention "wok cooking," and one immediately visualizes a huge wok flying above a mighty flame. One also thinks Asian "comfort food"—with accompanying images of wholesome and thoughtfully prepared meals, eaten together with family members in the comfort of the home.

Wok stir-frying is one of the best and quickest cooking methods out there. Because of the intense heat required, the food is cooked rapidly, and its taste and nutritional value are preserved. Plus, it's single-dish cooking at it's finest!

In Wok Cooking Made Easy, you'll find nutritious and easy-to-prepare Asian wok recipes compiled for a Western audience.

Favorite wok recipes include:
  • Spinach with Garlic stir-fry
  • Hot and Spicy Sichuan Tofu
  • Sliced Fish with Mushrooms and Ginger
  • Classic Sichuan Chicken with Dried Chilies
  • Thai Fried Rice
  • Five Spice Chicken.

All of the recipes in this cookbook are light, healthy and tasty, nor do they require specialized skills to prepare. May this cookbook bring endless cooking pleasure as you venture into the world of Asian cuisine.


 
 
 

 
 
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