Embarking on a culinary journey through Chinese cuisine doesn’t have to be daunting. With a dash of enthusiasm and a handful of accessible ingredients, you can create a delectable array of easy Chinese dinners right in the comfort of your own kitchen.
From the tantalizing aromas of stir-fried favorites to the comforting embrace of hearty soups, Chinese cuisine offers a rich tapestry of flavors that can be effortlessly woven into your weeknight repertoire.
Imagine savoring the harmonious symphony of flavors in dishes like Kung Pao Chicken, where tender chicken mingles with vibrant vegetables and bold spices. Or the simplicity of Egg Fried Rice, a versatile canvas for your choice of protein and vegetables, seasoned to perfection.
Delight in the comforting warmth of Wonton Soup, with delicate dumplings suspended in a savory broth. And don’t forget the crispy indulgence of Sweet and Sour Pork, a delightful dance of tangy and sweet notes that’s sure to satisfy.
In this culinary exploration, we will guide you through a selection of easy Chinese dinners that bring both authenticity and convenience to your table. Discover the joy of making these dishes, embracing the art of Chinese cooking, and creating memories with each flavorful bite. Let’s get started.
1. Pot Stickers (Chinese Dumplings)
Instead of using pork, these dumplings are made with a mixture of ground shrimp and beef. The RECIPE yields a generous amount of filling, so it’s recommended to make extra dumplings and have additional gyoza wrappers on hand for future meals or unexpected guests.
To store the extras, simply arrange the prepared potstickers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them. Once frozen, transfer them to a zip-top plastic bag, making sure to label and date it.
When ready to enjoy, you can either fry the dumplings straight from frozen (adjusting cooking time accordingly) or defrost them for a few minutes on the countertop. These delicious dumplings can be served alongside soy sauce or paired with an Easy Asian Dipping Sauce.
2. Authentic Chinese Egg Rolls
Authentic Chinese Egg Rolls are delectable creations, featuring thin wrappers filled with a savory mixture of vegetables, meat (like pork or shrimp), and often bean sprouts.
These rolls are skillfully rolled, then fried until crispy, delivering a satisfying blend of textures and flavors. Served with dipping sauces like sweet and sour, they offer a taste of traditional Chinese cuisine that’s cherished for its crispiness and delightful taste.
3. Crab Rangoon
Crab Rangoon, an appetizer originating from Chinese-American cuisine, presents delicate pockets of crispy wonton wrappers filled with a delectable blend of cream cheese, crab meat, and seasonings.
These flavorful parcels are deep-fried to a golden hue, resulting in a satisfying crunch that contrasts with the creamy interior. Often served with sweet and sour sauce or a dip of choice, Crab Rangoon offers a delightful fusion of textures and tastes, beloved for its indulgent and savory appeal.
4. Chinese Chicken Wings
Chinese chicken wings are a delectable dish featuring crispy and succulent chicken wings infused with a harmonious blend of Chinese flavors. The wings are typically marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sometimes hoisin sauce for added sweetness.
After marination, they are fried until golden brown and irresistibly crispy. These wings offer a delightful combination of savory, salty, and slightly sweet notes, making them a favorite appetizer or main course in Chinese cuisine.
5. Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet and Sour Chicken is a beloved Chinese dish that tantalizes the taste buds with its contrasting flavors. Tender pieces of chicken are battered and deep-fried to achieve a crispy texture.
The dish’s hallmark is its vibrant sweet and tangy sauce, crafted from a blend of vinegar, ketchup, sugar, and soy sauce, often with the addition of colorful bell peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks.
The sauce is cooked until it thickens, coating the chicken in a glossy glaze. This dish perfectly balances the richness of the fried chicken with the zing of the sauce, resulting in a delightful culinary experience.
6. Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese stir-fry dish that harmoniously combines flavors and textures. It features diced chicken, peanuts, and vegetables, typically bell peppers and zucchini.
The dish’s distinctive taste comes from the sauce made with ingredients like soy sauce, vinegar, hoisin sauce, and Sichuan peppercorns, which add a numbing and spicy kick.
The dish is cooked in a wok, allowing the chicken to become tender and the flavors to meld together. Kung Pao Chicken offers a delightful mix of savory, spicy, and nutty notes, making it a staple of Sichuan cuisine.
7. Egg Drop Soup
This warming and comforting soup is super easy to make by whipping eggs into hot chicken broth, and then topping it with chives or green onions. If you like your soup a bit thicker, add a touch more cornstarch.
If you’re looking to cut down on salt, use a low-sodium chicken broth or boullion cube, since the soy sauce will have plenty of flavor. Toss in a handful of frozen corn for more texture, and leave out the food coloring if you don’t have any on hand.
8. Wonton Soup
Wonton Soup is a comforting Chinese soup that features delicate wonton dumplings floating in a flavorful broth. The wontons are typically filled with a mixture of minced pork or shrimp, along with seasonings like ginger and soy sauce.
The broth, often made from chicken or pork, is clear and aromatic. The wontons are cooked in the broth until they float to the surface, indicating their readiness.
This dish is often garnished with sliced green onions and sometimes bok choy or other vegetables. Wonton Soup is a beloved appetizer or light meal, cherished for its warmth and simplicity.
9. Chef John’s Cashew Chicken
Chef John’s Cashew Chicken is a popular dish known for its savory and nutty flavors. This Chinese-American creation combines tender chunks of chicken, crisp vegetables like bell peppers and onions, and roasted cashew nuts.
The dish is stir-fried in a wok, allowing the ingredients to quickly cook while retaining their textures. The sauce, a blend of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and hoisin sauce, coats the chicken and vegetables with a rich, umami flavor.
Served over steamed rice, Chef John’s Cashew Chicken offers a delightful contrast between the tender protein, crunchy nuts, and the savory-sweet sauce.
10. Chinese Spicy Hot And Sour Soup
Chinese Spicy Hot and Sour Soup is a dynamic dish renowned for its bold flavors and contrasting sensations. This soup features a medley of ingredients, including tofu, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and often some kind of protein like pork or shrimp.
The “hot” component comes from spicy elements like chili paste or pepper flakes, while the “sour” aspect is achieved through ingredients like vinegar or rice wine.
The soup’s broth is typically thickened with cornstarch, giving it a hearty consistency. The combination of spicy and sour flavors creates a harmonious balance that’s both comforting and invigorating, making this soup a favorite in Chinese cuisine.
11. Chinese Lion’s Head Soup
Chinese Lion’s Head Soup is a hearty and traditional dish that hails from the Jiangsu province. It is characterized by large, flavorful meatballs and a rich broth.
The meatballs are made from a mixture of ground pork, sometimes combined with other meats like beef or shrimp, and seasoned with ingredients such as ginger, green onions, and soy sauce. These meatballs are often shaped like a lion’s head, hence the name.
The broth is usually a combination of chicken or pork broth, along with vegetables like cabbage or bok choy.
The meatballs are gently simmered in the broth until cooked through, absorbing the flavors of the broth and becoming tender and flavorful. The resulting soup is a comforting and hearty dish that is often served as a centerpiece in family gatherings or special occasions.
12. Honey Walnut Shrimp
Honey Walnut Shrimp is a delectable Chinese dish featuring crispy shrimp coated in a creamy honey mayo sauce. The shrimp are lightly fried to a golden hue, creating a satisfying crunch.
The dish is completed with candied walnuts that add a delightful sweetness and texture contrast. This combination of flavors and textures makes Honey Walnut Shrimp a beloved favorite in Chinese-American cuisine.
12. Szechwan Shrimp
“You have to give anything this fast, healthy and so full of flavor five stars. Note, this isn’t a recipe for small children or others with a tongue that can’t handle heat. I’d cut back on the red pepper quite a bit if you want to achieve that.
For me, however, the recipe worked perfectly as is. As others suggested I doubled the ingredients for the sauce and it’s worth noting that this great sauce can be made well in advance,” Tony Bibbs says.
13. Steamed Fish with Ginger
Steamed Fish with Ginger is a classic Chinese dish that highlights the delicate flavors of fish. A fresh fish, often a whole fish or fish fillets, is marinated with ginger, scallions, and sometimes soy sauce.
The fish is then steamed until it becomes tender and infused with the fragrant ginger aroma. This cooking method preserves the natural taste of the fish while allowing the ginger’s pungency to shine through. The result is a light and flavorful dish that’s emblematic of Chinese cuisine.
14. Shrimp with Broccoli in Garlic Sauce
Shrimp with Broccoli in Garlic Sauce is a flavorful Chinese stir-fry. Succulent shrimp and vibrant broccoli florets are cooked in a savory garlic-infused sauce.
The dish’s appeal lies in its simplicity and balance: tender shrimp and crisp broccoli are enhanced by the aromatic garlic sauce that’s a blend of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a touch of sweetness.
Served over steamed rice, this dish exemplifies the harmony of flavors and textures that characterizes Chinese cuisine.
15. General Tsao’s Chicken II
The trick to this spicy-sweet chicken dish is to fry the chicken twice. However, if you’re short on time or oil, you can simply stir-fry the chicken (thighs or breast chunks work great) in your pan, remove them and make the sauce, then stir everything back together.
If you don’t have peanuts on hand, cashews are an excellent substitute. Dial up or down the heat to your taste by adding or removing chilies. This dish pairs perfectly with steamed rice and broccoli.
16. Honey Sesame Chicken
Honey Sesame Chicken is a beloved Chinese-American dish known for its sweet and nutty flavors. Tender chicken pieces are battered, fried until golden and crispy, then coated in a luscious honey-based sauce.
The sauce combines honey, soy sauce, and often a hint of sesame oil for depth. To finish, toasted sesame seeds are sprinkled over the dish, adding a delightful crunch and nutty undertone.
This harmonious blend of textures and flavors makes Honey Sesame Chicken a popular choice, offering a balance of sweetness and savory satisfaction.
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In conclusion, delving into the realm of Chinese cuisine at home is a rewarding endeavor that need not be intimidating. Armed with simple ingredients and a willingness to experiment, you can recreate the essence of Chinese flavors in your very own kitchen.
Whether you’re craving the bold spices of Sichuan cuisine, the comfort of classic soups, or the harmonious balance of sweet and savory, these easy Chinese dinners offer a gateway to culinary exploration.
By embarking on this culinary adventure, you not only tantalize your taste buds but also cultivate an appreciation for the artistry that underpins Chinese cooking traditions, making every meal a delightful and enriching experience.