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Authentic Chinese Takeaway Recipes: Cook Exceptional Meals at Home!

If you love Chinese takeaway food but would like to try making your own authentic versions at home, you're in luck. With the right ingredients, techniques, and equipment, you can recreate your favourite Chinese takeaway dishes in your own kitchen. Not only that, but making your own Chinese takeaway can be a fun and rewarding experience, and you can tailor your recipes to your own dietary needs and preferences.

A steaming wok sizzles with stir-fried vegetables and meat, while a pot of fragrant rice simmers on the stove. Chopsticks and sauce dishes sit ready on the table, alongside a stack of takeout containers labeled with traditional

To make authentic Chinese takeaway dishes at home, you'll need to start with some essential ingredients. These include soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and Chinese five-spice powder, among others. You'll also need to stock up on staples like rice and noodles, and invest in some basic cooking equipment like a wok and a bamboo steamer.

Once you have your ingredients and equipment sorted, you can start making classic Chinese takeaway recipes like sweet and sour chicken, beef and broccoli, and kung pao shrimp. You can also experiment with different cooking techniques like stir-frying, steaming, and deep-frying to create a variety of delicious dishes. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even try adapting your favourite takeaway recipes to suit your dietary needs, such as using tofu instead of meat or swapping out wheat noodles for gluten-free alternatives.

Key Takeaways

  • Authentic Chinese takeaway dishes can be made at home with the right ingredients, techniques, and equipment.
  • Essential ingredients for Chinese takeaway dishes include soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and Chinese five-spice powder.
  • Classic takeaway recipes like sweet and sour chicken, beef and broccoli, and kung pao shrimp can be made at home with basic cooking techniques like stir-frying, steaming, and deep-frying.

Essential Ingredients for Chinese Takeaway Dishes

A bustling kitchen with woks sizzling over high flames, shelves lined with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and hoisin sauce, and baskets of fresh vegetables and meats ready to be stir-fried

When it comes to making authentic Chinese takeaway dishes, certain ingredients are essential to achieve the right flavours. Here are the key ingredients you'll need to have in your pantry to make delicious Chinese takeaway dishes at home.

Proteins: Chicken, Beef, Pork, and More

Chicken, beef, and pork are the most commonly used proteins in Chinese takeaway dishes. You can also use seafood, such as prawns or squid, to add a different flavour to your dish. For example, you can use prawns in a classic Chinese dish like sweet and sour prawns.

Vegetables: Cabbage, Peppers, and Broccoli

Cabbage, peppers, and broccoli are some of the most commonly used vegetables in Chinese takeaway dishes. You can also use other vegetables like bok choy, snow peas, and carrots to add more variety to your dish. Vegetables are often stir-fried with the protein and seasoning to create a flavourful and colourful dish.

Staple Seasonings: Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, and Spices

Soy sauce, sesame oil, and spices like ginger, garlic, and five-spice powder are essential in creating the right flavours for Chinese takeaway dishes. Soy sauce is used to add saltiness to the dish, while sesame oil is used to add a nutty flavour. Ginger and garlic are often used to add a spicy kick, while five-spice powder is used to add a complex flavour to the dish.

When using seafood, you can use prawns, squid, or fish to add a different flavour to your dish. For example, you can use squid in a classic Chinese dish like salt and pepper squid.

By having these essential ingredients in your pantry, you can easily recreate the flavours of your favourite Chinese takeaway dishes at home.

Classic Takeaway Recipes to Make at Home

A bustling kitchen with woks sizzling, chopsticks in motion, and steaming bamboo baskets. Ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, and garlic are neatly lined up on the counter

Craving for authentic Chinese takeaway? Why not make it at home? With the right ingredients and recipes, you can easily whip up your favourite Chinese dishes in no time. Here are some classic takeaway recipes that you can try:

Chicken Specials: From Kung Pao to Orange Chicken

If you're a fan of chicken, then you're in luck. Chinese cuisine has a plethora of chicken dishes to choose from. Kung Pao chicken is a spicy and flavourful dish that is sure to please your taste buds. Orange chicken is another popular option that is sweet and tangy. You can also try making sesame chicken, which is a little bit of both. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try using seafood like prawns or squid in your recipes.

Beef Favourites: Beef and Broccoli, Stir Fry and More

Beef is a staple in Chinese cuisine, and there are many dishes that feature this delicious protein. Beef and broccoli is a classic dish that is easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. Stir-fry beef is another great option that is quick and easy to prepare. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, you can try making Mongolian beef or Szechuan beef. These dishes pack a punch of flavour and are sure to impress.

Pork Delicacies: Sweet and Sour Pork, Roast Pork

Pork is another popular protein in Chinese cuisine, and there are many dishes to choose from. Sweet and sour pork is a classic dish that is both sweet and savoury. Roast pork is another popular option that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. You can also try making char siu pork, which is a type of BBQ pork that is sweet and sticky. If you're feeling like mixing things up, you can even try using seafood like scallops or crab in your recipes.

Making your favourite Chinese takeaway dishes at home is easy and delicious. With these classic recipes, you can recreate your favourite dishes in no time. So why not give it a try?

Rice and Noodle Staples

A steaming bowl of rice and noodles surrounded by chopsticks and traditional Chinese spices and herbs

Chinese takeout is incomplete without rice and noodles. These staples are an essential part of Chinese cuisine and are enjoyed worldwide. Here are some of the most popular rice and noodle dishes that you can easily make at home.

Fried Rice Varieties

Fried rice is a classic Chinese dish that is easy-to-follow and can be made with various ingredients. One of the most popular fried rice dishes is chicken fried rice. You can also use shrimp or beef instead of chicken to add some variety to the dish. Vegetarians can use tofu or vegetables such as peas, carrots, and onions to make the dish.

To make chicken fried rice, cook rice and let it cool. In a wok or large pan, heat oil and sauté garlic and ginger. Add diced chicken and cook until brown. Add in the cooked rice and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, and scrambled eggs. Mix well and serve hot.

Lo Mein and Chow Mein

Lo mein and chow mein are both noodle dishes that are popular in Chinese cuisine. Lo mein is made with soft noodles, while chow mein is made with crispy noodles. Both dishes can be made with various proteins such as chicken, beef, pork, or seafood.

For seafood lovers, shrimp chow mein is a great option. Cook the noodles and set them aside. In a wok or large pan, heat oil and sauté garlic and ginger. Add in the shrimp and cook until pink. Add in the cooked noodles, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Mix well and serve hot.

Singapore Noodles and Mei Fun

Singapore noodles, also known as Singapore Mei Fun, is a curry-flavoured stir-fried rice vermicelli dish that is popular in Western countries. The dish can be made with various proteins such as chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp.

To make Singapore noodles, cook the vermicelli and set it aside. In a wok or large pan, heat oil and sauté garlic and ginger. Add in the protein of your choice and cook until brown. Add in the cooked vermicelli, curry powder, soy sauce, and vegetables such as onions, carrots, and bell peppers. Mix well and serve hot.

Mei Fun is a similar dish to Singapore noodles, but it is made with thinner rice noodles. The dish can be made with various proteins such as chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp.

To make Mei Fun, cook the rice noodles and set them aside. In a wok or large pan, heat oil and sauté garlic and ginger. Add in the protein of your choice and cook until brown. Add in the cooked rice noodles, soy sauce, and vegetables such as onions, carrots, and bean sprouts. Mix well and serve hot.

These dishes are easy-to-follow and can be made with ingredients that are readily available. You can also customize the dishes to your liking by adding your favourite proteins and vegetables.

Cooking Techniques and Equipment

A wok sizzles over a gas flame, steam rises from a bamboo steamer, and a cleaver chops through fresh ingredients

Stir Frying and Deep Frying

Stir-frying and deep-frying are two of the most popular cooking techniques used in Chinese cuisine. To stir-fry, you need a wok, which is a round-bottomed pan with high sides. A wok allows you to cook food quickly over high heat, and its shape ensures that the food is evenly cooked. When stir-frying, you should use a high smoke point oil such as vegetable oil or peanut oil.

Deep-frying involves immersing food in hot oil. It is a popular technique for cooking crispy dishes such as spring rolls and fried chicken. To deep-fry, you need a deep pot or a fryer and a thermometer to monitor the oil temperature. When deep-frying, it is important to use an oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil or sunflower oil.

Steaming and Braising

Steaming and braising are also common cooking techniques used in Chinese cuisine. Steaming is a healthy way to cook food, as it preserves the nutrients and flavours. To steam food, you need a steamer basket or a bamboo steamer. You can use a steamer to cook dumplings, fish, and vegetables.

Braising involves cooking food slowly in a liquid. It is a great technique for cooking tougher cuts of meat, as the slow cooking process helps to tenderize the meat. To braise, you need a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid. You can use a pot to braise pork belly, beef brisket, and other hearty dishes.

Using a Wok and Air Fryer

A wok is an essential piece of equipment for cooking Chinese food. It is versatile and can be used for stir-frying, deep-frying, and steaming. When using a wok, it is important to heat it properly before adding the oil and food. You should also use a wok spatula, which has a curved edge that fits the shape of the wok.

An air fryer is a modern appliance that can be used to cook Chinese food. It uses hot air to cook food, which makes it a healthier alternative to deep-frying. You can use an air fryer to cook crispy dishes such as spring rolls and chicken wings. When using an air fryer, it is important to preheat it before adding the food.

If you're looking to add seafood to your Chinese takeaway recipe, consider using prawns, squid, or scallops. These seafood options are commonly used in Chinese cuisine and can be easily incorporated into your stir fry recipes.

Adapting Takeaway Favourites to Dietary Needs

A chef modifies classic Chinese dishes for dietary needs in a bustling kitchen, surrounded by traditional ingredients and cooking utensils

When it comes to ordering Chinese takeaway, it's important to consider your dietary needs. Fortunately, many Chinese dishes can be adapted to suit a range of dietary needs, including gluten-free and vegetarian or vegan diets.

Gluten-Free Options

If you're avoiding gluten, there are several options available to you when it comes to Chinese takeaway. Many traditional Chinese dishes are naturally gluten-free, such as stir-fried vegetables and seafood dishes. However, it's important to be aware of ingredients such as soy sauce, which often contains wheat.

To ensure your dish is gluten-free, you can ask for gluten-free soy sauce or tamari to be used instead. You can also opt for dishes that are made with rice noodles instead of wheat noodles, such as Singapore noodles or rice noodle soups.

When it comes to seafood dishes, you can use prawns, squid, or fish, which are naturally gluten-free, as a protein source. You can also use gluten-free flour or cornflour as a thickening agent in sauces.

Vegetarian and Vegan Alternatives

For those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, Chinese takeaway can still be an option. Many dishes can be made with tofu or a variety of vegetables, such as mushrooms, peppers, and broccoli. Vegetable oil is often used in Chinese cooking, which is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

To make your dish vegan, you can ask for oyster sauce or fish sauce to be omitted and replaced with soy sauce or mushroom sauce instead. Peanut butter can also be used as a substitute for sauces that contain animal products.

If you're looking to add some protein to your dish, you can use tofu, tempeh, or seitan as a meat alternative. Seafood such as prawns, squid, or fish can also be used as a protein source if you're pescatarian.

Seafood such as prawns, squid, or fish can also be used as a protein source if you're looking to add some variety to your dish. For example, you can add prawns to a vegetable stir-fry or use squid in a spicy noodle soup.

Frequently Asked Questions

A table filled with various Chinese takeout dishes, surrounded by eager customers with questioning expressions

How can I make a proper Chinese takeaway-style chicken at home?

To make a proper Chinese takeaway-style chicken at home, you need to marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. After marinating, you can deep fry or stir fry the chicken until it is golden brown and crispy. You can also add vegetables such as broccoli or bell peppers to the dish to make it more nutritious. If you want to add seafood, you can use shrimp or scallops.

What's the secret to creating authentic Chinese takeaway flavours?

The secret to creating authentic Chinese takeaway flavours is to use fresh ingredients and the right combination of sauces and spices. Some common sauces used in Chinese cooking include soy sauce, oyster sauce, and hoisin sauce. Spices such as ginger, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorns are also commonly used. It's important to balance the flavours and not to overuse any one ingredient.

Which beef dishes are most commonly ordered from Chinese takeaways?

Beef and broccoli, Mongolian beef, and Kung Pao beef are some of the most commonly ordered beef dishes from Chinese takeaways. These dishes are usually stir-fried with vegetables and a savoury sauce. If you're looking to add seafood to your beef dish, you can use shrimp or squid.

Can you suggest some easy traditional Chinese recipes for a quick dinner?

Some easy traditional Chinese recipes for a quick dinner include stir-fried vegetables with garlic and ginger, fried rice with vegetables and eggs, and steamed fish with ginger and scallions. For seafood lovers, you can try making a simple stir-fried shrimp with vegetables or a seafood fried rice.

What are the top-rated Chinese dishes to try making at home?

Some top-rated Chinese dishes to try making at home include Kung Pao chicken, General Tso's chicken, and sweet and sour pork. These dishes are all flavourful and easy to make. If you want to add seafood, you can try making a spicy Sichuan-style fish or a seafood hotpot.

Why do homemade Chinese dishes not taste like the takeaway?

Homemade Chinese dishes may not taste like the takeaway because of the difference in cooking techniques and ingredients used. Chinese takeaways often use high heat and woks to stir-fry their dishes, which can be difficult to replicate at home. Additionally, some Chinese ingredients may be difficult to find outside of China, which can affect the flavour of the dish. However, with the right ingredients and techniques, you can still create delicious Chinese dishes at home.