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Chinese Chicken Recipes That Are Worth Trying at Home

Whether you're ordering takeout from your favourite restaurant or cooking at home, there are plenty of delicious Chinese chicken recipes to choose from. From stir-fries to noodle dishes, there's something for everyone.

A wok sizzles with marinated chicken, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Green onions and sesame seeds garnish the dish, surrounded by colorful vegetables and steamed rice

When it comes to cooking Chinese chicken dishes, there are a few essential ingredients you'll want to have on hand. Soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar are just a few examples of ingredients that are commonly found in Chinese recipes. Of course, you'll also need plenty of fresh vegetables and herbs to add flavour and texture to your dishes.

If you're looking for inspiration, there are plenty of popular Chinese chicken recipes to choose from. General Tso's chicken, Kung Pao chicken, and sweet and sour chicken are just a few examples of dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings. And if you're looking to mix things up, you could even try incorporating seafood into your recipes. Shrimp, scallops, and squid are all great options that pair well with chicken.

Key Takeaways

  • Essential ingredients for Chinese chicken dishes include soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar.
  • Popular Chinese chicken recipes include General Tso's chicken, Kung Pao chicken, and sweet and sour chicken.
  • Seafood can be a great addition to Chinese chicken dishes, with options like shrimp, scallops, and squid.

Essential Ingredients for Chinese Chicken Dishes

A table with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and green onions. A wok sizzling with marinated chicken, surrounded by various vegetables and spices

When it comes to cooking Chinese chicken dishes, there are several essential ingredients that you should have in your pantry to ensure that your dishes are flavourful and authentic. In this section, we will discuss the key ingredients that you need to make delicious Chinese chicken dishes.

Sauces and Condiments

Sauces and condiments are an essential part of Chinese cooking, and they add depth and complexity to your dishes. Some of the must-have sauces and condiments for Chinese chicken dishes include soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and oyster sauce. Soy sauce is the backbone of many Chinese dishes, and it adds saltiness and depth of flavour. Ginger adds a spicy and pungent flavour to your dishes, while sesame oil adds a nutty and aromatic flavour. Hoisin sauce is a sweet and savoury sauce that is perfect for marinades and glazes, while oyster sauce adds umami and richness to your dishes.

Key Spices and Flavours

In addition to sauces and condiments, key spices and flavours are essential for making delicious Chinese chicken dishes. Chilies are a must-have ingredient for adding heat and spice to your dishes. Cornstarch is another essential ingredient that is used to thicken sauces and marinades. Other key spices and flavours include garlic, scallions, and Chinese five-spice powder. Chinese five-spice powder is a blend of five spices that includes cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns. It adds a warm and aromatic flavour to your dishes.

Chicken Cuts and Preparation

When it comes to choosing the right chicken cuts for Chinese dishes, chicken thighs and chicken breast are the most commonly used cuts. Chicken thighs are more flavourful and tender than chicken breast, and they are perfect for stews, curries, and stir-fries. Chicken breast is leaner and has a milder flavour, making it ideal for dishes that require a lighter touch. To prepare your chicken for Chinese dishes, marinating is a must. Marinating your chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and Chinese five-spice powder will infuse it with flavour and make it tender.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can also add seafood to your Chinese chicken dishes for an extra burst of flavour. Shrimp, scallops, and squid are great options for adding seafood to your dishes. Shrimp and scallops are perfect for stir-fries, while squid is great for stews and soups. Just make sure to cook your seafood separately and add it to your dish at the end to prevent overcooking.

Popular Chinese Chicken Recipes

A table set with ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, and chicken. A wok sizzling with stir-fried chicken, vegetables, and savory sauces

If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine, then you know that chicken is a staple ingredient in many dishes. Here are some popular Chinese chicken recipes that you can easily make at home.

Stir-Fry Favourites

Stir-fry dishes are quick, easy, and delicious. They're perfect for busy weeknights when you don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Some of the most popular Chinese chicken stir-fry dishes include Kung Pao Chicken, Szechuan Chicken, and Cashew Chicken. These dishes are usually made with diced chicken, vegetables, and a spicy sauce. You can serve them with rice or noodles for a complete meal.

Savoury and Sweet Chicken Dishes

If you're looking for something a little sweeter, then you might want to try some of the savoury and sweet Chinese chicken dishes. Sesame Chicken, Lemon Chicken, and Orange Chicken are all popular choices. These dishes are usually made with battered and fried chicken pieces, which are then coated in a sweet and tangy sauce. They're perfect for those who love a little sweetness in their meals.

Classic Takeout Dishes Made at Home

If you're craving some classic Chinese takeout dishes, then you can easily make them at home. Sweet and Sour Chicken and General Tso's Chicken are two of the most popular Chinese takeout dishes. They're both made with battered and fried chicken pieces, which are then coated in a sweet and sour sauce. These dishes are perfect for those who love a little bit of everything in their meals.

When it comes to adding seafood to your Chinese chicken dishes, you can try adding shrimp to your stir-fry dishes. For example, you can make a delicious Kung Pao Chicken and Shrimp dish by simply adding shrimp to the recipe. You can also add shrimp to your Sweet and Sour Chicken or General Tso's Chicken for a little bit of extra flavour. Other seafood options that you can try include scallops and squid.

Cooking Techniques and Methods

Sizzling wok stir-frying marinated chicken with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Steam rising, vibrant vegetables and aromatic spices nearby

Chinese cuisine is known for its unique and flavourful cooking techniques. In this section, we will discuss some of the essential methods for cooking Chinese chicken dishes.

Stir-Frying Essentials

Stir-frying is a popular cooking method in Chinese cuisine. It involves quickly cooking ingredients in a wok or frying pan over high heat. To stir-fry chicken, cut it into small pieces and marinate it in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan and add the chicken. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Add vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers for a healthy and colourful dish.

When stir-frying, it is essential to have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go. The cooking process is quick, so you must be organised and efficient. Use a high smoke point oil such as vegetable oil or peanut oil to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the pan and to achieve that signature smoky flavour.

Mastering the Art of Steaming

Steaming is a healthy and simple way to cook chicken. It involves cooking the chicken over boiling water, which results in tender and juicy meat. To steam chicken, season it with salt and pepper and place it in a steamer basket. Steam for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. You can also add vegetables such as bok choy or mushrooms to the steamer basket for a complete meal.

When steaming, it is essential to use a steamer basket or a bamboo steamer to prevent the chicken from touching the boiling water. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly and retains its moisture.

Baking Chinese Chicken Dishes

Baking is another popular method for cooking Chinese chicken dishes. It involves cooking the chicken in the oven until it is golden and crispy. To bake Chinese chicken, marinate it in a mixture of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and honey. Place the chicken on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until it is cooked through.

When baking, it is essential to preheat the oven to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly. You can also line the baking tray with parchment paper to prevent the chicken from sticking to the tray.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can also try adding seafood to your Chinese chicken dishes. Shrimp or prawns are a great addition to stir-fries, while steamed fish can be served alongside steamed chicken for a healthy and flavourful meal.

Accompaniments and Side Dishes

A table set with various Chinese side dishes, including steamed vegetables, fried rice, and pickled cucumbers, accompanies a plate of succulent Chinese chicken

Chinese chicken dishes are delicious and filling on their own, but they can be even better when paired with the right side dishes and accompaniments. Here are some suggestions for perfect pairings with rice, noodle dishes, and vegetable additions.

Perfect Pairings with Rice

Rice is a staple in Chinese cuisine, and it's the perfect accompaniment to any chicken dish. Fried rice is a classic side dish that can be made with leftover rice and a few simple ingredients like eggs, peas, and carrots. For a heartier rice dish, try chicken fried rice or shrimp fried rice. You can also add some vegetables like snow peas, cabbage, or bell peppers to make it even more nutritious.

Noodle Dishes

Noodles are another popular side dish in Chinese cuisine. Lo mein is a classic noodle dish that is easy to make and pairs well with chicken. Chicken lo mein is a delicious and filling meal that can be made with egg noodles or rice noodles. For a crunchy texture, add some bean sprouts or water chestnuts. Chow mein noodles are another option that can be stir-fried with chicken and vegetables for a tasty and filling meal.

Vegetable Additions

Vegetables are an essential part of any balanced meal, and they can be a great addition to your Chinese chicken dish. Snow peas are a popular vegetable in Chinese cuisine that can be stir-fried with chicken for a crunchy and nutritious side dish. Cabbage is another vegetable that pairs well with chicken and can be stir-fried with garlic and ginger for a delicious and healthy meal. You can also add some rice vinegar for a tangy taste.

When it comes to seafood, shrimp is a great option that can be added to any Chinese chicken dish. Shrimp fried rice or shrimp lo mein are delicious and easy to make. You can also add some scallops or crab meat to your stir-fry for a seafood twist.

There are many delicious and nutritious side dishes that can be paired with your Chinese chicken dish. Whether you choose rice, noodles, or vegetables, you're sure to have a filling and satisfying meal.

Healthy and Dietary Options

A table spread with colorful, fresh ingredients for Chinese chicken recipes: vegetables, lean meat, and aromatic spices

Low-Calorie Chinese Chicken

If you're looking for a healthy and low-calorie option, Chinese chicken salad is a great option. It's typically made with shredded chicken, fresh vegetables, and a light dressing. You can also add some nuts and seeds for extra crunch and nutrition.

Another popular low-calorie option is chicken and broccoli. This dish is high in protein and low in calories, making it a great choice for those watching their weight. You can also add some garlic for extra flavour.

Gluten-Free and Allergy Considerations

If you have gluten allergies or intolerances, Chinese garlic chicken is a great option. It's made with garlic, soy sauce, and chicken, and is typically served over rice. You can also add some vegetables for extra nutrition.

If you have other allergies, it's important to check the ingredients of any Chinese chicken dishes you plan to make. Some common allergens in Chinese cuisine include peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish. If you're looking to add some seafood to your dish, shrimp or scallops can be a great addition.

To conclude, there are plenty of healthy and dietary options when it comes to Chinese chicken recipes. By choosing the right ingredients and cooking methods, you can create a delicious and nutritious meal that everyone will enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

A table set with various Chinese ingredients and cooking utensils for making chicken recipes

What's the secret behind the tenderness of chicken in Chinese cuisine?

The secret to tender and juicy chicken in Chinese cuisine is to marinate the chicken with cornstarch, soy sauce, and rice wine. This helps to break down the protein in the chicken and makes it tender. Additionally, Chinese cooking often uses a technique called velveting, which involves blanching the chicken in boiling water or oil before stir-frying to lock in the moisture.

Can you recommend some simple Chinese chicken recipes for a quick dinner?

Sure, some simple Chinese chicken recipes that you can try for a quick dinner are Chinese Five Spice Chicken, Mongolian Chicken, and Chinese Honey Chicken. These dishes are easy to make and require minimal ingredients. You can also add seafood to these recipes, such as prawns or scallops, for an extra flavour boost.

How can I make a proper Chinese chicken stir fry at home?

To make a proper Chinese chicken stir fry at home, you need to start by marinating the chicken with soy sauce, cornstarch, and rice wine. Then, heat up a wok or frying pan with some oil and stir fry the chicken until it's cooked through. Add your choice of vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers, and stir fry until they're tender. Finally, add your choice of sauce, such as oyster sauce or hoisin sauce, and stir fry for another minute or two.

What are some classic Chinese chicken curry dishes I can try?

Some classic Chinese chicken curry dishes that you can try are Cantonese Chicken Curry, Szechuan Chicken Curry, and Hainanese Chicken Curry. These dishes are flavourful and aromatic, with a creamy coconut milk base and a blend of spices and herbs. You can also add seafood to these recipes, such as mussels or squid, for a unique twist.

Could you list a few authentic Chinese chicken dishes that are favourites?

Sure, some authentic Chinese chicken dishes that are favourites include Kung Pao Chicken, General Tso's Chicken, and Lemon Chicken. These dishes are popular in Chinese restaurants around the world and are known for their bold flavours and crispy textures. You can also add seafood to these recipes, such as lobster or crab, for a luxurious touch.

What's a good Chinese chicken marinade for that authentic flavour?

A good Chinese chicken marinade for that authentic flavour should include soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil. You can also add some honey or brown sugar for sweetness and some chilli flakes or Szechuan peppercorns for heat. Marinate the chicken for at least an hour, or overnight for best results.