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Easy Chinese Recipes & Meals

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What makes a recipe easy? Some, like stir-fries, take only minutes to make. Others, such as soups and stews, take longer but still consist of only a few simple steps, leaving you lots of free time while the food is simmering. Many Chinese recipes are quick, easy to make, or both. Some can be made with ingredients that are available at most local supermarkets, while others may require a trip to a Chinese/Asian market or using a substitute. Whether you're new to Chinese cooking or just looking for a recipe that doesn't require spending too much time in the kitchen, here are a number of recipe ideas.
  1. The Easiest Easy Chinese Recipes
  2. Easy Stir-fry Recipes
  3. Easy Chinese Steamer Recipes
  4. Easy Main Dishes
  5. Simple Side Dishes
  6. Easy Vegetarian Recipes
  7. Quick Desserts
  1. Seasonal Menus and Recipes
  2. Chinese-Style Fusion Recipes
  3. Planning a Chinese Meal
  4. Step by Step Photo Instructions
  5. Handy Ingredient Substitutions
  6. Cookbook Reviews

The Easiest Easy Chinese Recipes

Basic Fried rice and beef stir-fry

Never cooked Chinese food before? To help you get started, here are easy Chinese recipes that will give you an idea of the tastes and flavors used in Chinese cooking, without having to buy a wok or other special equipment. All of the ingredients used are available in the ethnic or international section of most grocery stores.

Easy Stir-fry Recipes

Kung Pao Chicken

Stir-frying has a lot going for it. It's fast - many stir-fries can be prepared and cooked in under 15 minutes. It's healthy - short cooking times mean the ingredients retain more of their nutrients. Finally, it's easy - stir-frying is one of the simplest cooking techniques to learn. Here is a selection of simple stir-fry recipes, from a Basic Beef Stir-fry to Kung Pao Chicken.

Easy Chinese Steamer Recipes

Steamed Pears

Steaming is very popular in Cantonese cooking, with its emphasis on using the freshest ingredients and preserving the natural flavor of the food.

Easy Main Dishes

If you've been to a Chinese restaurant, you'll know that in China dining is a communal affair, with the food served in the middle of the table and everyone helping themselves to a variety of dishes. Here, you'll find both typical Chinese recipes - designed to be part of a multicourse meal - and others that have been adjusted for western tastes. All are easy to make.

Simple Side Dishes

These easy side dish recipes can accompany Chinese main dishes, or add an ethnic flavor to any meal.

Easy Vegetarian Recipes

The sheer sensual appeal of Chinese cuisine, with its emphasis on fresh vegetables and protein rich ingredients, makes it the perfect choice for anyone following a vegetarian diet.

Quick Desserts

Almond Cookie Recipe

In China, it's common to finish a meal with fresh fruit. Not that the Chinese don't have a sweet tooth; it's just that sweet and savory snacks are normally consumed between meals, with tea, or during special occasions. Here's a selection of quick, easy Chinese desserts. Some, such as Red Bean Soup, are easy versions of a traditional recipe enjoyed throughout China. Others, such as Almond Cookies and Mango Pudding, began showing up on restaurant menus in Hong Kong and China's metropolitan areas. As for Fortune cookies, both San Francisco and Los Angeles claim to have invented the crescent shaped cookie.

Seasonal Menus and Recipes

No Chinese traditional holiday would be complete without a special festive food, from marvelous mooncakes to an intriguing variety of sweet and savory dumplings. But you can also enjoy Chinese food during western holidays and other food-centered occasions. Whether you're looking for standard Chinese festive food or Chinese-inspired recipes, here are a number of suggestions:

Chinese-Style Fusion Recipes

Although the term fusion cooking became trendy in the 80's, it's not really new. Throughout the centuries, creative cooks have experimented with introducing ingredients from other cuisines into local dishes. From Szechuan-spiced guacamole to stir-fried okra, here are a number of recipes where Chinese ingredients or cooking techniques are incorporated into a popular regional dish.

Planning a Chinese Meal

In China, dining is a communal experience; the food is normally served all at once, with everyone helping themselves from the same dish.

Step by Step Photo Instructions

No matter how clearly instructions are written, sometimes it just helps to have a photo. Here are step by step instructions, with photos, illustrating some of the more common Chinese recipes and cooking techniques.

Handy Ingredient Substitutions

Of all international cuisines, Chinese cuisine is one of the most open to creative solutions borne of need and circumstance. Here are handy substitutions for ingredients commonly used in Chinese cooking.

Cookbook Reviews

A variety of cookbooks, focusing on healthy, easy to make recipes, with links for purchasing online.

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