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Cooking Chinese Food

Tips, Resources and Recipes for the Beginner to Chinese Cooking

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You've decided to take the plunge and start cooking Chinese food. Congratulations! Prepared properly, Chinese food is healthier for you. Besides, it just plain tastes great - why else do gourmets argue over whether China or France has the world's finest cuisine?

Still, tackling strange cooking equipment and even stranger ingredients can be nerve-wracking. Below are resources to help ease your introduction into cooking Chinese food.

Chinese Cooking Techniques

Twenty-Five Basic Chinese Cooking Tips
Twenty Tips for Stir-frying - Handy tips that will make stir-frying easy.
Twenty Tips for Deep-frying - From correct temperature to the type of oil to use, tips to make deep-frying easier.
How Do I...? - A series of short and easy instructions on everything from how to cook rice to freezing potsticker dumplings and seasoning a wok.
How to Deconstruct a Chinese Recipe - Don't let the lengthy ingredient list throw you! Most Chinese recipes are quick and easy to make.

Photo Instructions

How to Cook Rice
How to Make Chinese Green Beans
How to Make Dan Dan Noodles (an easy recipe)
More Dan Dan Noodles - with Szechuan preserved vegetable
How to Fill and Fold Wonton Wrappers
How to Make Braised Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (Szechuan)
How to Make Fried Rice
How to Make Hot Chili Oil
How to Prepare Bitter Melon
How to Make Wonton Purses
How to Make Baked Nian Gao (Chinese New Year Cake)
How to Steam a Chinese Sponge Cake
How to Make Deep-fried Prawn Crackers
How to Make a Bacon and Water Chestnut Appetizer
Cutting Stir-fry Vegetables on the Diagonal
Sharpening a Cleaver With a Sharpening Steel

Articles to Help You Get Started

Stocking the Pantry - find out what ingredients you need to start cooking Chinese food
Best Brands - My brand recommendations, with online shopping sources where possible.
How to Store Chinese Sauces and Seasonings
Frying Pans and Stir-frying
Don't have a wok? Here is how to make sure your frying pan is "stir-fry friendly."
Before You Buy a Wok - Flat or Round Bottom? Carbon steel or aluminum? Information to help you choose the wok that best meets your needs. Includes instructions for seasoning and cleaning a wok.
Before You Buy a Cleaver - Do you need a cleaver? What type should you buy?
Glossary of Chinese Ingredients- All you need to know about the ingredients commonly used in Chinese cooking.

Basic Recipes for the Beginner

Top 10 Easy Chinese Recipes - 10 recipes that don't require a wok or knowledge of Chinese cooking techniques.
Basic Fried Rice - A basic recipe with seasonings.
Pork or Beef Chop Suey - The western favorite - a great choice on those nights when you're cleaning out the vegetable crisper.
Easy Orange Chicken Stir-fry - A quick and easy dish for busy weeknights, made with orange juice.
Egg Drop Soup - Simple instructions for making this popular soup.
Egg Rolls
- Uses a easy method for folding the egg rolls.
Beef With Tomatoes - an easy Cantonese Home-cooked dish
Almond Float - A refreshing and easy to make dessert using unflavored gelatin, evaporated milk and canned or fresh fruit.
More Easy Desserts - from Almond Float to Bananas in Coconut Milk

Cooking Tips

How to Add Oil to a Wok
How to Tell if Your Wok is Hot Enough
Ingredient Substitutions - What should you do if you can't find a certain ingredient?
Beginner's Cooking Quiz - Take this fun quiz and learn how to handle some of the common problems that arise when you're cooking Chinese food.
Egg Roll Energizers - How to make sure your eggrolls turn out crisp and not too soggy every time.
How to Cook Rice - For rice that is fluffy and doesn't stick to the pan.
How to Cook Chinese Sausage

FAQs

Can Olive Oil Be Used for Stir-frying?
Which Oils are Best for Stir-frying?
How Do I Stir-fry Different Types of Vegetables?
How Do I Velvet Chicken?
What is the Difference Between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?
What is a Master Sauce?
How Healthy Are Bottled Tea Drinks?

More Resources

Chinese Recipes - A handy index to all my Chinese recipes.
Photo Gallery - photos of Chinese ingredients and restaurant dishes.
Tips on Choosing a Cooking Class
Cooking Chinese Food for Beginners - A five-week email course that takes the mystery out of preparing basic Chinese dishes.
Chinese Food Features - all my features covering ingredients used in Chinese cooking, food history, and more.

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