Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Chinese Buffet at Home


It is no secret that I have an obsession with Chinese cuisine. The place that started it all was a local Chinese buffet here in Michigan. After frequent visits to the buffet over the years, I finally decided to take a stab at cooking my own Chinese dishes at home. The majority of the dishes were delicious and I began cooking different Chinese meals every week, but I had always wanted more variety just like the buffet. I had always wondered, “what if I could create a Chinese buffet at home?” I have wanted to do this for along time so I was very excited when I was chosen to be part of the 24,24,24 event presented by Foodbuzz.

In this article I will explain how to create your own Chinese buffet at home. I have posted 10 different recipes which include main course, appetizers, soups, side dishes and a dessert. All of these items can be found at almost any Chinese buffet in the United States. The entire meal was all cooked in the same day and took me approximately 7 hours of straight cooking. Luckily I had 1 person to help me or it would have taken even longer. In the end it was well worth it, the result was a delicious meal that my entire family enjoyed. The biggest hits of the night were the Kung Pao chicken, crab rangoons, and egg drop soup. This is great for anyone that wants to host a dinner party. Enjoy.

The Menu:
Main course-
Sesame Chicken
Orange Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken
Meat on a Stick (Chicken Skewers)
Appetizers-
Crab Rangoons
Egg Rolls
Side Dishes-
Garlic Green Beans
Fried Rice
Egg Drop Soup
Dessert-
Buffet Style Doughnuts

The Recipes:

Sesame Chicken-

Ingredients:
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
2 green onions (sliced)
Marinade-1 teaspoon chicken base
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sesame oil
ground white pepper (to taste)
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon raspberry wine (or any fruity flavored wine)
Batter-
½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg (beaten)
½ cup water (or as much as needed to make batter smooth)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Sauce-
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt (to taste)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
a sprinkle of ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1:
Cut chicken breasts into 1” chunks and in a glass bowl combine all of the marinade ingredients and mix well. Add the chicken and coat evenly. Cover and marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in separate bowl combine all of the batter ingredients and mix thoroughly. The batter should be thick enough to coat the chicken but thin enough to flow around the pieces. Set aside.
Step 3: Using a fork or tongs remove the pieces of chicken from the marinade and dip them into the batter to coat evenly (one by one). Deep fry the chicken in batches in your deep fryer for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. (or you can fry in hot oil at about 325 degrees in your wok for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown
Step 4: In your wok combine the sauce ingredients and warm over medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring and simmer until sauce slightly thickens.
Step 5: In the wok or in a serving dish coat chicken with the sauce and garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

Orange Chicken-

Ingredients:
Chicken-
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-1/2” cubes)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 eggs (beaten)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil (for frying)
Orange Sauce-
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest (grated)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger root (minced)
½ teaspoon garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons green onion (chopped)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1:
Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil.
Step 3: Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes and garnish with green onions.

Kung Pao Chicken-

Ingredients:

1lb boneless-skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” pieces)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons green onions (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1:
combine the chicken and cornstarch in a small bowl and toss to coat. Heat sesame oil in a wok over medium heat, add chicken and stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from wok.
Step 2: Add green onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and powdered ginger to the wok and stir fry for 15 seconds.
Step 3: Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and add the sauce to the wok.
Step 4: Return chicken to the wok and coat with sauce. Stir in roasted peanuts. Heat thoroughly. Top with additional green onions if desired and serve over white rice.

Meat on a Stick (Chicken Skewers)-

Ingredients:
1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (10 ounce) bottle teriyaki marinade
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
1/8 cup creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon sesame oil
Wooden skewers

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1:
Cut chicken breasts into long strips. In a large bowl combine teriyaki marinade, garlic, peanut butter and sesame oil. Place chicken breasts into bowl and coat with the mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Step 2: Soak skewers in cold water. Slide each strips onto a skewer.
Step 3:
Cook on a grill until chicken is fully cooked. You can also do this with a broiler.

Crab Rangoons-

Ingredients:
12 ounces of cream cheese (at room temperature)
50 wan ton wrappers
1 cup imitation crab meat (or canned)
2 green onions (minced)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon soy sauce
1 egg (beaten)
oil (for frying)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: In a bowl cream the cream cheese, soy sauce, green onions and garlic powder. Stir in the crab meat (if using imitation crab it should be chopped into pieces).
Step 2: In a separate bowl beat 1 egg. Lay out a wanton wrapper so it forms a diamond shape and place 1 teaspoon of filling just below the center of each wrapper.
Step 3: Brush the opposite corners of the wanton wrapper with the egg mixture. Fold over the edges of the wrapper to form a triangle and seal tightly.
Step 4: Deep fry the rangoons in batches at 375 degrees for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

Egg Rolls-

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 package egg roll wraps
1 bag shredded cabbage and carrot mix
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder
1 egg (beaten, for sealing)
2 eggs (cooked and scrambled)
Oil (for frying)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1:
Fry ground beef with salt, pepper and garlic powder until beef is completely browned (tip- add the salt, pepper and garlic powder to your taste. You want the flavor to be strong but not overpowering).
Step 2: In a large bowl combine cabbage and carrot mixture, cooked ground beef mixture, and scrambled eggs.
Step 3: Lay out an egg roll wrapper. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the corner of the wrapper, but not so the filling is actually touching the corner. Fold over that corner and roll about half of the way up. Fold over the left and right corners to the middle. Using a brush or the bottom of a spoon, brush the cornstarch/water mixture on the edges of the wrapper. Finish rolling up tightly and secure to make sure there are no leaks. Repeat until all the egg roll wraps are used.
Step 4: Deep fry egg rolls in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Garlic Green Beans-

Ingredients:
1lb fresh green beans (washed with strings removed, ends trimmed)
Sauce-
1 tablespoon black bean sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
2 green onions (minced, white part only)
½ teaspoon chili paste
3 tablespoons oil (for frying)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: In a small bowl combine black bean sauce, soy sauce, sugar and rice vinegar. Set aside.
Step 2: Heat your wok and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add green beans and fry for 10 minutes or until beans have reached your desired tenderness. Remove beans from the wok.
Step 3: Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add garlic, ginger and green onions. Stir fry for 15 seconds. Add chili paste. Add the sauce mixture a cook for a few seconds. Return beans to the pan tossing to coat. Serve.

Fried Rice-

Ingredients:
5 cups cooked leftover white rice (that’s at least 1 day old)
1 medium onion (diced)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
2 eggs (beaten)
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (thawed)
½ tablespoon tumeric
Soy sauce (to serve)
2 tablespoons oil (for frying)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Add a little bit of oil or cooking spray to a heated fry pan. Add beaten eggs and scramble until fully cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 2: Heat a wok and add oil. Add garlic, onion, and peas and carrots. Stir fry until vegetables have reached your desired tenderness. Add rice and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add turmeric and eggs. Mix well.
Step 3: Serve with soy sauce.

Egg Drop Soup-

Ingredients:
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash white pepper
1 green onion (sliced)
2 eggs (slightly beaten)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1:
In a sauce pan heat chicken broth, salt, and white pepper. Bring to a boil.
Step 2: Pour beaten egg in a thin stream into the broth (or drizzle with a fork). Stir with a fork until the egg forms shreds. Add green onions and serve.

Buffet Style Doughnuts-

Ingredients:
1 (10 count) refrigerated biscuits
1/3 cup sugar
Oil (for deep frying)

Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry disquiets 2 at a time until browned on each side. Drain on paper towels.
Step 2: Pour sugar into a container. Once the doughnuts have cooled toss them lightly in the sugar 1 at a time coating both sides.

       

92 Responses to “Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Chinese Buffet at Home”

  1. enthousiasmos — March 13, 2009 @ 11:55 am

    The fried rice seems really good, I could almost taste it! I’m gonna head straight to the kitchen when I get home… Oh it’s making me hungry as a bear!! HmmMMMmm..really good food! :D Thanks for sharing the recipe ^^,

  2. Joan Nova — March 13, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

    Everything looks delicious and authentic. And, your post was very nicely presented.

  3. gaga — March 14, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

    Wow, what a feast! Everything looks great!

  4. Deborah Dowd — March 17, 2009 @ 4:26 am

    What a great Chinese feast! Warning however-Once you start cooking your own take-out will never be good enough!!

  5. Aggie — March 17, 2009 @ 4:47 am

    What a fantastic spread and effort!! 7 hours of cooking!! That’s amazing…everything looks so delicious and I am totally bookmarking all of these recipes. I LOVE Chinese!!!

    PS…what a great idea to do this at home!

  6. Carlitos — March 19, 2009 @ 8:52 am

    Nice post. These recipes are quick & easy. However, let me make a couple humble suggestions.

    Ground beef is a no-no in eggrolls. Use ground pork or baby shrimp.

    Add a tablespoon or so of oyster sauce to the fried rice. (and maybe a little chili paste?)

    More veggies in the Kung Pao! Baby corn, chopped bok choy, or perhaps some carrots.

    Keep up the good work, Bobby…

  7. Angela — March 20, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

    Oh my gosh! I just discovered your site today, and there’s a wok in my kitchen that will get the workout it deserves this weekend!!! Everything looks so good!! I can’t wait to get crackin’.

  8. william — March 29, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

    I like these-thanks

  9. zombiesgirl — April 16, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

    Looks really good, you can definitely take a photo, but with just a little bit of photoshop it would be amazing… Im only saying cause i think youre ready.

  10. j — May 1, 2009 @ 6:07 pm

    so good! i made the sesame chicken the other day & it came out great. the only addition i did was adding sesame oil to the sauce itself after simmering – perfect! i also skipped the wine and chicken base in the marinade, the sauce is what makes it.

  11. Kham Tran — May 5, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

    My mouth is totally watering! Love the pics.

  12. sandra — May 21, 2009 @ 9:11 am

    Oh my god the sesame chicken looks YUm but can i use any oil instead of sesame oil?

  13. Bobby — May 21, 2009 @ 10:44 am

    Sandra – The result would not be the same because sesame oil is a strong flavor. You could probably just leave it out.

  14. Happy Cook — May 24, 2009 @ 9:00 am

    Made the seasame chicken and they were just so so yummy delicous, thankyou for one of the best sesame chicken i have ever had.
    Just blogged in my place
    http://mykitchentreasures.blogspot.com/2009/05/sesame-chicken.html

  15. Rachelle — June 21, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

    thank you so much
    I’m never going out to eat for Chinese ever again, all of this is SOOO much better than a restaurant, and I just made 52 crab rangoon for under 10 dollars.
    That’s less than 17 cents per rangoon
    You can’t beat it!

  16. Chelsea — July 15, 2009 @ 1:47 am

    Out of all the recipes i have looked for, these by far are the best. I have been looking for wok recipes and i made the sesame chicken which was so amazing that i made it a second time and also gave my friends the recipe so they can try it. Very great recipes that taste actually better than the restaurants, as well as much more cost friendly! :] Thank You

  17. Cara — July 19, 2009 @ 11:21 am

    Thanks for sharing these recipes with us. I made the fried rice, garlic green beans, and black pepper chicken. YUM! Can’t wait to get started on some of your desserts. Thanks again for the easy to follow directions and pictures.

  18. Traci — July 20, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

    Oh my. I made the orange chicken tonight. So yummy and very close to take out. I added a kittle baking powder to the flour mixture to get a fluffier coating. Will definitely add this one into the rotation. Beats expensive take out any night. Thank you so much for sharing.

  19. Sandy — July 25, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

    This wonderful I think it work especially well for a party!

  20. Ashley — August 3, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

    When you make these things, how do you keep them warm while making other things? Do you use the oven?

    I’m curious because I was just thinking about doing a buffet and this is perfect!

  21. Bobby — August 4, 2009 @ 8:10 am

    Ashley – Yes, I used the oven. It worked out well.

  22. Ronald H. — August 19, 2009 @ 10:10 pm

    This is great. I can see my family and I eating this on a saturday or a sunday evening.

  23. Codi Z. — September 5, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

    one of the first places my boyfriend took me when we started dating was china buffet i told him i’ll mary any man i find that could make the dounuts & he said he would marry anyone who could make the crab ragu.so i thank u sooo much for these recipes. noah was at a loss as to how he would put my ring in a dounut with out me knowing lol

  24. Ed Blotnicki III — September 23, 2009 @ 7:03 am

    Some great looking food here. I have made chinese food before and always turns out great. I see there are a few recipies that i just havent tried yet. Thanks for the recipies. Will be cooking these very soon.

  25. IRina — December 14, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

    great recipes! i made the orange chicken and it turned out perfect. great cornstarch ratio! thanks!

  26. Reana — May 28, 2010 @ 9:21 am

    Wow, thanks! I really want to make a complete chinese dinner for my parents and brother that has the kinds of yummilicious foods that I had at a chinese buffet that is popular around where I live and this contains all of the recipes that I wanted to cook and they all have great pics and look delicious =)!

  27. Noeagle04 — February 5, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    Bobby-

    I know I am rather late commenting on this post, but Stumbleupon brought it up, and I couldn’t resist. What are your thoughts about keeping everything hot in crockpots before the hungry masses arrive?

  28. Bobby — February 6, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    Noeagle- never too late to comment. Keeping everything in crockpots would work just fine.

  29. Bre — February 14, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

    I used your sesame chicken recipe for my Chinese New Year party and they loved it. thanks for sharing!

  30. howto — February 19, 2011 @ 7:00 am

    and not a bit of MSG in sight

  31. Dave — February 19, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    All that looks yummy, but all that cooking, I’ll just ring for a takeaway :-)

  32. Annaliz — April 19, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

    I tried the sesame chicken and double up the ingredients and boy its soooo good, with rice on top with your egg drop soup, bumm, chinese dinner at my house is well done, thanks for posting the good recipe…perfect!

  33. Charity — September 28, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    The sesame chicken looks amazing! I am definitely going to have to try this, as like you I have an obsession with Chinese food myself. I swear most people crave burgers and fries from fast food joints and I crave almond chicken and egg rolls! Thanks for sharing the recipes, cant wait to try it out!

  34. Brad — December 16, 2011 @ 3:19 am

    Looks good. A tip for those who want to make fried rice that doesn’t clump is to make it a day ahead or more ahead of time then freeze it on a sheet pan. This is the best way to quickly drive off that excess moisture without ruining the rice.

  35. Connie — March 11, 2012 @ 10:33 am

    Wow! I have got to give these a try. My husband would love them!

    Thanks!

  36. Jill — June 28, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    What a fantastic feast, Will definitely be giving some of these a try, thought making egg rolls would be really difficult but it doesn’t appear to be too hard. Really looking forward to trying to make such a wonderful banquet.

  37. Terri — July 10, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

    mmmmm! Had the Kung Pao Chicken tonight and the whole family loved it! My husband thought I ordered take-out!

    I used to large chicken breast and quadrupled the sauce to get the chicken evenly coated.

    Thank you!

  38. Cooking Joy — August 5, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    I tried the chicken skewers and they were awesome. We love Chinese and these were seasoned perfectly.

  39. Gracie — October 3, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    Being Chinese and grown up competent cooking Chinese dishes, I had no idea what Kung Pao Chicken, Crab Rangoons etc were until I came to the US! However, I am determined to learn how to cook these very popular foods! Thanks for posting these recipes – I will be testing them in my kitchen. :)

  40. Carri — December 9, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    My favorite Chinese resturant’s garlic green beans is not made with the black bean or chili sauces. It’s a clearish garlic sauce. I’ve tried to find a recipe that would turn out like that but can’t. Can anyone help??? I just love their green beans.

  41. Bobby — December 9, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    Carri – I have another recipe for Chinese green beans. Maybe this is what you are looking for?

    http://blogchef.net/chinese-green-beans-recipe/

  42. James — November 11, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

    sorry but making chinese food at home NEVER tastes anything like what I get in a restaurant. I tried some of these recipes and so may others online that are supposed to be like the american chinese food you get at the local chinese joint and I swear there are secret ingredients the chinese are not telling us. While these recipes are good it never takes care of that craving for real chinese takeout.

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