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How to Cook Chinese Food

I consistently get a lot of questions from people wondering how to cook Chinese food. Regardless of if you are just learning how to cook or have been cooking for awhile, you will probably find this article useful. The truth is, cooking Chinese food is not hard at all. In fact, many Chinese dishes are all very similar so once you learn how to cook a few different dishes, you should develop a good understanding of Chinese cooking. In this article, I will explain to make a few popular Chinese dishes. These dishes include Sesame-Orange Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, Cashew Chicken, Black Pepper Chicken, Egg Rolls, and Crab Rangoons. All of these items are fried and most can be found at Chinese restaurants across the United States.

The first thing when preparing to cook Chinese food is to make sure you have a lot of the ingredients on hand. A lot of Chinese dishes all use very similar ingredients. Some ingredients you will want to keep in your pantry are soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, and rice wine. Fresh ingredients would include ginger, garlic, and green onions. A couple of questions I constantly receive are, “What is the best type of oil for deep frying Chinese cuisine?” and “Are rice wine vinegar and rice wine the same?”  The answer to the first question is peanut oil.  Peanut oil will brown nicely and give the meat great flavor when used for deep frying.  Rice wine vinegar and rice wine are not the same things. Rice wine is an actual wine, sometimes called Sake or Mirin, while rice wine vinegar is a type of vinegar that is made from fermented rice wine.

Sesame-Orange Chicken-

Cashew Chicken-

Black Pepper Chicken-

General Tso’s Chicken-

Pork Egg Rolls-

Crab Rangoons-

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How to Cook Chinese Food

  • Author: Bobby
  • Total Time: 30 minutes



Sesame-Orange Chicken-

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • ½ cup water (or as much as needed to make the batter smooth)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ½ cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • the juice of ½ orange
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • sesame seeds

Cashew Chicken-

  • 2lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • oil (for frying)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large green pepper (sliced)
    1 large onion  (sliced)
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1/3 cup green onions (chopped)

Black Pepper Chicken-

  • 1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch (for dusting)
  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • oil (for drying)
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sake or rice wine

General Tso’s Chicken-

  • 1lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1” chunks)
  • 5 dried red chili peppers
  • 3 green onions (sliced)
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • oil (for frying)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Pork Egg Rolls-

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 package egg roll wraps
  • 1 bag shredded cabbage and carrot mix
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 egg (beaten, for sealing)
  • Oil (for frying)

Crab Rangoons-

  • 12 ounces of cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 50 wonton 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)


Sesame-Orange Chicken-

  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 325 degrees. In a large 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.
  2. Dip chicken pieces 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).
  3. In a bowl whisk together ketchup, honey, sugar, water, vinegar, cornstarch, sesame oil, orange juice, orange zest, and sesame seeds. Pour into a wok and cook until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Mix in a bowl with the fried chicken pieces.

Cashew Chicken-

  1. In a bowl mix flour, baking soda and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. In another bowl beat the eggs. Dip chicken pieces first then the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture and then again in the flour mixture.
  2. Fry in oil in a wok or in a deep fryer at 350 degrees in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Heat a tiny bit of oil in the wok and stir fry green pepper and onions for 2-3 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.
  4. To make the sauce- in a bowl mix chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, and 4 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  5. Pour sauce into wok and cook over medium heat stirring until well blended and sauce thickens. In a bowl pour sauce over chicken pieces, add green peppers and onions. Mix well and garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve with white rice.

Black Pepper Chicken-

  1. Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut chicken into ½“cubes and dust chicken pieces with corn starch until fully coated.
  3. Deep fry (or fry in a wok) chicken in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok and stir fry diced onion for a minute or two. Add celery and stir fry for another couple minutes. Add sauce mixture to the wok and heat until bubbling. Add chicken stirring to fully coat with the sauce. Serve with white rice.

General Tso’s Chicken-

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine cornstarch and beaten eggs. Mix well to create a batter. Add chicken bits and coat thoroughly.
  2. To make the sauce- in a small bowl combine rice vinegar, rice wine, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Heat deep fryer or wok to 375 degrees and deep fried chicken bits in batches. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to your wok. Add dried chili peppers to your wok and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add chicken bits to the wok and stir fry for a couple minutes.
  5. Add sauce mixture to the wok and cook stirring until the sauce becomes thickened and bubbly. Garnish with green onions and serve.

Pork Egg Rolls-

  1. Fry ground pork in a little oil until the pork is completely browned. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine cabbage and carrot mixture, cooked ground pork. Season with 1 tablespoon of oil, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  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 beaten egg 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.
  4. Deep fry egg rolls in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Crab Rangoons-

  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).
  2. In a separate bowl beat 1 egg. Lay out a wonton wrapper so it forms a diamond shape and places 1 teaspoon of filling just below the center of each wrapper.
  3. Brush the opposite corners of the wonton wrapper with the egg mixture. Fold over the edges of the wrapper to form a triangle and seal tightly.
  4. Deep fry the rangoons in batches at 375 degrees for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.




  1. Amanda says:

    Bobby- I am making the sesme orange chicken tomorrow- can I stir fry the chicken in a pan instead of frying? If so do I still use the same liquid batter? I am out of a fryer and don’t think I’ll be able to grab one by then.. Thanks 🙂

  2. Bobby says:

    Amanda- Stir-frying the sesame-orange chicken I would not recommend because of the batter. You could just stir-fry the chicken without the batter or you could add enough oil to your wok or fry pan to deep fry the chicken in there. If you decide to deep fry in the wok be careful and make sure the oil does not become too hot.

  3. Jessica says:

    Hi, is there any way to fry the chicken in the batter and then freeze and reheat when ready to make and serve the sauce? I want to make this but have to be able to do it several days on advance and was not sure if the battered chicken is able to be frozen. Thanks!

  4. Bobby says:

    Jessica- I’m sorry, I do not know. I have never tried frying the chicken, freezing and reheating. If you do decide to try it, please let me know how it turns out.

  5. Ciki says:

    I have to say,in China we seldom put meat or vegetables driectly on rice.Actually,we put the rice in a bowl ,separately.Anyway, I think they are grate recipes!

  6. Heather says:

    Do you have a recipe for a dish we recently had in China – it was chicken stir fried in a delicious (red) sauce with dried red chili peppers and lots of peanuts. We also had a plate of stir fried green beans covered in crushed chili peppers but I can’t find a recipe. Thanks for your help!

  7. Heather says:

    Thank you Bobby. I think if I combine the Kung Pao and General Tsos recipes it will be very close. The green bean recipe looks very good but the dish we had in China was dry – there wasn’t a sauce. It was like they had coated the beens in corn starch before stir frying in hot oil and dried red chili peppers. Looking forward to trying out these suggestions. Thank you!!!

  8. Kristy Smith says:

    Do you have a recipe for peanut chicken. A lot of places i have tried don’t make it. I love the peanut butter sauce.

  9. David says:

    Hi! These all look delicious! Thank you so much for posting these recipes! What are you dipping the crab rangoon in? I’ve been looking for something to dip my rangoons in 🙂

  10. jay says:

    i have a question about the General Tso’s Chicken-
    would it be okay to use rice vinegar instead of rice wine ?

  11. Anne says:

    I tried the cashew chicken and it was great. But I wanted to point out a typo. The ingredient list calls for 5 TEASPOONS cornstarch (divided) but Step 4 calls for 4 TABLESPOONS cornstarch. I’m assuming teaspoons are correct? (I made a quarter-recipe but accidentally added the full 4 tbsp to the sauce, so I can’t say if 1 tbsp or 1 tsp would have been better. I had to dilute the sauce, but it was still tasty!)

  12. Bobby says:

    Becky – Sorry, I do not have a recipe for black pepper chicken on here that does not call for oyster sauce. I do not know of any recipe that does not call for it. You could try leaving it out and see how it turns out. You could try using extra soy sauce in its place. If you do try it, please let everyone know the results. Thanks.

  13. Farhan says:

    I have tried General Tso and turned out great! This is a very good site and better and simplier process than a lot of cook book having similar recipes but with lots of ingredients and complicated process.

  14. Kim says:

    You must have had Cashew Chicken in the Springfield, MO area because that is one of the few places you can find it the way this recipe is made. (I have a friend in the army who has tried to get Cashew Chicken everywhere and can only get it in southwest Missouri) Great recipes!

  15. Dozen says:

    Made the black pepper chicken and it was delicious. Next time I won’t do the cornstarch dusting since I don’t feel it’s necessary, but this was exactly the recipe I wanted. It will become an easy weekday go-to for me, than,s

  16. These recipes were shared with me to make some and review on my blog, The GOOD Pins. I just wanted to say that they are great recipes and I can’t wait to make them and review for my readers. I have already linked them to here so hopefully they will try a few now. The one recipe I still need is Hot Braised Chicken…I can’t get it in Minnesota, so I have to buy the sauce from the restaurants in St. Louis and bread my own chicken.

  17. Beverly says:

    Oh please tell me you have the green bean recipe. I have tried so many and none are right. Thank you for all the recipes. We are having it tonight!

  18. Sharon says:

    I saw the Cashew Chicken recipe and was anxious to try it. I was very disappointed. It’s missing SOMETHING….. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe I will try it with a bunch of minced garlic.
    The chicken coating is a good base, hubs liked it.

  19. Bolong says:

    “This is not hard at all” because this is completely NOT authentic Chinese cuisine. I can reassure that you cannot find any of these in any restaurant in China. Please visit China or a decent American Chinatown, and try some real Chinese food. No offense, but I just want to speak for the Chinese food.

  20. Bolong says:

    However I have to say that in terms of these particular Americanized-Chinese dishes, you have made them to perfection.

  21. Marty says:

    LOVE YOUR SITE! ! ! Been looking through a lot of sites for Chinese food for our Easter get-together and yours in the best I’ve seen out of all that I’ve looked through this morning. Easy to follow and love how you had them one right after another and didn’t have to click on a bunch of other sites to find the recipes. Thanks.

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