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 thing. 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-

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 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 water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
the juice of ½ orange
1 teaspoon orange zest
sprinkle of garlic powder
sesame seeds

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Heat oil in a deep fryer to 325 degrees. In 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.
Step 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).
Step 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-


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)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 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.
Step 2: Fry in oil in a wok or in a deep fryer at 350 degrees in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Step 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.
Step 4: To make the sauce- in a bowl mix chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, and 4 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Step 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-


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

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Step 2: Cut chicken into ½“cubes and dust chicken pieces with corn starch until fully coated.
Step 3: Deep fry (or fry in a wok) chicken in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Step 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-

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 rice wine
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl combine cornstarch and beaten eggs. Mix well to create a batter. Add chicken bits and coat thoroughly.
Step 2: To make the sauce- in a small bowl combine rice vinegar, rice wine, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.
Step 3: Heat deep fryer or wok to 375 degrees and deep fried chicken bits in batches. Drain on paper towels.
Step 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.
Step 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 lb ground pork
1 package egg roll wraps
1 bag shredded cabbage and carrot mix
1 tablespoon oil
¼ cup sugar
½ cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 egg (beaten, for sealing)
Oil (for frying)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Fry ground pork in a little oil until the pork is completely browned. Drain and set aside.
Step 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.
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 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.
Step 4: Deep fry egg rolls in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Crab Rangoons-

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.


91 Responses to “How to Cook Chinese Food”

  1. Bobby — May 4, 2012 @ 9:22 pm
  2. Amanda — May 14, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

    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 🙂

  3. Bobby — May 14, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

    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.

  4. Jessica — May 20, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

    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!

  5. Bobby — May 20, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

    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.

  6. Ciki — July 30, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

    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!

  7. Rachelle — August 16, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    What do you ise for a dipping sauce for the wontons? Do you make it or buy it?

  8. Bobby — August 16, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    Rachelle- I usually buy the dipping sauce. I use sweet and sour sauce.

  9. Heather — September 7, 2012 @ 3:38 am

    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!

  10. Bobby — September 7, 2012 @ 6:42 am
  11. Heather — September 9, 2012 @ 3:02 am

    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!!!

  12. Teresa — September 12, 2012 @ 5:15 am

    Do you have a recipe for Chicken & Broccoli?

  13. Bobby — September 12, 2012 @ 9:42 pm
  14. Kristy Smith — October 26, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

    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.

  15. Bobby — October 26, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    Kristy Smtih- This may not be exactly what you are looking for but you may want to give it a try. It is delicious.

  16. Mary — November 9, 2012 @ 8:47 am

    love crab rangoon and yours look so yummy. Thank you for sharing.

  17. rita — November 14, 2012 @ 2:35 am

    Thank you for all these recipes they are all my fava!!!!!!!

  18. lin2x — November 17, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

    i like da food so yummy.thank u for all recipes.i like it.i will cook recipe in my house so yum yum yum

  19. David — December 30, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

    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 🙂

  20. jay — January 16, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

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

  21. khalid algamiz — January 17, 2013 @ 12:32 am

    i like ur recipes thank very much

  22. Anne — January 30, 2013 @ 6:41 am

    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!)

  23. Becky — February 2, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

    Is there any recipe for black peppered chicken that does not call for oyster sauce

  24. Bobby — February 2, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

    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.

  25. Farhan — February 25, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

    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.

  26. Kim — March 8, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

    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!

  27. Dozen — March 17, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

    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

  28. Jaimee @ The GOOD Pins — June 26, 2013 @ 9:06 am

    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.

  29. Beverly — July 17, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

    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!

  30. Sharon — August 7, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

    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.

  31. LyndaS — September 1, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

    Wow! I can’t wait to start trying these recipes. Thanks a gazillion for sharing them!!!

  32. Clarissa — February 11, 2014 @ 6:59 am

    How do you make curry chicken?

  33. Bobby — February 11, 2014 @ 9:17 pm

    Sorry I do not have a recipe for curry chicken but if I find a good one I will be sure to post it. Thanks!

  34. Bolong — February 19, 2014 @ 12:33 am

    “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.

  35. Bolong — February 19, 2014 @ 12:35 am

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

  36. Mary Wyatt — January 17, 2015 @ 3:45 pm

    I starting to cook Chinese food and I will first cook the orange chicken.
    I will let you know how it turns out

  37. Marty — February 27, 2015 @ 11:22 am

    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.

  38. akbar shigri — July 9, 2015 @ 12:09 pm

    thanks far all resipes i fond and make good

  39. Mark — March 22, 2016 @ 5:14 pm

    For years I have loved Chinese food. Recently have started to cook. When I go to a Chinese Take-out Fried Rice they use a seasoned rice to make fried rice. By seasoned I mean the rice is seasoned before being cooked in the rice cooker. They probably add Soy sauce and white Pepper and other ingredients. Can you supply me with a recipe to make fried rice like this.


  40. Bobby — March 23, 2016 @ 6:42 pm
  41. Jean — July 10, 2016 @ 9:18 am

    Has anyone made any of the recipes ahead and frozen them (completely cooked)? Would like to do it for a trip.

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