Smooth and a little sweet with a mild soybean flavor, fresh bean curd skin is a delicacy. At dim sum houses, it's often stuffed with a mixture of ground pork with mushrooms and ginger, then bathed in a mild yet rich chicken-stock-based sauce. While it's typically a breakfast item, these rolls also make a good dinner dish when served with rice alongside.
'Chinese' on Serious Eats
Plump and juicy, with chunks of shrimp barely visible through translucent dough, har gow are one of the most widely recognized dim sum classics. Ours enhance the shrimp with bits of pork fat in a stretchy, delicate wrapper.
Though they're a dim sum classic, braised chicken feet (A.K.A. phoenix claws) can be a challenge for those unused to eating them. It takes a little while to get used to the plump claws sticking out of a little bowl, and a bit of work to get at the meat in between the tiny bones, but the flavor-packed rewards are well worth the mental and physical effort.
A staple for breakfast and lunch in many Asian countries, congee is rice and water (or broth) cooked down into a thick porridge. Everyone does it slightly different. It can be cooked using different grains of rice, different kinds and amounts of liquid, and different cooking times. Every choice can affect the final flavor and consistency. After much trial and error, I've arrived at the ideal recipe for a congee that's silky and comforting instead of sludgy or overly heavy.
Fluffy and sweet, lotus seed buns are a popular treat at Chinese bakeries. As the name implies, they're flavored with a paste made from lotus flower seeds, which have a light, chestnut-like flavor. This recipe for homemade buns has been perfected to work with either low-gluten flour, or all-purpose. Hot from the steamer, they're a confection not to be missed. The only thing that could make them even better is a cup of bubble tea.
Pork belly has been enjoying its 15 minutes of fame for the last, what, 7 years or so? And no wonder: pork fat tastes good, and as every bacon-lover knows, pork belly is wonderfully fatty. This recipe, from Tom Mylan's The Meat Hook Meat Book, couldn't be easier, and lands you with luscious, wobbly, sweet-and-savory hunks of pork that are as good as any in Chinatown.
This quick and simple stir-fry features cod that's been water-velveted—an easy technique that guarantees tender, silky meat. Light, delicate and full of gently cooked vegetables, it's a perfect dish in a multi-course meat-heavy menu.
This quick and simple stir-fry features both fresh and dried mushrooms for maximum flavor and texture, and chicken that's been water-velveted—an easy technique that guarantees tender, silky meat.
This easy stir-fry of pork with vegetables and sweet-and-sour sauce uses a great, hassle-free water-velveting technique for tender, silky strips of meat.
Intensely beefy and buttery skirt steak is the star of this quick stir-fry, featuring sweet snap peas tossed in oyster sauce.
As much as I now love real-deal Sichuan kung-pao chicken, my absolute favorite Chinese dish as a kid was this mildly spiced Americanized version—and to be honest, I still love it today. Just because it's a Chinese-American standard, complete with slightly-gloppy-sauce and mild heat doesn't make diced chicken with peppers and peanuts any less delicious. Here's how to make it at home.
Crispy chunks of deep-fried battered chicken in a sweet, sour, and savory glaze with complex orange flavor. The Chinese take-out classic, made in your own kitchen.
Crispy chunks of deep-fried battered chicken in a sweet, sour, and savory glaze packed with sesame flavor. The Chinese take-out classic, made in your own kitchen.
This dish, from the Hakka Chinese community, is an offal lover's dream: snappy omasum (bible) tripe stir-fried with tart mustard greens, fermented black beans, and red chilies.
This quick-to-cook stir-fry of eggs with shrimp, Chinese chives, garlic, and ginger is popular among Cantonese home cooks for both its ease and wonderful flavor. It can be made with or without the shrimp, or with sliced roast pork in place of the shrimp.
Quick and easy stir-fried lo mein noodles with cabbage charred until sweet, sauteed mushrooms, and Chinese chives in a light sauce.
In this variation on Kung Pao chicken, firm white-fleshed fish such as catfish or tillapia is marinated with soy sauce and white pepper, then deep fried until golden. Afterwards, it's stir-fried with classic Sichuan flavors: spicy dried chilies, mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns, and garlic.
Hunanese food is famous for its fiery, chili-spiked dishes, and this quick and easy one with hand-torn cabbage, fresh red chilies, garlic, scallions, and bacon, is no exception. In fact, by Hunan standards, this dish is fairly tame. Slightly sour, thanks to the addition of black rice vinegar, the dish is great as part of a multi-course meal where the other dishes are even more intensely flavored and spicy.
Crunchy and tender baby bok choy goes for a spin with a punchy sauce made with lots of garlic and fermented black beans. It's a flavor-packed stir-fry with minimal prep and all the flavor, minus the gloppy sauce.
Tender baby spinach and red shen choy are briefly simmered just until wilted, then served very simply in a broth flavored with lightly browned garlic. I can't think of an easier way to put a delicious side dish on the table.