Before I lived in China, I always assumed the Chinese food I ate in restaurants in America was authentic. In case you are wondering, it is not the same. While there are a few dishes on the menus of Chinese restaurants in America that you will also find in China, the differences are astronomical.
It is not to say that the things we have grown to love in Chinese restaurants here in America are not good. But the things we are missing out on that are traditional Chinese dishes are also incredible.
Fortunately, you can cut the delivery and takeout and save yourself money on tickets to China by making real Chinese food at home. Follow these tips to make your Chinese dishes taste like the real deal.
1. Get a wok
Wok is a common cooking utensil in China that aids in cooking techniques, including pan frying, stir frying, deep frying, steaming, poaching, braising, boiling, searing, making soup, stewing, and many more. If you do not have one, get one. It makes all the difference in the way your stir-fry tastes.
2. Cook over intensely high heat
The oil should be about to jump out of that wok. It is preferable if you have a gas range, but if not, you can still make it happen with an electric one.
3. Stock up on the right sauces
You can make just about any Chinese dish by keeping the right ingredients on hand. Soy sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and Chinese cooking wine are all must-have items for Chinese cookery.
4. Use freshly grated ginger
If something tastes like it is missing from your stir-fry, it probably is. Always keep fresh ginger root on hand and grate it fresh into your dish. It adds that missing dimension of flavor, plus ginger has a royal ton of health benefits, so adding more of it into your food is never a bad thing.
5. Do not be shy with the chili pepper
Chinese dishes in America can be a bit bland. Over in China, they will set your mouth on fire. Sprinkle just a little bit of chili pepper into your stir-fry the next time and you will never go back to the old way, I promise.
6. Use leftovers for fried rice
Fried rice is made with leftover rice, often for breakfast the next day. While Americans tend to think of rice as something to eat for lunch or dinner, this common meal made of leftovers utilizes the remaining rice and trinkets from dinner the night before.
Also, if you are wondering where that brown color comes from, it is a combination of soy sauce and oyster sauce. Do not add salt or you will be sorry. The sauces along with chunks of meat you will add will make it salty enough.
Read also – 9 Health Benefits of Eating Brown Rice
7. Go for hot pot
You almost never see this in your corner Chinese restaurant. Hot pot is very common in China and really easy to make at home. An electric skillet filled with water works perfectly for recreating this Chinese favorite.
Simply stock your table with raw slices of potatoes, tofu chunks, crab sticks, shaved beef, mushrooms, cabbage, and anything else you’d like. Toss it in the boiling water of your electric skillet and serve it with a sauce of watered-down peanut butter. Nothing is more authentic than this.
You do not have to acquire special cooking tricks to make Chinese dishes at home. These seven tricks will go along the way. Have you ever made Chinese food at home? What is your favorite Chinese dish?