If you find yourself enjoying this food but wanting to save money by preparing it yourself, check out the following tips for making Chinese food at home.
The first thing to consider before cooking it on your own is to consult trusted and reviewed recipes. You do not want to experiment with a recipe that is not known to be successful or delicious. The preparation, cookware, ingredients, and timing are all key factors that should be planned before diving into a new recipe, especially if you are trying to imitate one you enjoyed from a restaurant in the past.
Keep in mind that your creations in the kitchen could taste a little different than the ones that you have outside of your home. Although many sauces and seasonings are available in the stores today, some chefs use truly secret ingredients to give their dishes that special taste that keeps you coming back from more. The best you can do is search for recipes that prove to be successful and enjoyed by others, as well as follow the next tips for making Chinese food at home.
There are some common ingredients that are well-known to people who enjoy Chinese food in their favorite local restaurants or take-out spots. Even the best food from China is made with the same usual ingredients that you can find here in your grocery store or international market. Farmer’s markets can also feature some of the popular produce that is key to these special dishes.
Before you read about the specific ingredients, take a look at this handy list. You can use this when you are going shopping for the items you need in each category. This list is also convenient if you are looking through your cupboards or pantry to see what you have left and what you need to buy more on when you are in the store. If you like, it can also be used as a checklist to mark off what you purchased in the store, or what items you should search for coupons in the papers for. It is the best way to save money when you are shopping – one of the best tips for making Chinese food at home!
Vegetables: broccoli, carrots, cabbage, snow peas
Meats: duck, pork, chicken, shrimp, beef
Grains: rice, noodles, lo mein
Sauces: teriyaki, sweet and sour, stir-fry
Other: eggs, wonton, vegetable broth
Many popular foods are made with those common ingredients, which you have surely seen in a store or even bought before! Why order these by takeout when you can enjoy them at home, especially at a lower cost?
You can easily find the produce you need at the store, or you can also purchase them at a farmer’s market that features low-cost fruits and vegetables. Snow peas, broccoli, carrots, and cabbage are popular choices for soups, rolls, and stir-fries that you have grown to love. These are what make the traditional recipes so healthy and gentle on the stomach. Vegetables balance out the heavier ingredients that can turn people off.
Staples of many recipes include a meat like chicken, beef, shrimp, duck, or pork. These are often the feature of main dishes, because they provide a flavor and substance that is not found with vegetable-based recipes. Some of the most popular dishes like General Tso, Kung Pao, stir-fries, and foo yung would not be the same without their meat ingredients. You can often find these on sale at the store if you look for the right deals and coupons, which is another known tip for making Chinese food at home!
Grains like rice and noodles are the next staple of these fabulous recipes, due to their traditional use in the Chinese culture. Rice has been cultivated in China for thousands of years, making it one of the first products of agriculture and civilized society. Rice is high in nutrients and calories, not to mention an extremely easy food to prepare alongside your favorite dishes at home. It is also sometimes the main focus of a recipe, rather than meat. If you want to cook a rice dish, be sure to time it correctly due to its difference in cooking times. You also do not want to overcook the rice, because this can ruin a dish!
For many Chinese dishes, it’s all about the sauce. Most recipes rely on the rich flavors that come from sweet and sour mixes, teriyaki marinade, and soy sauce. Other sauces include duck sauce, garlic sauce, and brown sauce. Did you ever know there were so many sauces? Those flavors you taste in your takeout food and restaurant dishes are often heavily seasoned with a variety of ingredients. Some places even make these from scratch, which you can do. Your recipe may turn out more successful if you find a from-scratch recipe for sauce, rather than buying a bottle at the store that has already been mixed. The shelf life will be shorter, but your homemade concoction may just be the ticket to authentic-tasting Chinese food.
As you can see, the ingredients themselves are a major component of creating a delicious dish that mimics the ones you enjoy when you order out or dine in a restaurant. A lot of the taste relies on the right recipe and foods, otherwise no matter how much effort you put into the food, it will still fail to meet your expectations. If you want to know how to make Chinese food at home, just follow the tips above and you will be eating authentic Kung Pao in no time!
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