Chinese Recipes Better Than Takeout

Sure, takeout is easy—you call into the restaurant, pick out a few stir-fries and noodles that sound good, and then camp out in front of the TV with those little foldable cartons and a pair of disposable chopsticks. But for the most part, making your favorite Chinese takeout dish at home is just as easy, and quicker to boot. Dumplings may seem labor intensive, but with our guide, you can fold and crimp your way to a doughily delicious easy dinner in no time. Stir-fries like classic beef lo-mein, vegetable-forward Chinese broccoli, eggplant, or bok choy, are a wrist flick away.

Americanized, saucy staples like General Tso’s, mapo tofu, and Kung Pao chicken and noodle soups can suffer from the rigors of delivery before they hit your door. Making them at home allows for greater control over your ingredients and keeps them fresher and tastier. Dumplings may seem labor intensive, but with our guide, you can fold and crimp your way to a doughily delicious (and kid-friendly!) dinner in no time. And takeout faves like stir-fries like classic beef lo mein and vegetable dishes like Chinese broccoli, garlic eggplant, and bok choy are only minutes and a wrist flick away.

Salt and Pepper Shrimp from Peking Duck House
Paola + Murray

The heat and aromatic spice of black pepper gets center stage in this simple Cantonese classic. Get the recipe for Salt and Pepper Shrimp »

Lamb Chops Peking-Style On top of Broccoli
Paola + Murray

At Peking Duck House on Mott Street in New York City’s Chinatown, these sizzling lamb chops are served atop a bed of lightly steamed broccoli. Pair them with plenty of steamed white rice for sopping up their salty-sweet and aromatic sauce. Get the recipe for Peking-Style Lamb Chops »

Spare Ribs on White Plate
Paola + Murray

A long marinade and a quick fry are the keys to this sweet and tangy starter.

Get the recipe for Honey Pork Spare Ribs »

Beef Lo Mein Recipe
Paola + Murray

Mozel Watson (owner of Wines by Mozel), is a die-hard fan of the lo mein at Peking Duck House in New York City’s Chinatown. He likes to pair the dish with Ruinart champagne. The wine’s fine bubbles “act like tiny knives, cutting right through the noodles,” and each of the ingredients complement the wine’s round, creamy bright apple notes. Get the recipe for Beef Lo Mein »

Shanghai Red-Braised Pork with Eggs
Yuki Sugiura

Two types of soy sauce and a touch of sugar give this dish—beloved throughout China—its signature glossiness and a deep red-brown tint. Serve the tender pork belly morsels and boiled eggs with a light vegetable, like bok choy. Get the recipe for Shanghai Red-Braised Pork with Eggs »

Twice cooked pork
Matt Taylor-Gross

A classic Chinese dish made with boiled-then-stir-fried pork and plenty of leeks and fermented black soy beans. Boiling the pork (the first “cooked”) renders some of the fat and makes it easier to slice and crisp up later in a blazing-hot wok. Get the recipe for Sichuan Twice-Cooked Pork Belly »

Cold Sesame Noodles
Maxime Iattoni

Peanut butter, sesame paste, and chile-garlic paste combine to make a silky, savory sauce for these noodles—a Chinese-American restaurant staple. Chopped peanuts and a flurry of slivered cucumber and carrot add crunch. Get the recipe for Cold Sesame Noodles »

boiled pork and chive dumplings
Heami Lee

The go-to Chinese filling: juicy pork mixed with the fresh onion flavor of garlic chives. Try to find a fatty blend of ground pork; it will improve the filling’s flavor and juiciness. Chopped garlic chives, which have a peppery raw-garlic flavor, and fresh ginger cut through the rich meat. Make sure the dumplings are completely sealed and devoid of air bubbles to prevent any leaks during boiling. This recipe is adapted from The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook. Get the recipe for Boiled Pork and Chive Dumplings »

pan-fried spicy beef dumplings
Heami Lee

In these delightfully rich dumplings, homemade or store-bought chile oil is balanced by freshness from scallions and ginger and sweetness from oyster sauce. To maximize the crispy surface area, stretch and arc the shape of the raw dumpling slightly. Get the recipe for Pan-Fried Spicy Beef Dumplings »

Kung Pao Chicken

Chiles, scallions, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce flavor tender chicken and peanuts in this moderately spicy dish. ​Get the recipe for Kung Pao Chicken »

steamed mixed shellfish dumplings
Heami Lee

In China, this combination of shrimp, scallops, and crab is a special-occasion dumpling filling. The clean flavor and slippery texture of the shellfish are unobscured by any filler. Serve steamed dumplings directly from the bamboo steamers, since their delicate wrappers can break in transfer. Get the recipe for Steamed Mixed Shellfish Dumplings »

Pork and Cabbage potstickers
Farideh Sadeghin

Chinese New Year has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep celebrating with these easy-to-make potstickers. Get the recipe for Pork and Cabbage Potstickers »

Beef and Broccoli Recipe
Belle Morizio

This simple stir-fry is flavored with soy sauce, ginger, and rice wine. Get the recipe for Stir-Fried Beef with Broccoli »

Crab Rangoon
Matt Taylor-Gross

An adaptation of the fried wonton, crab rangoon is one of the most enduringly popular appetizers at the posh Polynesian restaurant chain Trader Vic’s. Get the recipe for Crab Rangoon »

General Tso’s Chicken
Jenny Huang

While General Tso remains famous in hiIn this American Chinese classic, lightly battered chicken is tossed in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce. Though not traditional, apricot jam adds a welcome note of acidity and pop of color. Get the recipe for General Tso’s Chicken »

Spinach and Edamame Egg Drop Soup
Farideh Sadeghin

A handful of soybeans and fresh spinach lightens up this Chinese restaurant favorite. Get the recipe for Spinach and Edamame Egg Drop Soup »

Ma Yi Shang Shu (“Ants Climbing a Tree”)

Ma Yi Shang Shu ("Ants Climbing a Tree")

Ariana Lindquist

The name for this Sichuanese dish means “ants climbing a tree” because of the way the ground pork clings to the strands of glass noodles. Get the recipe for Ma Yi Shang Shu (“Ants Climbing a Tree”) »

Spicy bowl of Mapo tofu

In this Sichuan classic, tofu and ground pork or beef are braised in a fiery red chile sauce. Get the recipe for Mapo Tofu »

Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes (Chao Nian Gao)

Chewy rice cakes bring delightful texture to this spicy vegetarian stir-fry. Get the recipe for Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes (Chao Nian Gao) »

Asian Greens with Garlic Sauce

If you can’t find choy sum, whole baby bok choy makes a fine substitute in this recipes. Get the recipe for Asian Greens with Garlic Sauce »

Martin Yan's Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing)
Christopher Testani

Crisp, savory and easy to make, scallion pancakes are great for crowd-pleasing appetizers or snacks. Get the recipe for Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing) »

Chao Shou (Sichuan Pork Wontons)

Tossing these tasty pork wontons (a mix of ground pork, rice wine, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce) in red chile oil adds the signature Sichuan heat. Get the recipe for Chao Shou (Sichuan Pork Wontons) »

Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles
Ariana Lindquist

For this beloved dish of China’s Sichuan province, a tangle of wheat noodles is topped with a spicy, pungent pork sauce. Get the recipe for Dan Dan Mian (Sichuan Noodles with Spicy Pork Sauce) »

Sho’ Nuff Noodles

Marcus Samuelsson's Sho' Nuff Noodles
Farideh Sadeghin

We first fell in love with these lightly spicy lo mein noodles when chef Marcus Samuelsson dropped by our kitchen to test drive some recipes for his Harlem restaurant, Streetbird Rotisserie. Laced with oyster sauce, ginger, and yuzu kosho and tossed with pickled mustard greens, the dish is a medley of sweet, tangy, spicy, and sour. Get the recipe for Sho’ Nuff Noodles »

Hot and Sour Soup (Suan La Tang)
Todd Coleman

Mild ingredients—mushrooms, tofu—are nestled in a fiery, vinegar-laced broth. Get the recipe for Hot and Sour Soup (Suan La Tang) »

Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian)
Todd Coleman

The silken noodles in this northern Chinese stir-fry are a perfect foil for crunchy fresh vegetables; a little ground pork gives the dish a savory depth. Get the recipe for Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian) »

Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
Maxime Iattoni

These are made using a collagen-rich pork stock that gels as it cools; the jelly can then be sliced and mixed with ground pork and aromatics and used as filling. Get the recipe for Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) »

Watch: How to Make Spicy Beef Dumplings

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