Flavorful Chinese Restaurant-Style Recipes You Can Make at Home

Chinese food in America isn’t quite the same as the real thing; it’s more of a cultural offshoot developed to cater to American tastes. But the general cultural nuances remain — if perhaps in a more deep-fried form.

Whether or not this cuisine can really be called “Chinese” is a subject for debate, but at least we can all agree on calling it “delicious.” Below are a few staples of foods found on Chinese menus across the country. Soon enough, you’ll be replicating your favorite dishes right in your own kitchen!

1. Hot and Sour Soup

Learn how to make Chinese restaurant-style recipes at home

Hot and sour soup | iStock.com

This recipe from Food Network’s Tyler Florence may be somewhat time-consuming, but is very much worth the investment! The dish takes a total of 2 hours and 20 minutes, including preparation, wait, and cook time. The recipe yields four to six delicious servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 dried Chinese fungi (about 1 ounce), such as wood ears or cloud ears
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon red chile paste, such as sambal oelek
  • ½ cup canned bamboo shoots, sliced
  • ¼ pound barbecued pork, shredded
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Pinch sugar
  • 2 quarts Chinese Chicken Stock, recipe follows
  • 1 square firm tofu, drained and sliced in ¼-inch strips
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Chopped green onions and cilantro leaves, for garnish

Chinese Chicken Stock

  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken
  • 1 bunch green onions, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 -inch piece fresh ginger, whacked open with the flat side of a knife
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
  • About 3 quarts cold water

Head to Food Network for the full recipe. 

2. Shiitake and Scallion Lo Mein

Shiitake and scallion lo mein

Shiitake and scallion lo mein | iStock.com

This vegetarian-friendly recipe from Food & Wine is a fresh, delicious take on your standard, restaurant-order lo mein. This recipe’s total preparation time is 40 minutes, and it yields eight servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound wide lo mein noodles
  • ¼ pound snow peas, halved diagonally
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
  • 6 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Head to Food & Wine for the full recipe. 

3. Vegetable Spring Rolls

Vegetable spring rolls

Vegetable spring rolls | iStock.com

These vegetarian-friendly spring rolls are everyone’s favorite and act as the perfect accompaniment to your Chinese entrée of choice. This recipe from Steamy Kitchen yields fifty somewhat small spring rolls. Preparation takes 25 minutes; cook time is 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh shiitake mushroom caps or Chinese dried mushroom* caps, julienned
  • ½ small cabbage (about 3 cups), shredded (napa or regular cabbage)
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • 8-ounce can bamboo shoots, drained and julienned
  • cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls of fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 50 spring roll wrappers, defrosted (available at Asian markets)
  • cooking oil, for frying

Head to Steamy Kitchen for the full recipe. 

4. Sticky Sesame Chicken

sticky sesame chicken

Sticky sesame chicken | iStock.com

Mouthwatering sesame chicken is a Chinese food staple, and you’ll be cooking it up yourself in no time! In total, this recipe from Creme de la Crumb takes just 30 minutes, yielding four servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • sesame seeds
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked white rice
  • optional: fresh green onions, chopped

Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cold water plus 2 tablespoons corn starch

Head to Creme de la Crumb for the full recipe. 

5. Crispy Kung Pao Tofu

Crispy kung pao tofu

Crispy kung pao tofu | iStock.com

This vegan recipe from Serious Eats recommends the use of a traditional Chinese wok, but a large sautéing pan is sufficient. The recipe yields four servings and takes 45 minutes total to complete.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ quarts vegetable or peanut oil
  • ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into ¾-inch cubes, carefully dried (see note above)
  • ¼ cup water or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan broad bean chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 scallions, whites finely minced, and greens finely sliced, reserved separately
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sichuan peppercorns, divided
  • 12 hot Chinese dry chili peppers
  • 2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into ¼-inch slices (about ½ cup total)
  • 2 ribs celery, split in half lengthwise and cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • 1 long green Chinese hot pepper, stemmed and seeded, cut into ¾-inch squares
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts
  • Cooked white rice (or noodles), for serving

Head to Serious Eats for the full recipe. 

6. Garlicky Hoisin Beef

Garlicky hoisin beef

Garlicky hoisin beef | iStock.com

This savory recipe from Real Simple combines the irresistible taste of garlic with the sweet and tangy hoisin flavor. Just remember to brush your teeth afterwards! The recipe takes 25 minutes total to complete and serves four.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • ¾ cup hoisin sauce (available in the Asian-food aisle of most supermarkets)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions (white parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 pound flank or boneless sirloin steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1½ cups snow or sugar snap peas
  • 3 scallions (green parts only), cut into 1 ½-inch lengths

Head to Real Simple for the full recipe. 

7. Spicy Sichuan-Style Shrimp

Spicy sichuan-style shrimp

Spicy sichuan-style shrimp | Source: iStock

Be sure to adjust the spice level to your liking on this one! Preparation time for this dish from Epicurious is 25 minutes, with an added five minutes cook time. The recipe yields four servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons chili bean sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar or cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Cilantro sprigs, to garnish

Head to Epicurious for the full recipe.