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Old 06-09-2009, 08:36 AM   #1
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Easy Chinese?

I've been trying for years to make restaurant style chinese food with little success. I've just about given up on it. I have a question though.

Are there any particular recipes that are easier to pull off than others? I recently found an orange chicken recipe on the "chicken forums" here that looks promising.

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Old 06-09-2009, 08:43 AM   #2
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It's difficult to find a recipe that tastes like the dish you are accustomed to in your local restaurant because every restaurant makes it a little different AND Chinese restaurants in different parts of the country can be very different from what you are used to.

Your best bet is to find a recipe that is close and experiment with it until you hit the jackpot. I have been doing the same thing and it's sometimes disconcerting that you cannot hit it just right.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:48 AM   #3
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Another thing you have to keep in mind is that the vast majority of Chinese restaurants in the U.S. buy their ingredients - including ready-made "sauces" - in bulk from commercial sources. Thus, they're always going to taste different from something you make wholly from scratch with 100% fresh ingredients.

The upside of this is, of course, that your meal, while it may taste a bit different, is going to be better, more authentic, & healthier.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:48 AM   #4
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Hi Mr Dove,
I don't know if I would consider it restraunt quality, but I think fried rice is about the easiest chinese style food to make at home.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:07 AM   #5
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I keep kosher, and love chineese which is not available where I live. I make it my self it is really not bad, you just have to work on it. It's not exactly what it was in the restaurant, but it really is not bad. Try for example simple sweet and sour chicken recipe offered by La Choy brand. It is as good as any sweet and sour I've had. let me know if you found the link and what you think about it.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:58 PM   #6
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I don't have exact measurments but this one always turns out great and can be Beef and broccoli or can be pepper steak

Take beef slice fairly thin
put in bowl with some cornstarch, soy sauce, set aside
In a wok or a large frying pan - slice up an onion, chopped some garlic, lil ginger or a pinch of ginger powder sliced green peppers or broccoli, saute that till veggies almost soften , add the beef saute till done -- add in can of beef broth mixed with lil more cornstarch and stir into mixture until thickens add more soy sauce if needed. serve with rice
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:39 AM   #7
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Chinese cooking can be quite confusing. I'm a Malaysian Chinese and even I often find it difficult. Every restaurant has its own way and style of cooking. The strength of fire, the ingredients and the brands you use can make or break a recipe. My suggestion is to get a very good Chinese recipe book and try the recipe that you like. Make adjustments to it along the way. That's what I always do. Let me know if you need any further help.
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:09 AM   #8
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We love both Indian and Chinese food, however made-up dishes do not always freeze well and it is a lot of work for a meal for just two people. The sauces and additions to make everything tasty usually come in large containers. Here in Israel the humid and hot weather turns opened things iffy quickly and one's fridge is always full to overflowing storing flour, herbs pulses & spices. Suggestings please for dishes which will freeze well. Thanks. Yoddy
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:22 AM   #9
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How about a Chinese cookbook?

Check this out: http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ook-27108.html
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:14 AM   #10
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Yoddy, a lot of the Chinese or Malaysian dishes can freeze well. It depends on the types of dishes. In fact some dishes taste better after freezing. I often freeze mine. I have some Chinese recipes on my blog that can freeze well, for eg, the Chinese dumplings which is very easy to make. I learned from my Chinese friends to make and freeze them to save work. Anytime when you feel like eating, you just take out some and cook from frozen. Let me know if you need further help.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:16 AM   #11
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Shalinee, Help!! If you sprout your own Mung Beans could you advise how to easily remove the green seed coverings after the sprouts are ready. It's a lot of work to remove each tiny shell by hand.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:43 AM   #12
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Hi Yoddy, if you sprout the mung beans well, then the green skin should be easy to remove. Just put them in a basin of water. It will come loose and float to the surface. The you can scoop it off. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:57 AM   #13
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Tried that one yesterday but it didn't work well. The entire sprouts floated to the top, so I ended up removing them by hand. Will try it next time again. Thanks, Yoddy (ex.Irish now living in Israel).
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:50 AM   #14
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Hi Yoddy, just wonder how you do the sprouting. I remembered many years ago I had to teach my students sprouting. We used guni sacks which was really excellent. The roots went through the guni sacks. The beans on top split as they germinate. When it's ready for harvesting, we opened up the guni sack and pull off the sprouts with our hands. The roots will break off. We then put them into a basin of water, gently stir it and the skin will come off. very little left that need to be hand picked. Using a sprouter is different. I can only guess that your sprouts did not germinate fully.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:01 AM   #15
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Thank you for the info. I learned to sprout from a Philipino girl. They soak the beans in hot water for 60seconds. Rinse off and put on a wetted dishcloth and cover with another wetted dishcloth. Keep well moist, most of the sprouts were ready in 3days in this hot and humid atmosphere, but perhaps I didn't leave them long enough. Only my first try, so a little experimentation indicated. Rose.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalinee View Post
Yoddy, a lot of the Chinese or Malaysian dishes can freeze well. It depends on the types of dishes. In fact some dishes taste better after freezing. I often freeze mine. I have some Chinese recipes on my blog that can freeze well, for eg, the Chinese dumplings which is very easy to make. I learned from my Chinese friends to make and freeze them to save work. Anytime when you feel like eating, you just take out some and cook from frozen. Let me know if you need further help.

hey there. I just noticed this thread and reading your posts I thought
that maybe you could give me a pointer or two if you don't mind.
I love chicken with cashew nuts, but as you said every restaurant does
it differently and I've been trying to perfect my recipe to match the dish
a certain way. virtually every restaurant serves this dish in a heavy
soy sauce (thick, a bit too heavy-handed with the soy sauce) with
cooked chicken and a pile of carrots and celery in it. but the way I
first had it and used to eat it until about 5 years ago it was a totally
different style, with lightly breaded chicken pieces, a lighter sauce
and a garnish of cashew nuts and green onion. I have yet to even
come close to that and I have yet to find another restaurant that
serves it in this way. I MUST HAVE IT!!!!! any tips? also a
tip for chinese dumplings would be awesome.
thanks!
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:51 PM   #17
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If you can let me know of the name of the dish, maybe I can help. There are a lot if vegetable cooked in soya sauce so I am not too sure which one you are talking about. There are 2 types of Chinese cooking...one from Hong Kong and one from China. So you will expect quite a big different in the style and the taste. You asked for tips about dumplings....to make or ways of cooking and eating them? My suggestion is still to get a good Chinese cookbook and try from there and make adjustments along the way. That's how I learn.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:51 PM   #18
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I'm not so sure that what you find in most Chinese restaurants in the U.S. really qualifies as "authentic." Many restaurants take great liberties with recipes, eliminating or substituting ingredients for the sake of efficiency and cost. Some seem to operate on the theory that Americans won't know the difference anyway, which results in many dishes that are practically indistinguishable one from the other. Moreover, what you now find in many of the popular chains, such as Panda Express, are overly sweet to appeal to the American palate.

If you want to make truly authentic Chinese recipes, you need to find a good English-language cookbook and have access to the proper ingredients. I suggest a small volume called The Good Food of Szechwan by Robert Delfs (long out of print but may be available through Amazon sellers or other good used book dealers) or either of the volumes by Fuchsia Dunlop, "Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province," or "Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking" (both available from Amazon).
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:08 PM   #19
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My suggestion is to really go for the real Chinese cookbooks which are quite easily available and written both in mandarin and English. I find Wei-Chuang's cookbook very good. You can get them at Amazon.com. Do check that it's bilingual. I have been using them myself if I want to cook real Chinese dishes.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalinee View Post
If you can let me know of the name of the dish, maybe I can help. There are a lot if vegetable cooked in soya sauce so I am not too sure which one you are talking about. There are 2 types of Chinese cooking...one from Hong Kong and one from China. So you will expect quite a big different in the style and the taste. You asked for tips about dumplings....to make or ways of cooking and eating them? My suggestion is still to get a good Chinese cookbook and try from there and make adjustments along the way. That's how I learn.

it's called cashew nut chicken or chicken with cashew nuts.
the primary ingredient in the sauce is soy and it is thick, like it
has a bit of cornstarch in it. I don't have a clue what else it
has - it is a bit salty.
and I was wondering about actually making the dumplings.
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