I consistently get a lot of questions from people wondering how to cook Chinese food. Regardless of if you are just learning how to cook or have been cooking for awhile you will probably find this article useful. The truth is, cooking Chinese food is not hard at all. In fact, many Chinese dishes are all very similar so once you learn how to cook a few different dishes, you should develop a good understanding of Chinese cooking. In this article I will explain to make a few popular Chinese dishes. These dishes include Sesame-Orange Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, Cashew Chicken, Black Pepper Chicken, Egg Rolls, and Crab Rangoons. All of these items are fried and most can be found at Chinese restaurants across the United States.
The first thing when preparing to cook Chinese food is to make sure you have a lot of the ingredients on hand. A lot of Chinese dishes all use very similar ingredients. Some ingredients you will want to keep in your pantry are soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, and rice wine. Fresh ingredients would include ginger, garlic and green onions. A couple of questions I constantly receive are, “What is the best type of oil for deep frying Chinese cuisine?” and “Are rice wine vinegar and rice wine the same?” The answer to the first question is peanut oil. Peanut oil will brown nicely and give the meat great flavor when used for deep frying. Rice wine vinegar and rice wine are not the same thing. Rice wine is an actual wine, sometimes called Sake or Mirin, while rice wine vinegar is a type of vinegar that is made from fermented rice wine.
Sesame-Orange Chicken. Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: Heat oil in a deep fryer to 325 degrees. In large bowl combine all of the batter ingredients and mix thoroughly. The batter should be thick enough to coat the chicken but thin enough to flow around the pieces. Set aside.
Step 2: Dip chicken pieces into the batter to coat evenly (one by one). Deep fry the chicken in batches in your deep fryer for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. (or you can fry in hot oil at about 325 degrees in your wok for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown).
Step 3: In a bowl whisk together ketchup, honey, sugar, water, vinegar, cornstarch, sesame oil, orange juice, orange zest, and sesame seeds. Pour into a wok and cook until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Mix in a bowl with the fried chicken pieces.
Cashew Chicken-Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: In a bowl mix flour, baking soda and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. In another bowl beat the eggs. Dip chicken pieces first then the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture and then again in the flour mixture.
Step 2: Fry in oil in a wok or in a deep fryer at 350 degrees in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Step 3: Heat a tiny bit of oil in the wok and stir fry green pepper and onions for 2-3 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.
Step 4: To make the sauce- in a bowl mix chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, and 4 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Step 5: Pour sauce into wok and cook over medium heat stirring until well blended and sauce thickens. In a bowl pour sauce over chicken pieces, add green peppers and onions. Mix well and garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve with white rice.