23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (2024)

Over the years, Food & Wine has featured a wealth of Chinese recipes, including many from the Chinese American takeout repertoire: hot and sour soup, kung pao chicken, and tender steamed wontons. In addition to these well-loved standards, we have recipes for more ambitious dishes like succulent Hakka salt-baked chicken as well as fresh takes from talented emerging chefs and authors, like this extra savory version of chilled sesame noodles smothered in a sauce made with fermented tofu, or mala stir-fried paneer which deftly combines the South Asian fresh cheese with Szechuan flavors. Whether celebrating the New Year or cooking for family on a weeknight, this collection of Chinese favorites is filled with tasty options to consider.

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Dry-Fried Sichuan-Style Green Beans with Shrimp

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (1)

Instead of leaning on a sauce, "dry" stir-fries like this recipe use a small amount of liquid (in this case, fish sauce), relying on heat and movement in the wok to intensify each ingredient's flavors. Pickled sushi ginger adds mild, well-balanced sweetness and a hint of spice.

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Biang Biang Noodles

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (2)

For Jing Gao, owner of the cult Sichuan food company Fly by Jing, making these fresh hand-pulled noodles, doused in garlic, ginger, chile, and cumin, is as natural as breathing. A final pour of sizzling-hot oil is all you need to bloom the flavor of the seasonings.

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Calamari Toast with Hawthorn Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (3)

This crunchy party appetizer from 2021 F&W Best New Chef Lucas Sin, of Junzi Kitchen and Nice Day in New York City, is inspired by classic Chinese shrimp toast. Here, Sin combines calamari and shrimp for the toast topper; a quick blitz in the food processor yields a tasty mixture that fries up perfectly crisp. Haw flakes, Chinese sweets made from the fruit of Chinese hawthorn, are a sweet and tangy snack usually served to guests with tea or as a treat for children. Here, Sin uses them to flavor a dipping sauce for the toasts.

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Kung Pao Chicken

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (4)

At chef Ziqiang Lu's Birds of a Feather in Brooklyn, tingly heat from Szechuan peppercorns teams up with slightly sweet dark soy sauce and Shaoxing wine to build deep flavor into this quick stir-fry. Have all of the ingredients at the ready before heating the wok for best results. Lu recommends browning the dried chile peppers until well toasted. This helps tease out their aroma and leaves you with a warming mouthfeel that lingers.

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Stir-Fried Garlicky Snow Pea Shoots

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (5)

This recipe from cookbook author Grace Young is a delicious example of a "clear" stir-fry that uses very few ingredients, focusing on a pure translation of simple flavors. Sweet, tender snow pea shoots shine through mellow garlic, while white pepper perfumes the dish with its mild heat and fragrant floral notes. If using a skillet, cook the pea shoots in two batches to avoid crowding the pan.

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Golden Fried Rice with Asparagus and XO Sauce

Stir-frying rice with egg yolks is a technique that hails from Chinese imperial cuisine, says chef Lucas Sin of Junzi restaurant, and gives the dish a buttery richness and beautiful golden color. A generous amount of onions, garlic, scallions, and fresh ginger builds a foundation of flavor, while a spoonful of spicy seafood-infused XO sauce and plenty of freshly blanched asparagus make this fried rice even more delicious.

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Chicken Fricassee Stir-Fry with Asparagus

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (7)

This quick-cooking recipe from cookbook author Grace Young showcases the technique for a "simple" stir-fry, where ingredients are continually added to the wok, layering flavor as each cooks perfectly. "Once you understand the basics of stir-frying, you don't have to limit yourself," Young says. Here, tender asparagus joins carrots and chicken in a speedy stir-fry seasoned with white wineinstead of rice wine, and cream enriches the sauce.

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Longevity Noodles

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (8)

The longer the better to symbolize longevity. These spicy, savory noodles are a must forLucky Chowproducer Danielle Chang at her Lunar New Year feast. Cutting the noodles is strictly forbidden because cutting is a metaphor for shortening a life, so twirl the long strands to serve and eat. A mix of torn and sliced mushrooms (also a symbol of health and longevity) adds a variety of textures and a bite of umami to this quick-cooking dish.

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Restorative Ginger and Turmeric Noodle Soup

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (9)

Inspired by her Chinese mother's restorative soups, cookbook author Hetty McKinnon created this recipe to nourish and comfort: "During the winter months, this bowl of noodle soup is like a hug. The garlic oil adds an extra layer of aromatic flavor, a great way to bring cohesiveness to this curative bowl of soup. It's bolstered by a robust ginger and turmeric base, which offers deep, earthy flavors along with anti-inflammatory prowess."

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Whole Fish Drizzled with Hot Ginger-Scallion Oil

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (10)

The Chinese word for fish (yu) sounds similar to the Chinese word most closely translated to "abundance," so for her Lunar New Year celebration,Lucky Chowproducer Danielle Chang serves fish to usher in prosperity and abundance in the new year. Chang uses light soy sauce in this dish — it is lighter in color and higher in salt than dark soy sauce, making it ideal for imparting flavor in steamed seafood.

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Pan-Fried Lamb Dumplings

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (11)

Packed with a tender lamb filling, salty soy, earthy mushrooms, and a fragrant 13-spice powder, these pan-fried dumplings are warming and satiating. The peppery spice blend, which chef Zoey Xinyi Gong composed drawing onthe principles of traditional Chinese medicine, includes aged tangerine peels, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper, and galangal; it adds an aromatic, peppery flavor to the dumplings.

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Chilled Sesame Noodles

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (12)

Chilled sesame noodles are a beloved standard in the Chinese-American takeout repertoire. As Chef Lucas Sin explains, his recipe for sesame noodles is bursting with flavor: "At Junzi, sesame noodles have been one of our signature dishes since we opened, thanks to a deeply flavorful, carefully layered sesame sauce made of pure sesame paste, aromatics, and fermented tofu. Finish off the dish with chile oil and it's a classic — but not like one you've had before."

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Napa Cabbage Pockets with Tofu

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (13)

During Chinese New Year, children and younger members of the family who have not yet married receive hong bao (red pockets) containing money, which represent the love of the family, as well as a wish for good fortune and wealth in the coming year. Stuffed cabbage pockets resemble red pockets and and are traditionally eaten to ensure good fortune.Chef Zoey Xinyi Gong’s refreshing and savory stuffed cabbage pockets are filled with shiitake mushrooms, Chinese chives, and crisp mung beans.

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Vegetable Hot-and-Sour Soup

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (14)

In this classic recipe —named in 2018 as one of Food & Wine's 40 best —chef and author Eileen Yin-Fei Lo offers extraordinary depth of flavor from ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil, and layers of texture from lily buds, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots — you won't miss the meat.

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Black Sesame Paste

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (15)

Black sesame paste, sometimes called black sesame soup, is a pudding-like dessert with a thin but viscous texture and a satisfying, mildly sweet, deeply nutty flavor.In this recipe fromtraditional Chinese medicine food therapist and chef Zoey Xinyi Gong, the dominant flavor is nutty sesame, with a faint warm sweetness from the addition of jujube dates.Bee pollen, sesame seeds, and osmanthus flower sprinkled on top of the dessert give it a bit of crunch.

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Mama Chang's Stir-Fried Shrimp and Scallions

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (16)

Joanne Chang's mother used to make this sweet-and-spicy shrimp stir-fry all the time. When she was old enough to cook, Chang asked her mom for the recipe. "She hemmed and hawed until she finally gave it to me, revealing her secret ingredient: ketchup."

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Spinach-and-Pork Wontons

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In her pan-Asian cookbook, Asian Dumplings, food writer Andrea Nguyen recommends homemade wonton wrappers but says store-bought are fine: "Just look for ones labeled 'thin' or 'Hong Kong-style.'"

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Shrimp-and-Pork Spring Rolls

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (18)

Zang Toi's supremely crispy spring rolls are filled with a mix of marinated shrimp, ground pork, and a handful of colorful julienned vegetables like carrot, jicama, and green beans. The fried shallot rings add alluring flavor and crunch to the spring rolls, too, but they're optional. Toi even makes his own chile sauce to serve as an accompaniment.

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Singapore-Style Noodles with Roast Pork

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (19)

While this fried noodle dish is Singaporean in origin, Chinese restaurateurs have made it their own, and it now stands as a classic of Chinese American cuisine. Here is chef Bryant Ng's version, studded with fiery whole dried chiles, chunks of crisp Chinese broccoli, Chinese roast pork, and a stir-fried ground pork-shallot mixture for extra savoriness.

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Vegan Mapo Tofu

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (20)

In this vegan version of mapo tofu, instead of ground pork, finely chopped eggplant and mushrooms cook down to a meaty consistency that absorbs a richly savory blend of broad bean paste and mushroom seasoning — two umami-packed ingredients that quickly add long-cooked flavor. Szechuan peppercorns and fresh ginger are balanced by a touch of sugar to round out this moderately spicy dish.

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Mala Stir-Fried Paneer

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (21)

Tender and mildly flavored, paneer is the perfect neutral canvas to showcase the intricacies of mala spice in this Mala Stir-Fried Paneer from Jonathan Kung. His mala spice blend combines Szechuan er jing tiao chiles, Szechuan peppercorns, and sansho peppercorns for a tingling, numbing sensation that’s layered with smoky flavor and bright, citrusy notes. The tender paneer is marinated in lapsang souchong tea, which infuses a wonderful smoky flavor.

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Hakka Salt-Baked Chicken

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (22)

Baking a whole chicken in hot salt is a famous preparation from Hakka. The chicken emerges from the salt exceedingly juicy and not at all salty. Barbara Tropp, a cookbook author and scholarof Chinese cuisine, contributed this recipe, which features three delicious dipping sauces to serve with the tender, perfectly seasoned chicken.

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Moo Shu Pork

23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (23)

Moo shu pork was created in northern China and is especially popular in Chinese American restaurants. The dish traditionally includes sliced pork, egg, shiitake mushrooms, jicama, and Chinese celery. This recipe, contributed by chef Brandon Jew of San Francisco's Mr. Jiu's, is served with a savory-sweet peanut-butter hoisin sauce.

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23 Flavorful Chinese Recipes (2024)


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