Chinese Spring Festival is one time of the year when Chinese cuisine should not be missing from your dinner table. That may be a bit more difficult for expats, many of whom didn't grow up learning how to cook Chinese food, but several of our most classic dishes are actually quite easy to make.
Here are some homespun recipes and cooking tips that can turn plain dishes into masterpieces. These tips were selected based on the number of likes. Read on for more!
Filling is the heart – literally – of a dumpling. Start out by seasoning your meat (beef, lamb, chicken or fish are all fine) with a mixture of sugar, oyster sauce, ginger juice, cooking wine, sesame oil, salt, raw eggs and chili pepper oil. These not only give it flavor, but help get rid of the "fishy" smell that some meat has. Vegetables can also help in this regard; carrots and green onions, for example, are ideal companions of lamb.
For vegetarians, one tip is to drain as much water from your stuffing as possible before filling your dumpling skins.
Scrambled eggs with tomato
There's nothing easier or tastier than scrambled eggs with tomato. Start out with the perfect base by adding a bit of water to your eggs to make them more tender, and fry them using chopsticks instead of a spatula for a fluffier texture. Once cooked, remove the eggs from the pan. After that, you can fry sliced tomatoes with a bit of sugar. Finally, add the eggs back into the pan and cook them with the tomatoes, adding garlic, salt and vinegar to taste.
Kung pao chicken
Kung pao chicken is known as a favorite among foreigners, both in China and abroad. You can achieve its spicy-sweet goodness by mixing light soy sauce, starch, dry pepper, sugar, vinegar and the white part of scallions. You can use kung pao sauce on other meat dishes as well.
Golden fried rice
There are countless ways to make egg-fried rice, but among the best options for Spring Festival is the auspicious "golden fried rice." You can achieve this gold color by only using egg yolk when frying your rice, and discarding the egg white. First, add some garlic slices to a pan with hot oil, and then fry a mixture of egg yolks and pre-cooked rice until it turns golden.
Laoganma, or black bean in chili oil sauce, adds a perfect mixture of flavors to a number of Chinese dishes, especially spicy ones, like Sichuan double-cooked pork. You can buy it at any grocery store.
Adding tomato or potato to soup
Here's a quick tip – to add a fresh taste to your soup, throw in some potato or tomato while cooking it, and then remove them when the soup is ready.
Ginger + onion + garlic
This trifecta can be added to almost any Chinese dish, especially those that are fried. Just sautee them in a pan with oil and add your meat and vegetables.
Salt and vinegar shouldn't be added to a dish until it's about to be taken out of the pan. Adding either one too early will destroy both the flavor and shape of the dishes.