We all love Chinese food, but isn’t it high time to put down the take-out menu, take out a pan, and try cooking our favorite dishes ourselves? (In case you’re wondering, the answer is “Yes!“) There may not be an “authentic” General Tso’s chicken in Chinese cooking, but when you check out these seven recipes—from fried rice to Hunan beef—you won’t even miss it.
1. Shrimp Fried Rice
Shrimp fried rice! Shrimp fried rice! A meal so good you’ve gotta say it twice. This veggie-packed version of the take-out classic is a snap to prep and is fully adaptable depending on what’s going on in your fridge. Make this recipe once, then try it with different veggies and chicken or tofu.
2. Pork and Chive Dumplings
Why order dumplings when you can make your own? Chives and pork are a stellar combo, but you could also get fancy and swap in veggies like steamed chopped broccoli or mushrooms and carrots. Not quite ready to roll your own wrappers? Premade wonton wrappers are available at most grocery stores.
3. Laksa Soup
Creamy and spicy coconut noodle laksa is a staple in Malaysian fare, which is heavily influenced by Chinese cooking techniques. To speed things up, buy a laksa paste in the Asian section of the grocery store.
4. Char Siu-Style Roasted Eggplant
This roasty, sweet-yet-savory eggplant is cooked in the style of char siu Chinese pork. Marinate eggplant slices in a sticky mixture of soy, oyster, and hoisin sauce, then bake until tender.
5. Stir-Fried Chinese Greens
Garlicky, tender greens are a must in Chinese cooking, and the best part is that the veg itself is totally interchangeable. Try stir-frying bok choy tonight, gai lan (Chinese broccoli) tomorrow, and napa cabbage this weekend.
6. Hunan Beef
Mega-spicy Hunan-style beef stir-fry is a crowd-pleasing dinner you’ll want to make every week. Sweet green peppers and celery offset the spicy Sichuan long red peppers, and when tossed with thin strips of beef and a salty sauce, you’ll forget all about that old carton of General Tso’s in the fridge.
7. Congee Rice Porridge
The coziest dish around is a big bowl of Chinese rice porridge, known as congee or jook. While you can make the meal starting with uncooked rice, a pot of soggy or too-dry rice can easily be turned into congee when left to simmer with chicken broth and the Chinese aromatics.