OT Chinese Food

17 Replies
Nita_ - February 15

I LOVE chinese food but would like to cook at home and get the same taste or well..similar taste as takeout! Does anyone here know what the secret ingredients are that they put? LOL or just post your quick and easy recipes for chinese. I love their spicy sauces like garlic sauce or kung pao etc. mmmm now I feel like chinese! I think we just might have order take out tonight! ;)


Erynn21 - February 15

Well one thing is 5-spice powder, it's in a lot of chinese cooking, I can't remember what all is in it. I have a really good chinese cook book, The Complete Book of Chinese cooking, I really like it.


rl- - February 15

don't forget the MSG!! lol ( JUST KIDDING)


bradylove - February 15

Actually rl- you're probably right...msg adds flavor and most chinese food has msg unless it specifically says msg free...I'm allergic to it like everything else that is wonderfully tasty in this dang world...but I'm not bitter....lol!


Nita_ - February 15

LOL rl!! I actually CRAVED chinese food when I was pregnant, so made sure I said no msg whenever I ordered take out. Although I thought I read somewhere that msg is not allowed in US. But I told them no msg nevertheless. Erynn21- where do you get the 5 spice powder?


k.p.j.e. - February 15

Nita try using toasted sesame oil, sriracha hot sauce, soy sauce. I have a really good recipe for stir fry if you want it! My husband loves it because it's spicy but it's also healthy, lots of veggies. I think the key is mixing the soy sauce w/ cornstarch before adding it.


KLT - February 15

Theres this stuff that they sell in the asian markets where i live...similar to MSG, except its not MSG... found it when i was pregnant and couldn't have anything MSG... its derived from vegetables etc. For ex. the one I have now is made from mushrooms... totally gives your food flavor like MSG would. I wish I could tell you the name of the stuff..except well, its in Chinese! LoL. But it does say on the package that its an MSG replacement.


Erynn21 - February 15

I get it where I get all my spices in bulk at my local health food store, or any kind of spice store. I think they probably sell it in a regular grocery store too w/ the other asian foods. I agree w/ k.p.j.e sesame oil, hot sauce, tamari, oh I like hot chili sesame oil, yummy. To make it the right consistency using cornstarch is key and you have to mix it before you add it to hot ingredients.


Nita_ - February 15

k.p.j.e - do post your recipe! I do have hot sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce. I guess I just don't know how/when to put all the ingredients together! I never knew about the corn starch! Nice tip ladies! although, could really use the recipe. :)


Nita_ - February 15

Erynn - i'll look for that spice in my grocery store.


cae - February 15

DH and I love chinese food also. My favorite is the Bourban chicken. How do they make that sauce, I sure do want to know. Anyone know the recipe, please do share! Also crab meat ragoons, I tried making these, didnt turn out so great, actually it was bad...lol


CaliTrish - February 15

Nita - I *highly* doubt that MSG is not allowed in the US. In addition to Chinese food, it is commonly used in most canned soups, beef & chicken stocks, flavored potato chips, other snack foods, frozen dinners, and seasoning mixtures for many instant meals. MSG and other glutamates can be listed in the ingredients as MSG, monosodium glutamate, glutamic acid, hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed protein, textured protein, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract, protein isolate, soy sauce, modified food starch, modified corn starch, calcium caseinate, and sodium caseinate. I think it's here to stay. It is a naturally found amino acid. It is considered by the FDA and WHO as a safe food ingredient, unless you have a sensitivity to it. It can be bought of the store shelf as “Accent Seasoning”.


CaliTrish - February 15

Sorry about my MSG rant, but it tends to get a bad rap as some evil ingredient. Albeit, some people are sensitive to it and should avoid eating foods containing it - natural and added, but most people are eating it and don’t even realize it. Anyway, back to your question, I’m not a big fan of kung pao, but it likely has soy sauce, rice wine/sherry, dried red chili peppers, garlic, sugar, peanuts, and possibly ginger & sesame oil. As for spicy garlic sauce you can start with chile garlic sauce from an Asian market and add soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, Shaoxing rice wine/sherry, fresh minced garlic & ginger, and green onions. Along with what others have mentioned and fresh garlic & ginger, other common ingredients in Chinese cooking include hoisin sauce, black bean & garlic sauce, and oyster sauce. As mentioned, corn starch is commonly used as a thickener instead of flour. CAE – isn’t Crab Rangoon just cream cheese, green onions, & crab meat (imitation or real) wrapped in a wonton wrapper? Use an egg wash to seal the edges of the wonton wrapper before deep frying.


Nita_ - February 16

Calitrish - thanks for the info on msg! I didn't know it...and thanks for tips on what goes in each dish. I'll need to do some shopping this weekend! :) k.p.j.e. -- would love to hear your recipe for stir fry as well!


k.p.j.e. - February 16

Ok let me see if I can find it online so it will be easier to read than if I typed it out...


Danielle19 - February 16

I've heard of MSG, but what is it? and my fav. chinese recipe is chix stir fry with lots of veggies and soy sauce


k.p.j.e. - February 17

Hi! I can't find my recipe online :( eventhough it's from the Sonoma Diet book, but I did find this one online and it is just as good. It is delicious actually, and it's spicy, and it's super super easy: allrecipes.com/Recipe/Mango-Chili-Chicken/Detail.aspx



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