58 Delicious Chinese Recipes

China has one of the world's most well-developed and sophisticated cuisines. It is the origin of many of the world's cooking techniques, and traditional Chinese foods have spread throughout the world where they have been adopted by local populations. Nevertheless, most of us only know the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this nation’s cuisine. Experience more with these recipes that highlight both traditional takes and elevated interpretations of classic Chinese-american fare.

July 29, 2021
By: Carlos Olaechea

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Scallion Pancakes with Ginger Dipping Sauce

If you have never had them, scallion pancakes will quickly become your new favorite flatbread. They are good enough on their own with their crisp exteriors concealing buttery, flakey layers of dough and green onions. However, you may find that you start using them to make sandwiches, wraps and even quesadillas.

Get the Recipe: Scallion Pancakes with Ginger Dipping Sauce

Salted Pork Congee with Century Egg

Congee is a very popular Chinese rice porridge commonly eaten for breakfast or when someone is feeling under the weather. The base recipe is pretty simple, making it the perfect foil for a myriad of seasonings and toppings. Century eggs are hard-cooked chicken eggs that have been cured and aged (but not for a century). The process makes the yolks creamy and gives the whites a jelly-like texture that melts in your mouth. It is a favorite topping for congee.

Get the Recipe: Salted Pork Congee with Century Egg

Char Siu

This is a recipe to get excited about! Char siu is a Chinese style of roasted pork that is enjoyed on its own but also appears in everything from steamed buns and baked pastries to stir fries and noodle soups. It's someting you should prepare a lot of and keep around in the freezer to use as needed.

Get the Recipe: Char Siu

Pork Soup Dumplings

Soup dumplings, or xiao long bao, are a traditional style of steamed dumpling from Shanghai, a city known for its sophisticated delicacies that sometimes require years of training to make correctly. These dumplings are a kind of a culinary engineering marvel — liquid soup encased in a thin skin of wheat flour. However, the secret to these explosive dumplings is actually quite simple. Click on the link and have your mind blown!

Get the Recipe: Pork Soup Dumplings

Tanghulu

This is a popular street food in China consisting of skewers of fruit dipped in a crackly hard candy. Tyipcally, tart fruits are chosen to contrast the sweetness of the candy coating. However, you can experiment with any fruit you want.

Get the Recipe: Tanghulu

Smashed Cucumber Salad

This is a variation on smashed cucumber salad, which is very popular throughout China. This version uses gochugaru, which are bright red chili flakes from Korea that give this dish a beautifully vibrant color. The Chinese black vinegar is a must in this dish and an ingredient you will fall in love with if you haven't already.

Get the Recipe: Smashed Cucumber Salad

Drunken Chicken

This is a classic cold dish from Shanghai that involves soaking poached chicken in a rice wine called Shaoxing. This spirit is often replaced with sherry in the US, but as it's the main seasoning in this dish, it's best to try and source Shaoxing. The good thing is that it is affordable and available at almost every Asian grocer and even online.

Get the Recipe: Drunken Chicken

Hong Kong Egg Tarts

These are a perennial favorite at Cantonese bakeries and are a southern Chinese adaptation of pasteis de nata, a Portuguese egg custard tart. These tarts were introduced to Hong Kong and Macau by Portuguese traders and colonists. The recipe was adapted to suit local tastes, and the Chinese verrsion is lighter and not as sweet as the original Portuguese confection.

Get the Recipe: Hong Kong Egg Tarts

Shanghai Red-Braised Pork with Eggs

This is a variation on Tepong pork, courtesy of Fuchsia Dunlop, who is an authority on Chinese cuisine with several books to her name. If you have access to traditional Chinese ingredients, this recipe more closely recreates what you will find in Shanghai, where locals prefer this dish on the sweeter side.

Get the Recipe: Shanghai Red-Braised Pork with Eggs

Classic Bean Sprout Stir Fry

Bean sprouts are a favorite ingredient throughout East Asia, including China. Like the name implies, these crunchy little guys are the sprouts of either mung beans (the more common variety) or soy beans. If you don't eat them when they're sprouts, they'll continue to grow into full-fledged bean plants. This is a great side dish or topping for rice and can me modified to suit your tastes.

Get the Recipe: Classic Bean Sprout Stir Fry

Orange Chicken

While there is a traditional Cantonese orange flavored meat dish, the orange chicken we love in the West is an all-American invention. By many accounts, it was invented by Panda Express in Hawaii and has since become a mainstay on most Chinese-American takeout menus. Jet Tila teaches you how to make a full orange chicken meal from the sauce down to the bed of fried rice.

Get the Recipe: Orange Chicken

The Best Pork Fried Rice

Chow fan, or fried rice, is a dish that originated in Guandong (formerly known as Canton) that made use of day-old white rice. It became wildly popular almost everywhere Cantonese immigrants migrated to, and there are versions of this dish everywhere from Thailand and Pakistan to Nigeria and Peru. This is an original recipe that is inspired by the flavors of Cantonese-style roast pork called char siu.

Get the Recipe: The Best Pork Fried Rice

Chicken Pot Stickers with Dipping Sauce

This is Molly Yeh's recipe for potstickers, which replaces the more common pork with ground chicken. As well, Molly teaches how to make everything from scratch, including the dumpling wrappers. If you're into DIY cooking projects, you will definitely want to check this out.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Pot Stickers with Dipping Sauce

Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu is an almost world-famous dish from the Sichuan province in China, where people love bold, spicy flavors. There are many international versions of this dish, including a milder Japanese version. The dish traditionally consists of soft tofu cubes swimming in a spicy sauce flavored with a small amount of meat and toban djan, spicy fermented broad bean paste. This is a meatier version perfect for those who haven't quite warmed up to tofu yet.

Get the Recipe: Mapo Tofu

Chocolate Sesame Balls

You can depend on Molly Yeh for new spins on classics, and her approach to traditional Chinese cooking is no different. Here she takes crispy-chewy sesame fritters and replaces the traditional red bean filling with Nutella. The best part of these treats is that they're also vegan and gluten free.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Sesame Balls

Classic Lo Mein

Lo Mein is a stir-fried noodle dish that has become a staple on Chinese-American restaurant menus. This recipe is Jet Tila's adaptation of the American takeout favorite. As he explains, don't try to look for a product called lo mein noodles, as they don't really insist. Instead, look for thick noodles similar in size to spaghetti.

Get the Recipe: Classic Lo Mein (Noodles)

Grandma's Tepong Pork

This recipe from Molly Yeh is her take on traditional Chinese braised pork. It's a simplified recipe that does away with some of the harder-to-find spices in favor of a paired-down ingredients list. The recipe also calls for sherry, which has long been an American substituion for Chinese rice wine and gives similar results. If you can find liaojiu — sometimes referred to as Shaoxing cooking wine — definitely use it in place of the sherry.

Get the Recipe: Grandma's Tepong Pork

Chinese Almond Cookies

These cookies are popular during the Chinese New Year festivities since they remind people of ancient Chinese coins and can invite wealth to visit a home in the coming year. Howeve, they are popular year-round in many Chinese bakeries. The traditional recipe calls for lard, but this recipe uses butter instead.

Get the Recipe: Chinese Almond Cookies

Dan-Dan Noodles

Dan-dan noodles are another favorite dish of the Sichuan province, so think hot and spicy. These noodles have recently gained popularity throughout the world, and they have been popping up on more and more menus in the US. You actually get two recipes in one here. Besides these delectible noodles, you also learn how to make your own homemade chili oil.

Get the Recipe: Dan-Dan Noodles

Easy Stir-Fry Sauce

Stir-fried dishes are major part of Chinese cooking, and each stir fry usually gets a differnt combination of seasonings uniquely tailored to bring out the flavors and textures of the ingredients used. It can take a long time to master how to combine seasonings on the fly, so we came up with a sort of shortcut you can use for almost any stir fry. Keep this in your fridge and you can whip up a meal in no time.

Get the Recipe: Easy Stir-Fry Sauce

Bai Qie Ji (White Cut Chicken)

Throughout much of the world, chicken is a luxurious delicacy that's prepared in ways that bring out its flavor and succulence. A perfect example of this is bai qie ji, which is a simple poached chicken with a scallion and ginger dipping sauce. Because this dish is supposed to highlight the flavor of the chicken, it's best to splurge on a high-quality heirloom variety. If you live close to a Chinese enclave, seek out a live poultry vendor so that you can get the freshest chicken possible. They will typically dispatch and clean it for you if you ask.

Get the Recipe: Bai Qie Ji (White Cut Chicken)

Crisp Seaweed with Peanuts

This is a favorite appetizer from the coastal city of Ningbo. The traditional recipe calls for a type of seaweed that is nearly impossible to find in stores outside of China. However, you may be lucky enough to find it wild on the beach if you know what you're looking for. If you can't find it, this recipe calls for a simple cheat that many Chinese restaurants in the UK use.

Get the Recipe: Crisp Seaweed with Peanuts

Carrot Steamed Buns

Chinese steamed buns are a close cousin to dumplings, except they feature thick, fluffy exteriors thanks to the addition of yeast in the dough. As such, just a couple of buns can make for a filling meal. Here is a recipe for a vegetarian version featuring carrots and roasted peanuts.

Get the Recipe: Carrot Steamed Buns

Smashed Chinese Cucumber Salad

This type of cucumber salad is popular in many parts of China. Smashing the cucumbers (quite literally with a rolling pin) rather than slicing or chopping them gives the pieces a rough, jagged texture that soaks up the tangy dressing. As well, smashing releases the cucumber's juices, which meld with the other ingredients and form part of the seasoning of this dish.

Get the Recipe: Smashed Chinese Cucumber Salad

Law Bak Go

This recipe is for a popular Chinese New Year dish and uses a generous amount of daikon radish (the "turnip"). Daikon tends to have a mild flavor, so this recipe includes some deeply umami ingredients like dried scallops, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese bacon, dried shrimp and Chinese sausage.

Get the Recipe: Law Bak Go

Beef Chow Fun

This is a favorite Southern Chinese dish made with wide, thick rice noodles. The noodles are tossed in a searing hot wok along with beef and veggies to make a smoky, charred noodle dish. The right noodles may not always be easy to find, which is why this recipe includes instructions for how to make your own rice noodles from scratch!

Get the Recipe: Beef Chow Fun

Steamed Striped Bass with Ginger and Scallions

Steamed whole fish is one of the hallmarks of Chinese cooking. While it may seem like a simple and light way of preparing fish, the technique has been perfected over centuries and brings out the best flavors of the fish. That being said, it's important to use the freshest fish you can find.

Get the Recipe: Steamed Striped Bass with Ginger and Scallions

Mooncakes

Mooncakes are a necessity during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is the traditional Chinese harvest festival and can be seen almost like Thanksgiving. These exquisite cakes fit into the palm of your hand and feature a rich dough encasing various fillings. This recipe teaches you how to make a classic lotus seed paste moon cake.

Get the Recipe: Mooncakes

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung pao chicken is a spicy dish from the Sichuan (also spelled Szechuan) region of China, where one of the preferred flavor profiles is know as ma la, which roughly translates as spicy and numbing. The spiciness comes from chilies while the numbing tingles (think sticking your tongue on a nine-volt battery as a kid) comes from Sichuan peppercorns. This dish was also adapted to Anglo-American tastes in the US and has become a favorite Chinese-American staple. Molly Yeh's recipe is a nice middle ground between the traditional Chinese preparation and the American takeout version.

Get the Recipe: Kung Pao Chicken

Shanghai Stir-Fried Chunky Noodles

This noodle dish makes for a filling and pretty complete meal. The key is to use Shanghai-style noodles, which are thick and bouncy. If those are difficult to find, Japanese-style udon noodles are a great substitution. While the dish calls for pork, it's not central to the flavor, so vegetarians can omit it if they wish.

Get the Recipe: Shanghai Stir-Fried Chunky Noodles

Traditional Mandarin Fried Rice

This is a more traditional style of chow fan that features just a couple of seasonings. The star ingredient in this dish is the lapcheung, or Chinese sausage. These are sold at most Asian markets and have a sweet, porky flavor and plenty of tasty fat that will render out and flavor the rice. It's important to use day-old rice for this dish. Using freshly cooked rice will make this dish mushy.

Get the Recipe: Traditional Mandarin Fried Rice

Tea Smoked Duck

There is some controversy as to whether this dish originated in Sichuan province or Hunan province, both known for their boldly-flavored cuisines. Regardless of where you think this dish originated, smoking the duck with Chinese black tea gives it a deep, fragrant aroma that compliments the other aromatic spices.

Get the Recipe: Tea Smoked Duck

Peanut-Chicken Noodle Salad

Cold noodle dishes are very popular in China, especially to combat the summer heat in some of the more tropical regions like Guandong and Yunnan. This recipe uses Chinese wheat noodles, which are bouncier and more toothsome than Italian semolina pasta, so make sure to get the right noodles. A medley of of veggies, herbs and nuts give the dish some textural complexity while a rich peanut sauce makes it addictively creamy.

Get the Recipe: Peanut-Chicken Noodle Salad

Potstickers with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Potstickers are a type of dumpling that is fried, boiled and steamed almost at the same time. By searing one side of these dumplings in a skillet with oil and then pouring in water to let them boil and steam, you end up with dumplings that are chewy on one side and crispy golden-brown on the other. You can make these well in advance and even freeze them before cooking.

Get the Recipe: Potstickers with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Vegetarian Zha Jiang Mian

Zha Jiang Mian is a favorite dish from Northern China around the capital city, Beijing. It consists of wheat noodles topped with an ebony-hued, garlicky black bean sauce studded with meat and topped with cucumber and other veggies. This version calls for a meat substitute, but you can skip it or replace it with meat if you so wish. A version of this dish also ended up in South Korean Chinese restaurants and became so popular it's now considered a part of the country's national cuisine.

Get the Recipe: Zha Jiang Mian Meatless Chinese Spaghetti

Spicy Eggplant

Eggplant is a popular vegetable in many parts of China, as well as throughout the Diaspora. However, the eggplants used in Chinese cuisine are different from what you may find at a Western market. They are long and slender with lilac-colored skins and the creamiest, softest, most velvety flesh you can imagine. The combination of fried eggplants and a spicy, aromatic pork sauce will make this dish part of your weekly rotation.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Eggplant

Crispy Pan-Fried Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables (Gai See Liang Mein Wong)

Crispy pan-fried noodles originated in the Shanghai and Suzhou region of China. As Shanghainese people migrated to Hong Kong, the dish came with them and became very popular there. It’s known by a number of names, including “Hong Kong–style noodle” and “pan-fried noodles” in English; in Cantonese, it’s often called “gong sik chow mein,” and also the traditional “liang mein huang” (literally “two face golden,” describing the two golden sides of the noodle nest). This recipe is the restaurant-style version with crunchy deep-fried noodles surrounding sautéed chicken and vegetables covered in brown gravy. As the gravy coats the noodles in the center, they soften and become similar to lo mein in texture. You can substitute other proteins for the chicken (beef, pork or shrimp, for instance); just adjust the cooking times.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Pan-Fried Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables (Gai See Liang Mein Wong)

Steamed Black Bean Spareribs

Steamed black bean spareribs (si zap zing pai gwat in Cantonese) are popular at dim sum restaurants but they can be a great go-to dinner at home. With just a little marinating and simple steaming you have a tasty dish that is easy to round out with rice or noodles and blanched or stir-fried vegetables. (You can prepare them while the ribs cook.)  Fermented black beans are the primary flavoring agent here, providing a unique savory saltiness. Pork sparerib tips come from the ends of spareribs that are butchered to yield St. Louis ribs. The ones sold in Asian markets tend to be about 1 inch thick, while the ones at many grocery stores are about 2 inches thick. If you use thinner rib tips, reduce the steaming to 15 minutes. If you can only find whole spareribs, ask the butcher to cut them crosswise into 2-inch-thick pieces.

Get the Recipe: Steamed Black Bean Spareribs

Grass Jelly Dessert

Grass jelly dessert is a harmony of rich coconut, bright fruit, chewy tapioca pearls, taro balls or mochi and ice cream of your choice. Asian dessert shops in Chinatown usually sell this dish as a set combination, but there are rare shops that sell a mix-and-match version where you can create your own based on your preferences. Our coconut milk mixture is similar to the ones from the dessert shops, with a balanced flavor that goes with any topping, but feel free to make it more or less sweet by adjusting the amount of sweetened condensed milk.

Get the Recipe: Grass Jelly Dessert

Ba Si Di Gua

Chinese candied sweet potatoes are a popular restaurant dessert consisting of tender, fluffy fried sweet potatoes coated in golden brown caramel. As it cools, the caramel becomes a crunchy shell that shatters when you bite into it, creating a wonderful contrast of textures. Some restaurants put the just-coated potatoes into a bowl of ice water tableside to quickly set the sugar; feel free to do the same at home. If you don’t, serve the dish as quickly as possible because as it cools, the caramel will stick to the plate. We used orange sweet potatoes, but any type is fine.

Get the Recipe: Ba Si Di Gua

Chinese Plum Sauce

The condiment sū méi jiàng is typically made with plums, vinegar, sugar and some spices. Our version of plum sauce has the perfect balance of sweetness, brightness and light spice. It’s traditionally used as a dipping sauce for fried foods like spring rolls, egg rolls and fried wontons, and for basting duck, chicken and pork. But there’s no need to stop there. Try it tossed with noodles or a stir-fry, or mixed into a salad dressing for a twist.

Get the Recipe: Chinese Plum Sauce

Smashed Cucumber and Watermelon Salad

Smashed cucumber salad (or pai huang gua) is a staple side dish in many Chinese restaurants and usually consists of cucumbers tossed with black vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and sesame seeds (or oil). In other variations, chiles and sometimes Sichuan peppercorn are added. We started with the technique of smashing the cucumbers, which creates jagged edges and more surface area for the dressing to get absorbed, and salting them, which softens the skin, firms up the flesh and releases some water to concentrate the flavor, then added a twist. This version combines the freshness of sweet watermelon and an abundance of herbs with a little heat from chiles and ginger. It's a bright summer salad that hits all the flavor receptors.

Get the Recipe: Smashed Cucumber and Watermelon Salad

Douhua

Tofu pudding (also known as dou fu hua), has a light, fresh taste and incredibly soft texture--softer than silken tofu. It can be a great canvas for any flavor, from savory bright pickles to spicy chili oil with soy sauce, but the dish is typically found in dim sum restaurants as a dessert option, usually in a large metal pot within a large wooden basket on its own cart. The server will always ask “with syrup?” which means a sweet ginger syrup that pairs well with the pudding. Dim sum restaurants often use gallons of soy milk and a specific coagulant that requires precise measurement to the 0.1 grams, so we developed this recipe using gypsum as a small-batch, user-friendly way of making tofu pudding at home. The only drawback to gypsum is the dry-mouth feeling it can produce when eaten by itself, but the gingery syrup pairing mellows the effect--and its consistent results make it preferable to the other options we tried. We also found that switching to a metal cake pan instead of a glass bowl helps with setting the pudding, even though it's not traditional.

Get the Recipe: Douhua

Lo Mai Fan

This popular dim sum dish--stir-fried sticky rice with Chinese sausage (or lo mai fan in Cantonese)--is packed with sweet Chinese sausage (lap cheong), umami-filled shiitake mushrooms and dried shrimp, a savory seasoning sauce and fresh herbs to brighten the dish. Roasted peanuts aren’t the most traditional, but they provide pops of crunch and nutty flavor. The lap cheong is typically cut into small dice or even finer for this dish, but we like the prominent sausage flavor when it's cut into thin half-moons. Feel free to chop it smaller or larger if you’d like.

Get the Recipe: Lo Mai Fan

The Best Pepper Steak

Pepper steak is a Chinese-American stir-fry dish that coats tender sliced steak and crisp-tender bell peppers in a deeply savory and slightly sweet sauce. We used flank steak here, but it is equally delicious with skirt or flap steak. No matter the cut, make sure to slice it thinly across the grain to ensure the meat is tender in the final dish. We tested bell peppers cut into a variety of sizes and found that one-inch pieces worked best, yielding peppers cooked to the perfect doneness (not too snappy but not at all mushy).

Get the Recipe: The Best Pepper Steak

Hong Kong-Style Condensed Milk Toast

When you think of snacks, you might not think of toast. But in Hong Kong, you can find condensed milk toast with peanut butter on any cha chaan tang (café) menu--and it's served all day. Warm sweet and savory fried bread with an oozy and creamy filling is a delicious way to satisfy any craving, day or night.

Get the Recipe: Hong Kong-Style Condensed Milk Toast

Nai Wong Bao

As an early morning accompaniment to hot milk tea or the end to a flavorful dim sum brunch, steamed custard bao is the perfect combination of warm pillowy dough and lightly sweet creamy filling. It's a pairing that fills the soul. The Chinese name, nai wong bao, translates to milk yellow bun. The milk refers to the milk-enriched dough, the yellow to the bright filling and the bun is just another word for bao. Custard powder isn't a traditional ingredient in the buns, but it's an easy way to boost the creamy flavor and yellow color of the filling.

Get the Recipe: Nai Wong Bao

Donabe Black Bean Spareribs with Rice

After a long day of running errands in Chinatown with my parents, they would treat my siblings and me to a clay pot of black bean spareribs with rice. The rice soaked in all the flavors of the delicious spareribs; my favorite part was always the crispy rice that formed on the bottom of the clay pot, almost like the socarrat on paella. Once the small but extremely hot clay pot arrived at the table, my dad would drizzle in the sweet soy sauce and a sizzling sound would tell us it was time to dig in. This recipe gives the same flavors, sizzle and warmth of that dish from years ago, but is scaled for a large donabe, so it can be enjoyed as a family.

Get the Recipe: Donabe Black Bean Spareribs with Rice

Siu Mai

No dim sum table is complete without siu mai--open-faced dumplings with a thin wonton wrapper and savory "bouncy" filling--and every restaurant's recipe is slightly different. We’ve created a pork and shrimp version for a delicious "surf and turf" combo. The baking soda marinade for the pork and shrimp helps develop the optimal texture of the filling, as does the process of tossing the filling against the bottom of the bowl. Hand-chopping the pork belly also adds to the unique texture, but ground pork could be substituted in a pinch.

Get the Recipe: Siu Mai

Har Gow

Har gow--or crystal shrimp dumplings--are a staple on any dim sum restaurant table. Known for their slightly chewy translucent skins, bright orange shrimp filling and many small pleats, they are the hallmark of a great dim sum chef: the more pleats and the more translucent the skins, the more skilled the chef. Using a baking soda soak helps improve the texture of the shrimp, making it more "snappy," while slowly adding boiling water to the wheat starch helps create the signature translucent skins.

Get the Recipe: Har Gow

Instant Pot Zongzi (Joong)

For as long as I can remember, my family always ate joong, as they’re called in Cantonese (or “zongzi” in Mandarin), around Dragon Boat Festival. But I only learned how to make them as an adult when I asked my mother-in-law about the process. Her family recipe originated in her village of Toishan in Guangdong Province, China. I was shocked but also intrigued by the level of dedication required for this humble dish of stuffed glutinous rice cooked in bamboo leaves. There were weeks of coordinating among a group of ten aunties to decide when and where to hand-stuff and tie 150 to 200 of the bundles (a two-day process). They would then find the largest stockpots in the neighborhood to boil the joong for about 8 hours per batch over the course of another two days. The enormous effort resulted in enough food to share among friends and family while commemorating the holiday. This adaptation of my mother-in-law's recipe uses much smaller quantities and employs an Instant Pot, drastically cutting down on the cooking time of these delicious sticky rice dumplings. I hope this streamlined version makes it easy to enjoy the dish with your loved ones.

Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Zongzi (Joong)

Mango Pudding Cups

Hong Kong–style mango pudding is an often underrated dessert on dim sum carts and menus, but it deserves to be as coveted as flaky egg tarts. This mango pudding has a silky-smooth texture and relies heavily on ripe mangos for a natural sweetness and bright flavor. A drizzle of sweetened condensed milk and a few cubes of fresh mangoes on top make this a perfect sweet treat for a warm, sunny day or ending to a dim sum feast.

Get the Recipe: Mango Pudding Cups

Tomato and Egg with Rice

Tomato and egg with rice is a classic Chinese comfort food. Its simplicity makes this dish a common yet satisfying weeknight meal. With the exception of fresh tomatoes, all the ingredients are staples in a Chinese household. I prefer to make the recipe with plum tomatoes, which I find to be the variety most consistent in flavor and texture. Some recipes don’t use a cornstarch slurry, but I like to simmer it with the tomatoes to ensure a long-stewed consistency (instead of one that’s watered down) in a matter of minutes. Another key to success is to avoid overcooking the eggs. A soft scramble with big curds is just the right texture.

Get the Recipe: Tomato and Egg with Rice

Pineapple Buns (Bo Lo Bao)

Pineapple buns (or bo lo bao in Cantonese) are a Chinese bakery classic. They can vary in terms of the sweetness of the cookie topping as well as by the shape, size and softness of the bun. This version has a soft and fluffy bun inspired by Chinese milk bread, crowned with a sweet cookie dough that melds onto the top during baking. Despite the name, no pineapple is actually used in the recipe. It refers to the crosshatch pattern in the topping that evokes the exterior of the fruit.

Get the Recipe: Pineapple Buns (Bo Lo Bao)

Fried Sesame Balls with Lotus Paste Filling

With a crispy, fried exterior, soft, chewy dough and sweet filling, the fried sesame balls called zin deoi in Cantonese (also spelled “jin deui” and “zeen doy”) are a staple in dim sum restaurants and some Chinese bakeries. The mochi-like dough gets its texture from glutinous rice flour, while adding wheat starch makes it easier to work with and prevents the dough balls from breaking as they expand. You can find fried sesame balls filled with red bean paste, which is traditional, or with peanut butter or chocolate hazelnut spread, which are less so. We filled ours with a traditional lotus paste, made from dried lotus seeds that are soaked and sweetened. The lotus paste has a subtle chestnut and almond flavor that pairs especially well with the coating of nutty sesame seeds on the fried dough.

Get the Recipe: Fried Sesame Balls with Lotus Paste Filling

Chinese Milk Bread

Chinese milk bread has a soft, fluffy interior and sweet, golden-brown top. One bite and the tender crumb melts in your mouth. Chinese milk bread is very similar to Japanese milk bread (called "shokupan") in that a mixture of flour and water is heated then cooled before adding to the dough. This tangzhong method used here has a higher ratio of water to flour, which helps the bread retain more moisture and remain softer for longer. You can bake the dough in a loaf pan to slice for sandwiches or toast. Here, we shape the dough into individual buns. They can be enjoyed on their own, with butter and jam, or used as slider buns.

Get the Recipe: Chinese Milk Bread

XO Sauce

XO sauce originated in Hong Kong in the 1980s and is usually credited to Spring Moon restaurant at the Peninsula Hotel. Although the sauce was named after the "XO" (extra old) designation for expensive, aged Cognacs, it doesn’t contain any of its namesake alcohol. The "XO" reflects the luxurious nature of this umami-rich sauce, made with top-quality and expensive ingredients, such as dried scallops, dried shrimp and premium Jinhua ham. You can source dried scallops and shrimp online or at local Chinese markets. Jinhua ham is not available in the United States, but you can use other Chinese-style cured hams; American country hams such as Smithfield ham or Virginia ham make good substitutes. This recipe streamlines some of the process: the ingredients are fried in stages (instead of fried individually then removed from the oil), and a food processor replaces a lot of the knife work. However, the end result is still a satisfyingly salty, sweet, and complex sauce with a little bit of heat. Serve it on fried rice, stir-fried noodles, sauteed vegetables, seafood, chicken, even plain rice—any time you want to add some depth and complexity to a dish. It tastes delicious on just about anything!

Get the Recipe: XO Sauce

Rice Cooker Pork Belly with Mui Choy

This hearty tender pork belly in a rich, savory sauce is made entirely in a rice cooker with flavors inspired by the Chinese classic, steamed pork belly with preserved mustard greens (mui choy kau yuk in Cantonese; mei cai kou rou in Mandarin). This celebratory dish is often served on special occasions, like Chinese New Year, with rice on the side. Here, we’ve streamlined the process, cooking the pork and mui choy (preserved mustard greens) all together with jasmine rice. To mimic the deep, long-braised flavor of the original, we fortified the sauce with umami-rich chicken broth, fish sauce and fermented red bean curd. Lastly, we added napa cabbage as a bonus ingredient for an all-in-one meal that can be enjoyed on any day.

Get the Recipe: Rice Cooker Pork Belly with Mui Choy