Recreate Your Favorite Chinese Takeout Classics With These 29 Recipes

DIY dumplings, simple stir-fries, and the ultimate mapo tofu.

By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on May 17, 2022

Sure, ordering in for Chinese takeout is easy—you call into your favorite restaurant, pick out your go-to starters, stir-fries, and noodles, and then camp out in front of the TV with those little foldable cartons. But did you know that some of those Chinese takeout classics can be even quicker to make at home?

Lightning-fast stir fries like lo mein and fried rice are just a few minutes and wrist flick away. Twice-fried saucy staples like General Tso’s and Kung Pao chicken sometimes suffer from the rigors of delivery; making them in your own kitchen ensures that dinner hits the table hot out of the wok. Even dumplings, which may seem labor intensive, are more manageable than you might think; with our guide, the whole family can get in on the fun of folding and crimping their way to a delicious (and kid-friendly) meal. 

So if you’re game for cooking tonight, but still have a taste for great Chinese food, break out the wok and have a go at recreating some of our favorites at home.

Typically eaten for breakfast in China and other parts of Asia, this comforting recipe is often mixed with meat, poultry, or seafood and gets a jolt of flavor from its garnish of scallions, chiles, and shallots. Get the recipe >

This Chinese American version of the Cantonese dish is based on a recipe from The Chinese Cookbookthe groundbreaking 1972 volume by Craig Claiborne and Virginia Lee. Our version offers a sweet-and-sour sauce that is most typically used on fish, but is just as delicious on twice-fried pork. Get the recipe >

The heat and aromatic spice of black pepper gets center stage in this simple Cantonese classic. Get the recipe >

At Peking Duck House on Mott Street in New York City’s Chinatown, these sizzling lamb chops are served atop a bed of lightly steamed broccoli. Pair them with plenty of steamed white rice for sopping up their salty-sweet and aromatic sauce. Get the recipe >

A long marinade and a quick fry are the keys to this sweet and tangy starter. Get the recipe >

Mozel Watson (owner of Wines by Mozel), is a die-hard fan of the lo mein at Peking Duck House in New York City’s Chinatown. He likes to pair the dish with Ruinart champagne. The wine’s fine bubbles “act like tiny knives, cutting right through the noodles,” and each of the ingredients complement the wine’s round, creamy bright apple notes. Get the recipe >

Two types of soy sauce and a touch of sugar give this dish—beloved throughout China—its signature glossiness and a deep red-brown tint. Serve the tender pork belly morsels and boiled eggs with a light vegetable, like bok choy. Get the recipe >

A classic Chinese dish made with boiled-then-stir-fried pork and plenty of leeks and fermented black soy beans. Boiling the pork (the first "cooked") renders some of the fat and makes it easier to slice and crisp up later in a blazing-hot wok. Get the recipe >

Peanut butter, sesame paste, and chile-garlic paste combine to make a silky, savory sauce for these noodles—a Chinese-American restaurant staple. Chopped peanuts and a flurry of slivered cucumber and carrot add crunch. Get the recipe >

The go-to Chinese filling: juicy pork mixed with the fresh onion flavor of garlic chives. Try to find a fatty blend of ground pork; it will improve the filling's flavor and juiciness. Chopped garlic chives, which have a peppery raw-garlic flavor, and fresh ginger cut through the rich meat. Make sure the dumplings are completely sealed and devoid of air bubbles to prevent any leaks during boiling. This recipe is adapted from The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook. Get the recipe >

In these delightfully rich dumplings, homemade or store-bought chile oil is balanced by freshness from scallions and ginger and sweetness from oyster sauce. To maximize the crispy surface area, stretch and arc the shape of the raw dumpling slightly. Get the recipe >

Chiles, scallions, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce flavor tender chicken and peanuts in this moderately spicy dish. ​Get the recipe >

In China, this combination of shrimp, scallops, and crab is a special-occasion dumpling filling. The clean flavor and slippery texture of the shellfish are unobscured by any filler. Serve steamed dumplings directly from the bamboo steamers, since their delicate wrappers can break in transfer. Get the recipe >

Chinese New Year has come and gone, but that doesn't mean you can't keep celebrating with these easy-to-make potstickers. Get the recipe >

This simple stir-fry is flavored with soy sauce, ginger, and rice wine. Get the recipe >

An adaptation of the fried wonton, crab rangoon is one of the most enduringly popular appetizers at the posh Polynesian restaurant chain Trader Vic's. Get the recipe >

Apricot jam lends a touch of sweetness, acidity, and sheen in this riff on a classic General Tso’s chicken, a dish with Hunanese and Taiwanese roots which has become a Chinese American takeout favorite. Get the recipe >

A handful of soybeans and fresh spinach lightens up this Chinese restaurant favorite. Get the recipe >

In this Sichuan classic, tofu and ground pork or beef are braised in a fiery red chile sauce. Get the recipe >

Chewy rice cakes bring delightful texture to this spicy vegetarian stir-fry. Get the recipe >

If you can't find choy sum, whole baby bok choy makes a fine substitute in this recipes. Get the recipe >

Crisp, savory and easy to make, scallion pancakes are great for crowd-pleasing appetizers or snacks. Get the recipe >

Tossing these tasty pork wontons (a mix of ground pork, rice wine, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce) in red chile oil adds the signature Sichuan heat. Get the recipe >

For this beloved dish of China's Sichuan province, a tangle of wheat noodles is topped with a spicy, pungent pork sauce. Get the recipe >

Steaming eggplant, as opposed to deep-frying it, lightens this fragrant stir-fry adapted from a recipe in Grace Young and Alan Richardson's The Breath of a Wok (Simon & Schuster, 2004). Get the recipe >

Mild ingredients—mushrooms, tofu—are nestled in a fiery, vinegar-laced broth. Get the recipe >

Food writer Lillian Chou shared this carefully layered salty-sweet stir-fry from her friend Sun Guoying, who introduces dry and wet ingredients to the wok in a strictly prescribed order. Get the recipe >

These are made using a collagen-rich pork stock that gels as it cools; the jelly can then be sliced and mixed with ground pork and aromatics and used as filling. Get the recipe >

Watch: How to Make Spicy Beef Dumplings

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.