25 Chinese Recipes that are Better than Takeout

It's worth making dumplings and kung pao chicken at home

Sure, takeout is easy—you call into the restaurant, pick out a few stir-fries and noodles that sound good, and then camp out in front of the TV with your little foldable cartons and a pair of splintery chopsticks. But for the most part, making your favorite Chinese takeout dish at home is just as easy, and quicker to boot. Chances, are it's a lot healthier too. Dumplings may seem challenging, but with our dumpling guide, you can fold and crimp your way to easy dinner in no time. Are pork buns a favorite at dim sum? Bam. You can master them too. Still hungry? After you've tackled these 25, dive into all of our Chinese recipes.

Chinese Steamed Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)
Steamed Pork Buns
Chinese Steamed Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)Cornstarch adds a silkiness to bao dough, mimicking the bleached, low-protein flour commonly used in Chinese bakeries (but harder to find in supermarkets). Lard adds tenderness, richness, and a subtle porky finish. Get the recipe for Chinese Steamed Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao) »Matt Taylor-Gross
Shanghai Red-Braised Pork with Eggs
Shanghai Red-Braised Pork with Eggs
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 for Shanghai Red-Braised Pork with Eggs »Yuki Sugiura
Sichuan Twice-Cooked Pork Belly
Twice cooked pork
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 for Sichuan Twice-Cooked Pork Belly »Matt Taylor-Gross
Cold Sesame Noodles
Cold Sesame Noodles
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 for Cold Sesame Noodles »Maxime Iattoni
Boiled Pork and Chive Dumplings
boiled pork and chive dumplings
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 for Boiled Pork and Chive Dumplings »Heami Lee
Pan-Fried Spicy Beef Dumplings
pan-fried spicy beef dumplings
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 for Pan-Fried Spicy Beef Dumplings »Heami Lee
​Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken
Chiles, scallions, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce flavor tender chicken and peanuts in this moderately spicy dish. ​Get the recipe for Kung Pao Chicken »Helen Rosner
Steamed Mixed Shellfish Dumplings
steamed mixed shellfish dumplings
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 for Steamed Mixed Shellfish Dumplings »Heami Lee
Pork and Cabbage Potstickers
Pork and Cabbage potstickers
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 for Pork and Cabbage Potstickers »Farideh Sadeghin
Stir-Fried Beef with Broccoli
Stir-Fried Beef with Broccoli
This simple stir-fry is flavored with soy sauce, ginger, and rice wine. Get the recipe for Stir-Fried Beef with Broccoli »Farideh Sadeghin
Crab Rangoon
Crab Rangoon
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 for Crab Rangoon »Matt Taylor-Gross
General Tso's Chicken
General Tso's Chicken
While General Tso remains famous in his home province of Hunan, it turns out the eponymous dish named after him is relatively unknown. Get the recipe for General Tso's Chicken »Todd Coleman
Spinach and Edamame Egg Drop Soup
Spinach and Edamame Egg Drop Soup
A handful of soybeans and fresh spinach lightens up this Chinese restaurant favorite. Get the recipe for Spinach and Edamame Egg Drop Soup »Farideh Sadeghin
Ma Yi Shang Shu ("Ants Climbing a Tree")
Ma Yi Shang Shu ("Ants Climbing a Tree")
The name for this Sichuanese dish means "ants climbing a tree" because of the way the ground pork clings to the strands of glass noodles. Get the recipe for Ma Yi Shang Shu ("Ants Climbing a Tree") »Ariana Lindquist
Mapo Tofu (Sichuan Tofu and Ground Beef in Red Chile Sauce)
Mapo Tofu
This spicy braise, garnished with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns, is Sichuan's most famous dish. Get the recipe for Mapo Tofu (Sichuan Tofu and Ground Beef in Red Chile Sauce) »Ariana Lindquist
Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes (Chao Nian Gao)
Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes (Chao Nian Gao)
Chewy rice cakes bring delightful texture to this spicy vegetarian stir-fry. Get the recipe for Shanghai Stir-Fried Rice Cakes (Chao Nian Gao) »Ingalls Photography
Asian Greens with Garlic Sauce
Asian Greens with Garlic Sauce
If you can't find choy sum, whole baby bok choy makes a fine substitute in this recipes. Get the recipe for Asian Greens with Garlic Sauce »Farideh Sadeghin
Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing)
Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing)
Crisp, savory and easy to make, scallion pancakes are great for crowd-pleasing appetizers or snacks. Get the recipe for Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing) »Todd Coleman
Chao Shou (Sichuan Pork Wontons)
Chao Shou (Sichuan Pork Wontons)
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 Chao Shou (Sichuan Pork Wontons) »Ariana Lindquist
Dan Dan Mian (Sichuan Noodles with Spicy Pork Sauce)
Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles
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 for Dan Dan Mian (Sichuan Noodles with Spicy Pork Sauce) »Ariana Lindquist
Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)
Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)
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 for Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi) »SAVEUR
Sho' Nuff Noodles
Marcus Samuelsson's Sho' Nuff Noodles
We first fell in love with these lightly spicy lo mein noodles when chef Marcus Samuelsson dropped by our kitchen to test drive some recipes for his Harlem restaurant, Streetbird Rotisserie. Laced with oyster sauce, ginger, and yuzu kosho and tossed with pickled mustard greens, the dish is a medley of sweet, tangy, spicy, and sour. Get the recipe for Sho' Nuff Noodles »Farideh Sadeghin
Hot and Sour Soup (Suan La Tang)
Hot and Sour Soup (Suan La Tang)
Mild ingredients—mushrooms, tofu—are nestled in a fiery, vinegar-laced broth. Get the recipe for Hot and Sour Soup (Suan La Tang) »Todd Coleman
Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian)
Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian)
The silken noodles in this northern Chinese stir-fry are a perfect foil for crunchy fresh vegetables; a little ground pork gives the dish a savory depth. Get the recipe for Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian) »Todd Coleman
Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
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 for Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) »Maxime Iattoni