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3 SUPER Easy Chinese Dishes to Change Up Your Quarantine Cuisine

ASHLEY LABRIE

Getting sick of the pasta, frozen meats and canned goods during quarantine? We hear you on that!

That’s why we’ve chosen three SUPER easy to make Chinese dishes that are both authentic and delicious, and are great for shaking up your meal routine! 

What’s more, the dishes we chose are not only super easy to make, but you should have most, if not all, of the ingredients in your kitchen already! If not, they’re pretty easy to find at your local grocery store.

These dishes themselves are side dishes, but you could always pair them with some rice and maybe some meat, poultry, or fish to make a more hearty meal! 

Recipe #1: 番茄炒蛋 (fān qié chǎo dàn) - Tomato and Egg Stir-fry

First up on our list is one of the simplest Chinese dishes out there, and arguably one of the main homestyle comfort foods of China - 番茄炒蛋 (fān qié chǎo dàn)


Literally, it translates to “Tomato Fried Egg”. Even the name sounds easy!




Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp and 1 tsp of cooking oil
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 1 tbsp spring onion, chopped, for garnishing (optional)

The prep time takes about 5 minutes, and another 5 minutes to cook, and then you’re done! This works out to 2 servings of the dish.

Instructions:

  • Peel the skin off of each of the tomatoes, then cut them up into small chunks. 
  • Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat them, while adding 1 tbsp of water.
  • Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan (or a wok if you have one) on high heat. Pour in the eggs when the oil smokes. When the egg is cooked, push it to one side to let the uncooked part touch the bottom of the pan. Take the egg out as soons as the liquid disappears, but make sure you don’t overcook it!
  • Put 1 tsp of oil in the same pan, and cook the tomato and garlic on medium heat until the tomato is a bit mushy. 
  • Add the cooked egg. Break the egg up a bit with the spatula. 
  • Sprinkle the salt and sugar in, then mix everything together once more.
  • To spruce up the dish a bit, garnish the dish with the spring onion before serving.

Recipe from redhousespice.com


*Bonus: Want to check out the sister recipe to this dish - Tomato Egg Drop Soup - 番茄蛋汤 (fān qié dàn tāng)


Then check out this blog post on how to make egg drop soup - and what variations you can make with different ingredients!


Recipe #2: 酸辣土豆丝 (suān là tǔ dòu sī) - Chinese Potato Stir-fry

Our next recipe is my personal favorite - it’s the right mix of spicy, sour and savory: 酸辣土豆丝 (suān là tǔ dòu sī). Literally, it means “sour spicy potato threads”. 


The name may sound a bit weird or unappetizing, but believe me - it’s a delicious and exciting spin to put on your regular old potato dishes.


Beware - this dish can be a bit spicy, so if you can’t eat too spicy, try minimizing the amount of the spices used, or perhaps leave them out if you can’t handle spicy at all! 



Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 450g of potatoes (or about 2 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 3 dried chilli peppers, deseeded*
  • 1/2 tsp of Sichuan peppercorns*
  • 2 fresh chilli peppers, sliced*
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp of black rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp of salt (or just salt to taste)

*(These are the spices to adjust if you can’t eat too spicy!)

It takes about 10 minutes to prep the ingredients, and another 3 or so minutes to cook, and that’s it! This recipe makes 2 servings of the dish.

Instructions:

  • Peel the potatoes and then cut them into julienne-style strips. You can also use a food processor or julienne peeler if you have one, to get the same results (using a regular grater is now recommended though). 
  • Rinse the potato strips under tap water to remove excess starch, and then drain them really well.
  • Heat up a wok (or pan if you don’t have one) on high heat. Pour in the oil, then add the dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorn. Leave it to sizzle until it's fragrant, but be careful not to burn them! 
  • Put the fresh chilli, garlic and potato strips into the pan/wok. Continue to stir-fry until the potato is cooked (keep in mind the potato should still be a little crunchy).
  • Add black rice vinegar and salt, and then stir everything together once more, then it’s ready to be served! 

Recipe from redhousespice.com

Check out this lesson from our Beginner Conversational Course for some basic language when talking about eating spicy foods!

Want to learn even MORE about talking about spicy dishes in Chinese?


Check out this lesson from our Upper Intermediate Course, which is dedicated to this - we talk in depth about different levels of spicy, some signature spicy Chinese dishes, and more - you’ll find it especially helpful when ordering food in Chinese!


Recipe #3: 拍黄瓜 (pāi huáng gua)

The last Chinese dish on our list doesn’t even require cooking - how easy is that!? 


拍黄瓜 (pāi huáng gua), literally ‘beaten cucumbers’ is the perfect dish for those who are just plain tired of cooking and washing pans! (I know I am!)




Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh English cucumber (or two smaller ones) - around 350g
  • 3 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of black vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp of chili oil to taste
  • Salt to taste


The prep time takes just 5 minutes, and the ‘cooking’ time takes only 2, making it the quickest recipe yet!


Instructions:

  • Wash the cucumber well and peel off the tough skin (leave some skin on though).
  • Cut off the two ends of the cucumber, and smash it up with a wide knife (like a Chinese slicing knife), until the cucumber is crushed well.  Then, cut the cucumber up into bit-size cubes. 
  • Move the cucumber cubes into a bowl, and mix it well with mashed garlic and the other sauces - then it’s ready to be served!

Recipe from chinasichuanfood.com

“Hungry” for more? 

We teach a BUNCH of food-related vocabulary in Chinese and how to use it in our courses!


Check out this lesson as well as this one from our Beginner Conversational Course to get started learning the most important ones to know!


Looking for more advanced content?


Check out this lesson from our Upper Intermediate Course to learn more about some really common Chinese dishes!


We hope you enjoyed this list of 3 really easy to make Chinese dishes, so you can shake up your quarantine cuisine and try something new!

Let us know in the comments below to share if you’ve had these authentic Chinese dishes before, or better yet - if you made one of these yourself! Also, be sure to share YOUR favorite Chinese dishes and recipes as well!

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Ashley Labrie helps with all things academic at Yoyo Chinese. She has been learning Chinese for many years and has lived in China, where she first fell in love with the language and culture.

Thu, 14 May 2020 07:00:00 GMT

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