Some Chinese dishes are simple and easy, but others take a little more effort and time. If you're up for a challenge, take a look at the following traditional Chinese recipes that are worth the extra trouble.
01 of 07
Whether listed on the menu or featured on the dim sum cart at your local Chinese restaurant, har gow (xia jiao), or steamed shrimp dumplings, are often the most popular items ordered. Translucent wrappers hold a shrimp and vegetable mixture seasoned with rice wine and sesame oil, making for a delicate and light-tasting dim sum. The most challenging part of har gow is handling the dough, which is very sticky and can break apart easily—a good tip is coating your work area and equipment with vegetable oil.
02 of 07
This classic homemade noodle salad is a very popular dish in Taiwan. It’s especially popular during the summer time as summers in Taiwan are always really hot and humid so this noodle salad is made cold with a delicious sauce and refreshing ingredients to help people regain their appetite during this kind of hot weather. Making your own noodles can be difficult and time-consuming, but worth it.
03 of 07
According to legend, this delicious dish was created by a starving beggar who stole a chicken and then wrapped it in mud to hide it. Later, he cooked the mud-covered chicken over an open fire. More elaborate versions of this recipe call for stuffing the chicken and covering it with lotus leaves, then encasing it in a dough wrapping and baking it. In a simpler recipe for Beggar’s Chicken, the stuffed chicken is wrapped in aluminum foil before roasting.
04 of 07
This star of this showy banquet dish is the winter melon—a sweet-tasting melon with white flesh and seeds. The soup is a flavorful mixture of chopped winter melon, chicken stock, meats such as duck, and seasonings. For a fancier dish, it can be served inside the shell of the winter melon.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Nian Gao is a traditional Chinese New Year cake that is somewhat unique. It is steamed instead of baked and does not contain butter, eggs, or other ingredients normally found in a cake batter.
06 of 07
Who hasn’t tried these delicious deep-fried balls of glutinous rice dough that are filled with sweet red bean paste and coated with sesame seeds? The tricky part of making sesame balls comes when it's time to deep-fry them. The balls of dough need to be pressed down and rolled continually in order for them to expand properly, and this can take a bit of practice. However, even if homemade sesame seed balls aren’t the perfectly formed treats you’ll find in Chinese bakeries, they’re still fun to make.
07 of 07
Who would have guessed that a simple cookie could pose so many problems? You’ll find loads of complaints about fortune cookies that broke when they were folded on recipe Web sites. The trick to fortune cookies is making sure the batter is even. It's also important to remove the cookies from the oven at just the right moment.