Top 10 Deep-Fried Chinese Recipes

While deep-frying has gotten a bad rap in recent years due to health concerns, when properly done it actually leaves the food with very little extra oil. As long as you're using good quality oil and keeping it at a high temperature (usually between 350 F and 375 F) food should cook rapidly and not absorb too much oil. Deep-frying too many pieces of food at the same time lowers the temperature of the oil and consequently leads to greasy food. If you fry in small batches and use good oil, this technique can create crunchy and flavorful food without too many extra calories.

By deep-frying, you can enjoy Chinese versions of crunchy chicken, pork, rolls, seafood, and wontons. Here are the 10 most popular deep-fried Chinese and Chinese-American recipes.

  • 01 of 10

    Kung Pao Chicken

    Kung Pao Chicken
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    One of Szechuan's most famous dishes, Kung Pao chicken with peppers, garlic and peanuts is a real delight.

    Very few steps are required for this dish: cube chicken breast, marinate, and deep-fry. Stir-fry the garlic and peppers, adding the deep-fried chicken back into the wok. Make a savory sauce and add to hot wok with peanuts.

    Prep, cook and serve in 1 hour. Serve with sticky rice.

  • 02 of 10

    General Tso's Chicken

    General Tso's chicken
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    This North American-Chinese dish is a variation, some say, of an authentic Hunan dish. There are many theories about the origin of the dish but what remains clear is how famous it is amongst Americans. Although you can make it with chicken breast, it's the thigh meat what makes this dish special.

    Cut the chicken in cubes, marinate, and deep-fry until crispy. Stir-fry green onions and dried chili peppers, adding deep-fried chicken cubes and sauce.

    Prep and cook in 35 minutes. Serve immediately with white rice.

  • 03 of 10

    Spring Rolls

    Plate of spring rolls, sauce and salad
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    Spring rolls come with many fillings and in plenty of varieties. Our recipe gives you the steps to make shrimp and pork rolls, but you can choose to make it with just one of the two proteins.

    Marinated shredded pork and shrimp, dried black mushrooms, and garlic chives make a tasty savory filling. Use pre-made wonton wrappers, place a tablespoon of filling on each, and roll. Deep-fry until crunchy.

    If you have the time and want a true spring roll, make the wrappers following this recipe for spring roll wrappers.

    Prep and cook in 1 hour. Serve with plum sauce

  • 04 of 10

    Egg Rolls

    Platter of egg rolls with dipping sauce
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    The American take on spring rolls, eggs rolls are stuffed with pork and vegetables and served with a variety of sauces, like oyster sauce, duck sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or hot mustard.

    Season your pork and make a gravy. Stir-fry the pork with vegetables, add gravy until the filling thickens, and leave to cool. In pre-made wrappers, place a tablespoon of filling and make rolls. Deep-fry until golden and crisp.

    Prep and serve in 1 hour and 10 minutes.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Crab Rangoon

    Crab Rangoon
    Getty Images/Nick Tzolov

    Crab rangoon, or crab puffs, are yet another Chinese-American creation that has been a party favorite for decades.

    Make the stuffing with cream cheese and crab meat. Stuff wonton wrappers making a pyramid with a square base shape. Deep fry until golden brown and crisp.

    Most of the 50 minutes total that this recipe takes go into filling the wontons because you can make the filling in 5 minutes and cook them in another 5. Serve with sweet and sour sauce or hot mustard.

  • 06 of 10

    Sesame Chicken

    Sesame Chicken
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    Make this popular restaurant dish and drop the greasy takeout. When correctly made this chicken is crunchy and moist.

    Marinate your chicken breast and deep-fry it. Make a savory sauce and coat chicken with hot sauce. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.

    Prep and cook in 45 minutes, and serve with fried rice.

  • 07 of 10

    Sweet and Sour Pork

    Sweet And Sour Pork
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    A favorite of Cantonese cuisine both in China and North America, sweet and sour pork uses ketchup, vinegar, and sugar as the base of the sauce.

    After marinating the cubed pork, deep-fry it and reserve. Stir-fry your veggies and pineapple and add the fried pork back into the wok. Add sauce and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

    Make this dish in just 40 minutes for a tasty and nutritious weeknight meal. Serve over cashew rice.

  • 08 of 10

    Ginger Beef

    Ginger Beef

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    Ginger beef is a take out classic that you can enjoy without the added preservatives and fake flavors.

    Juicy beef is thinly sliced and marinated, then deep-fried until cooked and crispy. Veggies and spices go into the wok with the fried beef and a sweet and sour sauce. Choose your level of spiciness, adding more or fewer chili flakes.

    Prep and cook in 45 minutes. Serve with baked rice.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Lobster Cantonese

    Lobster being fried
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    This special Cantonese dish takes lobster tails to the next level, thanks to a savory black bean sauce and ground pork. Spices, vegetables, and a splash of sherry blend this beautiful dish together.

    Deep-fry your lobster tails and stir-fry veggies, spices, and pork. Add the lobster back to the wok and let the chicken stock and black bean sauce thicken.

    Prep and cook in 20 minutes for a no-fuss, delicious dish. Serve with white rice.

  • 10 of 10

    Fried Wonton

    Fried wonton dumplings
    Getty Images/Roy Hsu

    These little crunchy morsels of pork and seasonings are another favorite appetizer. Dark mushrooms, pork, and vegetables make a flavorful filling. A quick deep-fry makes them cooked and crunchy.

    Prep and make in 50 minutes and use one of our suggested dipping sauces to serve this beautiful appetizer.