Chinese Take Out Made Easy

Welcome to November 5, the first Saturday in November. On the National Celebration Stage, the first Saturday of every month is National Play Outside Day. I’m not sure what that says about growing up these days that we need to set aside one day each month to play outside. When I was a girl, every day was Play Outside Day.

The first Saturday in November is also National Bison Day. While the day is designed to honor those magnificent creatures that once darkened the plains by the millions, it can also be a day to appreciate all the benefits of Bison Meat. Today more and more of what is marketed as Bison Meat comes from Bison ranches. The meat is raised like cattle, and has lost some of its gamy flavor. However, if you are willing to pay a bit more, and do your homework, pure bison meat is still available, from herds that roam in wide open spaces, nurtured on prairie grasses. Those animals still have that wild, gamy flavor that adds so much to the Bison Dining experience.

Today is also Chinese Take Out. Each year, for my Dad’s birthday, we get together and enjoy his favorite – Chinese Take Out. It’s a tradition. While I’ve tried and tried to get him to let me do all the cooking for his Birthday, he prefers Panda Express. My sweet father thinks he’s actually eating authentic Chinese Food. I don’t blame him, most Americas do. They think Fortune Cookies are Chinese, too. If you really want to experience true Chinese Food but can’t afford to take a trip to China, then head to China Town in San Francisco. But do so mid-week. Hubby and I have eaten in China Town twice. Once on a weekend. It was crowded with visitors and seemed like any other tourist destination. The second time was mid-week. Oh my, it was a very different China Town. Quiet. We were some of the few non-Asian there. Shop keepers didn’t seem to speak much English. Nor did the people in the restaurants. And the food was different – catering to Chinese Diners, not Americans with a narrow concept of what Chinese Food is like. For one thing, there is no broccoli in authentic Chinese Cooking. There is a great deal more spice in true Chinese food and a lot less Sweet and Sour. American Chinese is breaded, while foods from China aren’t. One thing both agree on, and that’s rice.

To celebrate the day, you can enjoy Panda Express Take Out, order delivery from your favorite Chinese Restaurant or whip up a little Chinese-American dishes at home. The beef is more in keeping with Main Land Cooking, while the Chicken is about as American as you can get. Now if you wanted to combine Bison Day and Chinese Take Out, I suppose you could use Bison Meat in the Mongolian Beef.

Better Than Take Out Chinese Supper
PF Chang Inspired Mongolian Beef
Spicy Red Pepper Flake Orange Chicken
Sticky Rice

PF Chang Inspired Mongolian Beef
12 oz Beef Tenderloin
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Green Onions
1 tablespoon Soy Bean Oil
2 oz Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Rice Wine
1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil

Cut beef into thin slices, set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Cut green parts of the green onion into 1-1/2 inch slices, set aside.

Heat Soy Bean oil in a wok or sauté pan. Add the beef and cook for quick cook for about 30 seconds or until cooked. Beef should be lightly browned around the edges.

Add minced garlic and toss. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil.

Cook until the sauce has reduce and caramelized around the strips of beef. The sauté pan should appear “dry” (no flowing sauce).

Remove from heat. Add the green onion pieces; toss to incorporate into the beef. Drizzle with a little sesame oil to finish.

Spread out on a serving platter. If desired serve over sticky rice.

Spicy Red Pepper Flake Orange Chicken
2 packages Mandarin Orange Chicken
1 Orange Bell Pepper
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold Water
4 tablespoons Orange Juice
Red Pepper Flakes
Sesame Seeds

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.

Remove sauce packets from the boxed chicken. Place in a bowl of warm water to thaw. Spread chicken out in a single layer on the wire rack. Place chicken to bake in the heated oven for about 15 minutes or until crisp and warmed through.

While chicken is baking, stem bell pepper, remove seeds and cut pepper into bite-size chunks, set aside. In a small bowl whisk cayenne pepper and cornstarch with cold water, set aside.

Squeeze the orange sauce packets into a large skillet. Add orange juice, bell pepper chunks and cornstarch slurry. Scatter a pinch of red pepper flakes over the sauce. Heat over medium-low heat until sauce becomes a sticky glaze, stirring occasionally.

When the chicken is cooked through, add to in the skillet with orange sauce. Toss to coat, transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with sesame seeds, serve and enjoy.

Sticky White Rice
1-1/2 cups Long Grain White Rice
3 cups Water
Pinch Salt

In a medium pot with a tight fitting lid, add rice with water. Season with a pinch of salt.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for about a minute or so, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed into tender rice.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

3 thoughts on “Chinese Take Out Made Easy”

  1. So many immigrant cuisines “adapt” to local tastes which is often a great shame. We used to eat regularly in London’s Chinatown with colleagues who were Asian and it was such an interesting experience.


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