Chinese Cooking for the Kitchen-Impaired

Want to know how to make a bunch of different healthy Chinese meals with just a few basic recipes?

All you need to do is follow these steps.


  1. Slice up 1/2 pound of the lean meat of your choice and marinate it for 30 minutes in the appropriate marinade/coating.
  2. Wash and cut up 2-3 cups of fresh vegetables. Frozen can be used, but isn’t as crisp
  3. Optional: Mince 1 teaspoon each of garlic, ginger root, and/or green onion.
  4. Prepare one of the sauces from the recipes below in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. In a non-stick skillet or wok heated to medium high and coated with cooking spray, add the optional items (if desired) and stir fry until fragrant, then add the meat and stir fry until it is cooked all the way through. Remove from heat and set aside in another container.
  6. Return pan to stove and spray a bit more cooking spray on it. Add vegetables and stir fry until cooked but still crisp–with green veggies, you can see the color change to a brighter green. (If you are using crunchy veggies like broccoli, carrots or cauliflower, add about 1/4 c. water and cover for 3-4 minutes to steam them a bit.)
  7. Add the cooked meat back into the pan.
  8. Add the prepared sauce and stir the mixture until the veggies and meat are evenly coated and the sauce thickens into a semi-transparent glaze.
  9. Divvy the meal up into 2-3 servings (3 if you are female, 2 if you are male) and serve with 1/2-1 cup of brown rice.

Easy, huh?

Now here are the marinade and sauce recipes:

Add hot peppers, ginger root, green onions, garlic, etc to taste if they are not included in the recipe, and you like a little extra zing to your meals.

NOTE ON SPLENDA: The Splenda specified in the recipes below is the granular type for baking, NOT the packet variety. If you are using packets instead, bear in mind that 1 packet of Splenda is equal to 2 teaspoons of granular Splenda.

1 teaspoon granular Splenda = 1/2 packet Splenda
2 teaspoons granular Splenda = 1 packet Splenda

If you prefer to use real sugar, just substitute the same amount of sugar for the quantity of granular Splenda in the recipe (1 teaspoon granular Splenda = 1 teaspoon sugar).

MARINADES (For best results marinate for at least 30 minutes)
BASIC MEAT MARINADE (for 1/2 lb beef, pork, or chicken)
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. cooking wine or sherry
1 T. cornstarch

BASIC SEAFOOD MARINADE (for 1/2 lb shrimp, scallops, etc)
2 t. cornstarch
1 t. cooking wine or sherry
1/3 t. salt

1/2 c. water
1.5 T. oyster sauce
1.5 T. soy sauce
1/2 T. cooking wine or sherry
2 t. cornstarch
2 t. Splenda
pinch pepper
few drops sesame oil

2 t. fermented black beans, finely chopped
1 t. green onion, minced
1 t. ginger root, minced
1 t. garlic, minced
1/2 c. water
2 t. soy sauce
1/2 t. Splenda
pinch of pepper
1/2 T. cornstarch

4 T. water
3/4 t. salt
1 t. Splenda
1 t. cornstarch
few drops sesame oil
pinch of pepper

1 c. water
2 T. ketchup
1 T. Splenda
1/2 t. salt
pinch of pepper
1 T. cornstarch


3 T. curry powder or paste
5 T. flour
3 c. chicken stock or water
1 t. salt
1/2 T. Splenda
1/4 t. pepper
1 T cooking wine or sherry

4 T. soy sauce
2 t. cooking wine
2 t. Splenda
4 T. stock or water
1/2 T. cornstarch

1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. ginger root, minced
1/2 c. onion, diced
3 T. ketchup
1 T. fermented sweet rice or wine
1 t. hot bean paste
1/2 c. water
1/2 T. cornstarch
2/3 T. Splenda
1/2 t. salt

17 thoughts on “Chinese Cooking for the Kitchen-Impaired

  1. :drool2:

    Excellent recipie! The hardest part is not snacking on the ingredients while preparing them.

    A request, if I may? Your public demands more pictures! (… of the kitties :were:!)

  2. Maggie you have read my mind. You kept talking about all the dishes you were making :drool2:, I wanted to know how too! 🙂

    THANK YOU! :claphigh:

  3. The cats may get their own permanent page soon. I do love my kitties. :were:

    Ileen, you’re welcome. My sister actually asked me for some good basic sauce recipes so she could just toss together whatever she had in the fridge and make a meal. I put together the list using my favorite Wei-Chuan cookbook. After looking at the recipes and realizing that most of them had very similar cooking directions, I figured I might as well share the information with everyone else, too. It’s tough to find healthy Chinese food in a restaurant, but it’s very easy to make your own. :biggrin:

    Now if only there was a way to make General Tso’s or Orange chicken healthy…

  4. :prop: those are some pretty delicious sauces you got going on there. i’m going to have to make some of them once i get more splenda!

    i don’t think anything deep fried is going to be healthy 😉 but to minimize the loss, you can try to use panko (same stuff they bread tempura with), forgo the egg, and lightly fry it in some oil olive or oil spray (even better!)

    great recipes though!

  5. I was actually thinking that a light crumb breading using low carb Roman Meal bread and baked chicken instead of deep fried might work. The sauce would have to be prepped with Splenda, but if the other ingredients aren’t too calorically-expensive, the damage would be minimal for a healthy General Tso’s knock-off. :cyclops:

  6. Yay! :claphigh: thank you thank you! I think even after my contest I will continue to prep all my food for the week on Sundays, and these will definitely become staples! Also, Jason LOVES chinese food and it’s the only way I can get him to eat any vegetables at all!

  7. you can actually make yin yang fried rice pretty healthy if you substitute sugar for splenda, some nonstick frying pan with spray on butter (or whatever else you want to use) for vegetable oil, and minimize the use of cornstarch.

    give it a whirl! it will easily serve 4 people. it was one of my favorite things in taiwan. maybe we should try to think of a way to make pork chop rice without frying the pork chop? =) got any good pickle recipes?

  8. My father is the pickled veggie king–from kimchee to sweet garlic radishes. I’ll ask him for his recipes. I wonder if you can pickle radishes using Splenda? 💡

    I do have a Moo Shu Turkey recipe that I want to try out this weekend. The stats are perfect 50/30/20. :drool2:

  9. ok.. for the chinese food impaired.. can you tell us some names of dishes that go with the sauces.. for instead. Beef and broc is made with which sauce?

  10. Here are a few common restaurant items using the sauces:

    Oyster Sauce: Beef with snow peas, beef with broccoli, ANY veggies in oyster sauce

    White Sauce: Moo Goo Gai Pan, Shrimp with snow peas, shrimp with broccoli, any shrimp/veggie combo

    Brown Sauce: Beef with Chinese Vegetables, beef with broccoli, chicken with broccoli or vegetables, pepper steak

    Curry Sauce: Um…any meat with potatoes, carrots, onions and peas

    Spicy Tomato Sauce: Shrimp in red sauce

  11. Maggie I made the basic chicken marinade with a boat load of veggies. EXCELLENT! :claplow:

    What cut of beef you you use for beef dishes.

    Thanks for the tips on the type of dishes that go with the sauces.. :drool2:

    Keep ’em coming 🙂

  12. Ileen, I usually go for whatever is on sale and trim off the fat. 🙂 The cookbook doesn’t specify a particular cut.

    Oh, and if you want to give the red/ketchup sauce a try, it is REALLY tasty with beef, green peppers, tomatoes, straw mushrooms, broccoli and baby corn.


  13. Oyster sauce is excellent as a meat marinade too, prior to grilling or baking. I usually soak it in anywhere between 30 minutes to six hours.

    It’s good for pork too, but I haven’t had porkchops in a long time. 🙄

  14. Speaking of pork, I actually found a Red-Cooked Pork and Pineapple recipe that fits BFL/LL macros in my Weight Watcher’s Chinese cookbook this morning. I will try it this coming week and post it if it turns out okay.

  15. Need help with Fried rice. Do you have a recipe for that. I had just been spraying the pan with butter cooking spray, stir frying onions, throwing in cold brown rice and stir frying.. a few shakes of soy sauce.. are there any other things that are supposed to go into it. It just tastes like it is missing something.. you had mentioned sugar?

  16. Hi there! I notice all your sauces call for splenda, to which I’m allergic. If I put in sugar, brown sugar, or honey instead, how much should I use?

  17. The Splenda used in the recipes is the granular variety, which subs 1 for 1 with regular sugar. So if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of Splenda, you can use 1 teaspoon of sugar!

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