Can’t make it out to a celebratory dinner with the fam for Chinese New Year? Give your chopsticks a workout anyways, by making a Chinese-inspired meal at home. These yummy dishes may not arrive in those cute little boxes, but (we promise!) they’ll be gobbled up as fast as your go-to takeout. From healthy lettuce cups to classic stir-frys, here are 14 kid-pleasing eats to help you ring in the Year of the Pig.
Asian Chicken Thighs
Nothing says comfort food like Chinese food. The Midnight Baker‘s soy sauce chicken is the perfect family dish, especially when the hardest part is just waiting for the chicken to cook! Serve this with a side of veggie fried rice (or white rice and steamed veggies) to ensure a balanced meal. Click here for the simple recipe
15-Minute Lo Mein
What’s Chinese takeout without lo-mein? Lucky for you, Chungah of Damn Delicious has perfected a fantastic homemade version that only takes 15 minutes. Throw in whatever veggies you have in the fridge, chose to add a protein, or keep it meat-free. The kids will love every slippery bite. Find out what you’ll need to make it taste just right.
Healthy Asian Lettuce Wraps
They love the tangy flavoring, you love the way the lettuce creates a healthier dinner option. As long as you are comfortable with the term “browning meat” and know how to chop veggies this recipe from the food blog, Our Family Eats is a breeze to make. Consider cutting out the Poblano pepper if you’re serving this dish to little ones.
Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
The next time the takeout urge strikes, whip up a batch this honey sesame chicken we scooped over at Foodie with Family. It's a budget-friendly, crowd-pleasing recipe that only requires a few steps (chop, whisk, throw in slow-cooker), click here to find out what'll you need
Mu Shu Chicken
Move beyond noodles to widen their petite palates even further. Mu Shu, the Chinese version of a burrito, is a treat for Chinese food fans. The kids will get a kick out of stuffing their own tortillas (an easy substitute for mu shu pancakes) with hoisin flavored chicken, and you'll love that this recipe is a breeze to prep. Find out how to make this for dinner tonight over at Weelicious.
Honey Ginger Chicken
This Asian-inspired dish from The Skinny Fork incorporates tastes that kids love, from savory soy sauce to sweet honey. The juicy chicken pairs perfectly with broccoli and steamed rice.
Kimchi Fried Rice
We have yet to find a weeknight dinner as simple and satisfying as fried rice. Just scrounge around in the fridge for some day-old rice, a protein (chicken, shrimp, and tofu would all be tasty), and whatever veggies you’ve got on hand and you’re halfway there. This version, courtesy of Biren from Roti n Rice, makes use of dried shrimp and kimchi to make a kid-approved meal for any night of the week.
Hoisin Glazed Salmon
Found in the Asian ingredient aisle at most supermarkets or at any Asian market, hoisin is a staple of Chinese cooking. This sauce combines soybeans, garlic and chili peppers, and in this recipe (a favorite of Red Tricycle’s Editorial Director) it’s mixed with orange juice and honey to create an irresistible glaze. For the full how-to, click here.
Dumplings are simplified in this recipe courtesy of Simran of A Little Yumminess. Food blogger Simran suggests getting the kids involved by having them help beat the egg, brushing the egg wash to help seal the dumplings and for the older kids, folding the dumplings into little triangles. Hop on over to the recipe by clicking here.
Honey Garlic & Broccoli Stir Fry
Inspired by her husband’s love of chicken wings, food blogger Kari of GI 365 created this stir-fry recipe that features the same sweet and savory flavors of her hubby’s fave dish. Coming together in 30 minutes, you’ll want to make Kari’s stir fry dish year round. For the full ingredients and how-to click here.
Chinese take-out without the guilt? Just look to food blogger Bonnie of Thirsty for Tea for an egg roll recipe that is baked, not fried. Bonnie has some great tips on perfecting the egg roll so click here for her full recipe and tutorial.
Bring prosperity and fortune to your Chinese New Year dinner with these fortune prawns. Courtesy of Kuali, the prawns are coated with a flavorful mix of garlic, ginger and dried chilies. Are your taste buds curious? Click here to get the directions.
Cold Sesame Noodles
If nut-free, fuss-free and scrumptious is what you’re looking for in a dish, then this cold sesame noodle by the food blog, Chew Out Loud needs to be on your meal plan for the week. It’s a simple recipe full of rich sesame flavor and fresh veggies for a refreshing bite. You'll find the recipe here.
Healthy Fried Rice
Leah Singer of Leah’s Thoughts came up with a simple fried rice recipe that brings a restaurant quality dish onto your dinner table in just five easy steps. Add whatever veggies you happen to have on hand in your fridge–carrots, celery, scallions and mushrooms work well. For the recipe click here.
— Erin Lem & Gabby Cullen