Create A Stir With Home-cooked Chinese Favorites

With its flavorful sauces and uncommon ingredients, Chinese food offers an escape from routine dinners like pasta or pizza. Its sweet and spicy accents make it a go-to cuisine for fun family meals or dining with friends. In fact, Chinese food is America's most widely eaten restaurant cuisine, even more popular than Italian or Mexican.

Yet while many people enjoy Chinese restaurants and takeout, far fewer actually prepare their favorite dishes at home. The cooking techniques and wide array of ingredients and spices that are quintessentially Chinese are seemingly impossible for home cooks to duplicate.

But now if you check out the ethnic aisle of the grocery store, you'll find new Wanchai Ferry Chinese dinner kits, which make it easy for the most inexperienced home cooks to freshly prepare restaurant favorites in 30 minutes.

Available in four popular varieties--Sweet & Sour, Kung Pao, Spicy Garlic and Cashew Chicken --each dinner kit includes Jasmine rice, specialty sauces and seasonings. Depending on the variety, the kits also contain ingredients that you don't find in the average cupboard, like bamboo shoots, chilies or cashews. Home cooks just add fresh chicken and cook the meal on the stovetop.

While the dinner kits suggest using chicken, you can incorporate other protein options that fit your family's unique needs and tastes. Get creative with options like beef, shrimp or even tofu and vegetables.

Host A Chinese Dinner Party

Ethnic-themed dinners make for a festive gathering, and with new dinner kits, it's easy to host a Chinese dinner party that will impress your guests. For added mealtime entertainment, try these tips:

• Decorate and hang exotic lanterns around your dinner table.

• Set the table with a red (considered to be a lucky color in the Chinese culture) tablecloth.

• Accompany each table setting with a rice bowl, a round plate, chopsticks and a small teacup.

• Incorporate authentic teas into the meal.

• Create fortune cookies with personalized messages.

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About The Author, Wendy Mitchell
For fun, custom meal ideas and dinner kit coupons, visit www.WanchaiFerry.com.