How to Make Chinese Takeout-Style Meals at Home

Clever Cookstr sits down with Diana Kuan, author of The Chinese Takeout Cookbook and founder of Plate and Pencil, a line of food-inspired designs for clothing and home goods. Diana shares some easy tips and tricks for making takeout-style food at home.

Kara Rota
4-minute read
Episode #5

Photo credit Diana Kuan

CC: What is a go-to recipe from The Chinese Takeout Cookbook that you love to make over and over again, even if it's been a really long day at work, that can be done quickly and easily and with things you might already have at home.

DK: One of my favorite dishes to make year-round, but especially in the summer, is cold sesame noodles. This is a great dish that you can whip up in 20 minutes. You just need some Chinese noodles, either egg or wheat, or you can also use udon or spaghetti. You cook the noodles to al dente and mix in a mixture of tahini, peanut butter, chili sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Add in some shredded carrots and cucumbers, and it's a delicious dish, even a few days later.

CC: Can people adjust the ratio of the seasonings to fit their own taste?

DK: Definitely. Often, people either add in more chili sauce. It also depends on the type of peanut butter you use. You can throw in different vegetables, like shredded kale or ramps. You want to use creamy, all-natural, unsweeted peanut butter.

CC: Tell us about Plate and Pencil, your design brand, and how that got started.

DK: Back before I went to culinary school, I did a lot of art and design related work in college. I sort of wanted to get back into it and merge the visual art side with the culinary arts. I had also been teaching dumpling-making classes around New York for years, and one of the things I always discuss in class with students is how there are so many different types of dumplings around the world.

I thought it would be fun to put all of those different types of dumplings together visually. So I started drawing it out, and then screenprinted tote bags.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Diana, and thanks for listening to the Clever Cookstr

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Photos provided by Diana Kuan.


About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.