For a person who loves to cook, I certainly eat a lot of Chinese take-out. My go-to is almost always Kung Pao Chicken. I refuse to order from a restaurant that serves an inferior version of the stuff. My ideal Kung Pao Chicken has a generous amount of heat, a thick, slightly sweet and tangy sauce, more chicken than peanuts, and not too much vegetation. Sometimes you need lighter fare, like my Vegan Cashew Cream Spinach Dip, and sometimes you just need to focus on something a little heartier, like chicken and rice in a perfectly-flavored sauce.
When you look at the list of ingredients required to cook Chinese food at home, it can seem a little intimidating. You will almost definitely need to purchase some new sauce or oil in order to get your flavors the way you want them. I’ve found, however, that those new ingredients become an investment, as a lot of Chinese food isn’t nearly as difficult to prepare as you expect. Having the ingredients on hand will make future cooking experiments that much easier, and a lot of them are shelf-stable products that will keep for a long time.