With the right mix of herbs and spices, it is easy to recreate in your own kitchen the perfectly balanced dishes from your favorite take-out restaurants.
Its cuisine, which incorporates some of the first-known herbs and spices, is steeped in the art of balance: the cold and the hot, the sweet and the sour, the subtle and the pungent. Ginger is a great example of an ingredient that balances subtle sweetness with a warming spicy flavor. The unique flavor of white pepper is essential to the cuisine, as is the flavor and crunch of sesame seeds.
Try these herbs and spices for an easy way to add that flavor to your food.
Chinese Inspired Flavor Stories
- Egg Roll in a Bowl is all Flavor and No Fuss
- The 8 Essential Tools for Chinese Cooking
- 4 Genius Stir Fry Tricks You (Probably) Don't Know Yet
- Lunar New Year Recipes and Traditions
- The Complete Guide to Mastering Chinese Dumplings at Home
- How to Make Congee Without a Recipe
Explore easy ways to use these herbs and spices for delicious Chinese flavor.
Ginger is an aromatic seasoning to savory Chinese stir-fries. Try McCormick Ground Ginger.
White pepper is used for its milder bite and earthy aroma. In Chinese kitchens, it’s great for adding some real heat to stir-fries and noodles. Add black pepper, red chiles, sanshō pepper and Szechuan peppercorns for more of that kick. Try McCormick Ground White Pepper.
Use these tiny, crunchy seeds on Chinese noodles and stir-fries for added texture. Toasting intensifies the rich, nutty flavor of sesame seeds, and adds color and notes of caramel as well. Try McCormick Sesame Seeds.
Red pepper is featured in many cuisines, and Chinese features it prominently as a source of heat and spice in vegetable and meat stir-fries alike. Try McCormick Crushed Red Pepper.
Garlic is a member of the lily family, native to Central Asia and is the friendly cousin to leeks, chives, onions and shallots. Try McCormick Garlic Powder.
In China’s Han dynasty, the clove was used to sweeten the breath. A few cloves in the mouth were mandatory for anyone approaching the emperor. Try McCormick Whole Cloves.
Commonly found in some Cantonese dishes, curry was once considered an exotic ingredient to traditional Chinese cooks. Try McCormick Curry Powder.
Cinnamon is one of the characteristic ingredients found in Chinese Five Spice and brings a subtle sweet and spicy balance to the dishes. Try McCormick Ground Cinnamon.
Chinese Inspired Recipes
- Quick and Tangy Beef Stir Fry
- Easy Chicken Fried Rice
- Air Fryer Chicken Egg Rolls
- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Slow Cookers General Tso's Chicken
- Air Fryer General Tso's Cauliflower
Switch up some of the herbs and spices for a different take on your favorite dish.