I don't even cook much Chinese food from scratch myself, and I am Chinese! But, oh well, we all have to start somewhere. It's not as hard as it's reputed to be and the ingredients are more readily available every day. Let me get you started with a simple recipe that I like to make with bok choy.
Bok choy is a kind of chinese cabbage that is easy to like. It's not bitter or tough. You can find it at most grocery stores. Best of all, it cooks quickly.
If you don't have a wok, just use a heavy skillet and make a little more sauce.
I made this last night as part of a Chinese New Year dinner menu. We had eggrolls, fried rice with Chinese sausage, bok choy, cream cheese wontons and sticky rice cakes. While the rest of the world watched the Super Bowl, we were stuffing ourselves with Chinese food. To each his own, right?
Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce
From Knack Chinese Cooking
6 baby bok choy, washed and halved lengthwise
2 Tblsp peanut oil
2 slices ginger root
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tblsp oyster sauce
1 Tblsp tamari sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water or broth
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tblsp dark sesame oil
Place wok over high heat. Add oil and stir-fry ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Remove the ginger and garlic from the oil with a slotted spoon and discard.
Stir-fry bok choy 40 seconds, remove to a platter. Stir together oyster sauce, tamari sauce, sugar and water in the wok, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and return bok choy to the wok. Cover and simmer 1 minute. Remove bok choy to platter, leaving the sauce in the wok.
Bring the sauce to a boil again. Dissolve the cornstarch in a tablespoon of water and stir into the sauce. When the sauce is thickened (30 seconds) add sesame oil, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce decoratively over the bok choy and serve.