The Shun Lee Cookbook
is a restaurant based Chinese cook book. Probably a higher end chinese cookbook than what you're looking for. But it does share some of the info. Also look for It's All American Food
by David Rosengarten. It covers lots of classic takeout dishes from many cuisines.
Also monitor the blog Rasa Malaysia: Asian Recipes and Cooking
for lots of other good restaurant food of Asia.
Most every bit of meat that comes to your table in a Chinese-American restaurant will have been deep fried, even if it doesn't come in a coating. The velvety chicken and pork. The beef particularly. I usually see this translated as passing through oil. You par cook the meat this way so it cooks quickly to finish in the final dish. There are also texture effects created this way.
Velveting has been discussed here before. In it's most classic application, this is an egg wash, a cornstarch coating and a brief deep frying. Lots of your pork and chicken bits will have been treated this way. It's often abbreviated to just a corn starch coating before stir frying but this is not as effective.
With the finely sliced beef strips, passing is a key technique. You can not toss the beef in to a hot wok and stir fry them all to an even finish. They're going to stick together and you've always got a pink spot here, a burned spot there. And no way to get an even medium rare. The deep fryer gets into all the crannies and cooks the surface evenly leaving you a pink center if that's what you want.
Passing can be a hassle at home but it's a great do-ahead technique for production cooking in a Chinese restaurant.
It seems to me that most of the brown sauces in Chinese restaurants is mostly a chinese chicken stock, some oyster sauce, a bit of shaohsing wine and corn starch to thicken. Tilt it to match the dish with some garlic and or ginger for the ubiquitous garlic sauce.
Black pepper chicken is quite easy.
about 1 pound of chicken meat sliced thinly. I'd use boneless skinless thigh.
1 tablespoon light soy sauce*
1 tablspoon shaohsing wine
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cloves garlic sliced thinly
One medium onion, sliced thinly
One large bell pepper (any color) sliced thinly I prefer red
5 green onions cut on the diagonal, green parts inlcuded
oil for stifrying-- about 2 tablespoons
pinch of sugar,
lots of fresh ground black pepper. Some ground sichuan pepper is a nice touch as well.
soy sauce to finish. Light is usually used but a LITTLE dark soy would look good on chicken.
I usually do this in a round bottomed wok on a 30,000 BTU burner. If you're doing this on a normal home stove, you'll need to make some changes in technique. See http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/cooki...t=wok+remedial
Marinade the chicken for about 15 minutes.
If you wanted to you could velvet the chicken. I don't usually bother.
Heat the wok. Add the oil--a generous tablespoon--and swirl up the sides a bit. Stir fry the chicken and garlic slices a few minutes until just about done. Remove from the wok and reserve. On a home stove, this is a two or three batch process to keep the heat high enough.
Add a little more oil and stir fry the remaining vegetables. On a home stove, do this in small batches as it will lose too much heat to the water in the vegies and steam more than stir fry.
Return the chicken and its juices as well and all the vegetables to the wok. Season with the sugar, plenty of pepper a little soy and toss to mix and finish cooking the chicken. Serve immediately.