I was actually shocked by the food in China and how simple it was. Sure there are the places that serve the sweet and sour sauces, but a lot of Chinese cooking is fried vegetables with chilli and garlic. Some good things to have on hand at home are garlic and ginger, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and, of course, chilli.  There are also some pretty decent bottled sauces like oyster sauce, Sriracha and hoison that help replicate that experience.