I’m finally posting my Asian sauce staples! These are the condiments I usually keep stocked in my fridge and pretty much can’t live without them. If you’re cooking with my recipes or making any Asian food, you may want to keep some of these on hand as well. =)
Oyster sauce – I usually buy the Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand one. It’s dark, viscous and flavored with oyster. Oyster sauce is pretty versatile. It’s used in many Asian stir frys, veggies, noodles, fried rice, etc. To me, oyster sauce is the 2nd most used condiment next to soy sauce in Chinese cooking.
Hoisin sauce – ‘Hoisin’ translated literally means seafood. So it’s a seafood flavored sauce, similar to oyster sauce but much sweeter. I’ve used it as a dipping sauce for steamed rice noodles and can be used for glazing meats. It’s also the dipping sauce used for Peking Duck.
Mirin – Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine meant for cooking. It’s often added to brighten up dishes as the alcohol content can help erase any fishy smells.
Sha-Cha Sauce (Chinese Barbeque Sauce) – Usually made up of very finely ground brill fish, garlic and oil, sha-cha sauce is a thick paste that is used as a component of dipping sauces such as for hot pot, in stir frys and noodles. It gives a very meaty taste to dishes and complements grilled meats well.
XO Sauce – This is the ultimate seafood sauce and while the other condiments may also be made out of seafood, they don’t all evoke ‘seafood flavor’. This tiny jar is full of umami seafood flavor. I’ve used this to spice up more bland ingredients like tofu.
Sriracha – The Classic hot chili sauce. Sriracha has been around for years, but lately it’s seen incorporated into everything. Did the Sriracha flavored Lays chips ever stick around? I first started using it when eating Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). I use it anytime I want a spicy kick, but one of my favorite ways to use it is with ketchup as a dipping sauce. Mix one part ketchup and one part Sriracha – so easy!
Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) – An important component of Korean cuisine, I use this mostly for my Korean tofu stew, Soon Dubu Chigae. It can be very spicy so use it sparingly!
Chinese rice cooking wine – Similar to Mirin, but a Chinese variation. Again, it’s a cooking wine. It can be used to help tenderize meats and bring out natural flavors.
Sesame oil – I often use this fragrant oil as a finishing oil. I use olive oil or canola oil for cooking and stir frys. To make a dish more fragrant, I will drizzle a bit of sesame oil near the end of cooking. It’s also fantastic to mix with Sha-Cha sauce and soy sauce for dipping meats and veggies you cooked in hot pot.
Soy Sauce – Last but not least, one of the most common Asian condiments is soy sauce. There’s a boat load of varieties and brands. You have your regular soy, light soy, dark soy meant for braising, etc.
Leave a comment below and let me know what condiments and sauces you keep stocked in the fridge!