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the chinese pantry an illustrated guide to the basic ingredients in Chinese cooking  | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 3

condiments, spices + flavorings, cont.

20. hoisin sauce | A sweet, thick, dark sauce whose contents generally include soybeans, sugar, garlic and vinegar. Generally used as an accompaniment to roast meats its the sauce that restaurants serve with Peking duck it can be used as either a marinade or a dipping sauce.
21. chili bean paste | A chunky, spicy paste made from hot red chili peppers, soybeans, garlic and water.
22. fermented black beans | These dried, salted, fermented beans have a rich flavor and pungent odor (my boyfriend claims the uncooked beans smell like chocolate although Ive never heard anyone else describe the odor as such). Used in small quantities for stir-fries, the beans should be rinsed well in water before use, to get rid of the excess salt.
23. oyster sauce |
This salty-sweet Cantonese sauce is made from oysters (duh). Bad oyster sauce has an unpleasantly fishy flavor, but the good stuff makes a great seasoning for all sort of dishes, from noodles to blanched vegetables. Lee Kum Kee is a reliably good brand.

check out these related articles: 
dumplings for dummies 
hot pot how-to 

or... try some Chinese recipes


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