Cooking Chinese food doesn’t have to be overcomplicated, however; getting the right sauces, Oriental vegetables and other Asian ingredients is key!
Some distinctive Chinese flavours can be hard to replicate without items such as Shaoxing cooking wine (绍兴酒). Authentic ingredients have unique and important flavours and hold the key to cooking in an authentic Chinese style.
The best way to find out what you need to cook quality takeaway style oriental food is to research closely – looking at our blogs, videos and facebook posts. Also you can look at Chinese cooking youtube channels, Oriental cooking recipes on various websites and other places.
Please feel free to email us with any Chinese cooking questions, and we’ll surely look into it.
Some of the top types of ingredients we recommend for authentic dishes are:
- Sesame oil – One of the most recognizable Chinese / Asian cooking flavours. Dark amber coloured and rich smelling sesame oils are toasted , avoid using too much! Just a splash will add to a stir fry dish to give it that distinctive Asian flavour.
- Oyster sauce – Mainly used in Cantonese dishes to give an umami flavour. There is also a vegetarian product equivalent: Mushroom sauce.
- Light soy sauce – the most common cooking ingredient! Many people have this in their kitchens for adding an umami punch to their dishes. It is common as a condiment throughout the world, but there is many different types of soy sauce from a variety of countries. Everyone has their preferred brand of Soy Sauce, but the key to getting the best soy sauce is to buy one that is “Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce”, such as our Hamadaya range. We also stock a range of Gluten Free Soy Sauce, and also Tamari Soy Sauce.
- Dark soy sauce – There’s two types of soy sauce! Using dark soy sauce is an easy way to get the rich dark colour in Chow-Mien (fried noodle) dishes , similar to what you get in your takeaway. There is also a multitude of flavoured dark soy sauces.
- Shaoxing / Shaosing cooking wine – is a type of rice wine, originally from Shaoxing in China. Don’t drink it!
- Corn-starch – Used as a thickener for sauces, but also great for marinating meat. Mixing cornstarch with water and then adding to a rich broth will help to thicken it. Important for Hot & Sour soup.
- White pepper – in the west, black pepper is utilised far more frequently. However in Asian cooking, white pepper in powdered form is a fragrant flavouring that has a distinct heat.
- Fresh seasonings such as Garlic, Ginger and Spring Onions can also be employed to provide aromatic subtle flavouring to dishes. You can never have too much garlic, especially when cooking Chinese style, just remember to not burn the garlic. Ginger is great to use for seafood dishes, it’s best to peel it and fry small slices alongside other ingredients in a wok, or use as a garnish. Spring onions are often used in Oriental cooking, just remember that they’re sometimes called Scallions (For some reason!) A favourite is scallion pancakes, also they’re great as a garnish for noodles!