How often do you order takeout in a given week? Even if you’ve ditched the delivery service to learn to cook Chinese cuisine, then you shouldn’t forget about the secret ingredient: the right seasoning. These Chinese seasonings are as unique as they are flavorful, and are sure to give your next potluck dinner that extra kick.
Also known as jiangyou, soy sauce is one of the most iconic Chinese seasonings. Part of the reason for that is because it’s so versatile. You can use it on virtually any dish. Soybeans, wheat, and water are the key ingredients you need to brew homemade soy sauce. The lighter variety is usually found in stir-fried dishes, but it can also be used as a dip for tasty appetizers like fried dumplings. You might also see darker soy sauce, which is mainly used to boost the flavor of different meats and giving the dishes on the table an eye-catching, mouthwatering color.
Now then, the second of our delightful Chinese seasonings is called oyster sauce. Oyster sauce is also known as haoyou. If you’ve sampled it before, then you might be curious as to why it somehow manages to be sweet and salty at the same time. That’s because two of the key ingredients are, yes, sugar and salt. Oysters, soy sauce, wheat, and water are the other primary elements of this delicious sauce. You might use it most often to douse meat and veggies before stir-frying either of them. When you sample Cantonese-style cooking, you’ll taste this sauce. For those diners who would prefer a meatless version, mushrooms can be substituted in for the oysters.
Chinese five-spice is one of the most famous Chinese seasonings. If it weren’t this well-known, it probably wouldn’t have the name it does, which in Chinese is wuxiang. Cloves are combined with fennel, cinnamon, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorn, the next item on our list. Each spice adds something a little different with it to the overall mixture. These are: sour, bitter, sweet, spicy, and pungent. This combination is prized and sought after because of the balance they bring.
Even if you know and love pepper, chances are you haven’t tried Sichuan Peppercorn yet. It is called huajiao, which is a term used to apply to pepper in general. Pungent and spicy at the same time, it is widely believed that this pepper is strong enough to cure colds and improve stomach function and digestion.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Opened since 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.