Below are sauces, seasonings and spices I use daily. These are my secret “weapon” for making delicious and authentic Asian food. I hope the list of pantry staples would be helpful!
Compared to soy sauce, dark soy sauce are thicker and darker in color. I used it primarily for marinating meat or add dark brown color to my dish. Unlike soy sauce, it has to be cooked before consuming.
Rice cooking wine plays a important role in Chinese cooking, is a must-have in every Chinese family’s pantry. Rice cooking wine could be used to marinate meats or help get rid of the fishy smell of seafoods etc.
I am a big fan of sesame oil! Adding a touch of sesame oil in a noodle dish or mixing sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, etc. to serve as dipping sauce for dumplings is a great way for using sesame oil.
Black rice vinegar is lighter and milder compared to white vinegar. It can be added into noodles or a variety of dishes for flavoring.
Sesame sauce is very popular in Northern Chinese cuisine. Mixing with sesame oil, salt and vinegar, it serves as a great salad dressing that’s simple and healthy.
Szechuan pepper is known for creating a numbing sensation around the mouth. Deep-fry a handful of Szechuan peppers with oil and discard the peppers could help add aroma to the oil.
Like its name indicates, it is a mixture of five common spices: star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, fennel seeds and Szechuan pepper. Adding five spices powder into slow-cooked meat dish could help boost flavor.