Chinese sauces recipes

Chinese Sauces Recipes

Char Siu SauceRecently I get the feedback from some of my readers that they are confused about the sauces and pastes mentioned in the recipes from this blog or other places. So I decide to write an introduction page about the commonly used Chinese sauces in Chinese recipes on the internet and also in my daily cooking.

Soy sauce(酱油)

Soy sauce should be come firstly since it is the basic for many stir-fry sauces. Soy sauce is a traditional seasoning for Chinese recipe which is made from soy beans, wheat and wheat bran (麸皮). It has a mildly salty flavor and bright red color.

There are two types of soy sauce: dark soy sauce and light soy sauce. And the usages are different.

Light soy sauce(生抽) has a lighter color than dark soy sauce and it mainly used for adding the flavor. So for most Chinese stir-fry recipe, if only soy sauce is called, use light soy sauce!
Dark soy sauce(老抽) is the common soy sauce with caramel. So the color is darker than light soy sauce. It is mainly used for adding the color of the dish. For the red-cooking dishes, dark soy sauce usually is used.

Soy sauce is used in almost every cuisine of China.

Chili sauce or chili paste

There are different types of chili sauces and chili pastes in China basing on different area and cuisine.


For the western part of China, broad bean paste or doubanjiang (豆瓣酱)is a typical chili sauce from Sichuan china. It is the most important ingredients for lots of famous Szechuan dishes, including twice cooked pork belly, mapo tofu, and Sichuan style water boiled fish. You can click Doubanjiang for more details and information.

And there are from hunnan cuisine named as 剁椒酱 which is quite similar with garlic chili sauce.

Besides, there is also daily Chinese chili oil made by various seasoning producers.

Doubanjiang is mainly used in Sichuan Cuisine and chopped chili paste is mainly used in Hunan Cuisine.

Black bean sauce or dou-chi (豆豉)

Black bean sauce is made of salted black beans and rice wine; has a savory, slightly salty flavor. In most cases, this black bean sauce is used in steamed recipes for example steamed ribs and in grilled fish.Spicy black bean sauce is mainly used in Sichuan Cuisine while fermented black beans are popular in several cuisines. One of the most popular brand in China is Lao Gan Ma Black Bean Chilli Sauce, 280g.

Char Siu Sauce(叉烧酱)

Char siu sauce is quite popular in sorthern part of china. It is a salty and sweet sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar, chili, garlic, sugar and Chinese five spicy powders. It is a perfect sauce for chicken wings, char siu pork and ribs.Char Siu Sauce in mainly used in Guangdong Cuisine. Traditionally Char siu sauce uses red fermented tofu for coloring.

chinese sauces in my kitchenOyster sauce (蚝油)

Oyster sauce has a sweet and salty taste and with some smoky feeling. Commonly oyster sauce is made from oyster extracts, sugar, water, soy sauce and wheat flour. It is a seasoning for beef and fish recipes.Oyster sauce in mainly used in Guangdong Cuisine.

Brown bean paste(sweet bean paste 甜面酱)

Brown bean paste also known sweet bean paste is quite popular in northern part of China. Brown bean paste usually is made from flour with a special fermentation process. The sweet tastes come from the Maltose and glucose in the fermentation process, and the fresh tastes come from the amino acid. Then salt is added to perfect the taste.

It can be served as the dips for Chinese salad for example, cucumber and scallions. By the way, the famous Peking duck usually is served with brown bean paste.

Brown bean paste or sweet bean paste is mainly used in Northen China.

Hoisin sauce (海鲜酱)

Hoisin sauce or hoisin paste has a dark, rich and spicy-sweet flavor. The color is reddish brown. Usually hoisin is made from soybeans, garlic and Chinese spices. It also can be used in dips for hot pot. Hoision sauce in mainly used in Guangong cuisine. The most popular brand in China is 8.5 Oz Hoisin Sauce Lee Kum Kee.

Sesame paste (芝麻酱)

Sesame paste is made of roasted sesame seeds and it is also called as 麻酱 in China. From the color, we have white sesame paste and black sesame paste. One of the featured usage of sesame paste is in Wuhan noodles(热干面), Szechuan cold noodles and hot pot dips.

Sha cha sauce(沙茶酱)

Sha cha sauce has a spicy but sweet taste and is quite popular in Guangdong province and also in Taiwan. It mostly is used in beef recipe, chicken recipe or as a hot pot dip ingredient. Sha cha sauce is maily used in Fujian cuisine and it tastes also great in noodles and soups.

Besides the sauce above, there are other important condiments in Chinese cuisine including rice wine(米酒), cooking wine(料酒), white vinegar(白醋), black vinegar(香醋), sesame oil(芝麻油) and sichuan peppercorn oil (麻油).

Look at the sauces I have in my kitchen. Only some of them.

The sauce listed above is the most common Chinese sauces. Besides, I paste the link from amazon for help you understand what I am talking about. Knowing what it look like, it would be easier for you to find in local stores. To support Elaine, if you order via the links, I will receive some cents from amazon.

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what can you substitute for hoisin sauce in a recicpe for char siu roast pork? | Yahoo Answers

What can you substitute for hoisin sauce in a recicpe for char siu roast pork?

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