So Matcha to love about Matcha!

Matcha here, Matcha there, Matcha is everywhere! We’re sure you’ve heard a thing or two about this colourful (and delicious) foodie trend that has swept into cafes and stores all around the country, seemingly overnight.

But how much do you really know about this mysterious green powder that’s sending foodies and influencers into a frenzy? Well, you’ve come to the right place, we’re here to make you fall in love with the magical properties of Matcha!

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A brief history

 Originating from Chinese tradition and then grounding its roots in Japan as far back as the 10th century, Zen Buddhists used traditional green tea leaves in a way that they were dried and powdered and then added to hot water to create a delicious and nutritious ceremonial drink for the generations.

Believing in the clarifying properties of the ground green tea leaves, ‘Sencha’ or what is now known as Matcha was considered by 12th century Zen Monk, Eisai, as an ‘Elixir of Immortals.’

Through his introduction of the product into Japanese society, tea plantation owners in Japan have since continued to perfect the process for developing and maximising the most potent and therapeutically beneficial Matcha products.

Health Benefits

Matcha is renowned for its numerous health benefits, which has become a driving factor in its popularity in western culture, subsequently being labelled as a ‘Super food.’ According to online sources, a serving of Matcha tea is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed Green Tea, as the entire leaf is consumed when ground, not just the particles infused in hot water.

Increased metabolism and weight loss, mental clarity, immunity to disease and detoxification are just a few of the amazing benefits of consuming Matcha and Matcha products, so what’re you waiting for?!

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How to use Matcha

We at Tang Food Emporium are your go-to stockist for all things Matcha, ranging from traditional ground powders to flavoured sweets and confectionaries.

Whether you’re looking to consume this antioxidant filled product traditionally, or use it as an ingredient for cooking and baking, we have something in store for you! Matcha can be used in so many popular recipes to give a distinct and vitamin packed punch including its use in cakes, biscuits, smoothies, yoghurts, ice-cream and cocktails; the possibilities are endless!

We bet you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the amazing-ness of Matcha, that’s why our friendly staff in-store are always here to help you understand and learn how to use our array of South East Asian products.

Visit Tang Emporium in the Melbourne CBD today and discover how much you love Matcha!

 

 

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Hello Panda, Hello Tang!

Tang Asian Food Emporium will be your next favourite shopping destination for all things eclectic and authentically Asian. Whether you’re an amateur cook looking to source some unique and unusual ingredients, or on the hunt for genuine eastern products found only in Asia, then Tang Emporium is the place for you!

Founded over 35 years ago and situated in the Melbourne CBD adjacent to China Town, the iconic food emporium was purchased by the Tang family who hold a cherished connection with the food and grocery industry in both retail and wholesale.

Regularly traveling to South East Asia, owners Sio and Elisa Tang value the importance of authentic and original ingredients that pay homage to the distinct heritage and complex cuisine of South East Asia.

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Passion for cooking and quality ingredients is paramount to the Tang family brand, sourcing items from all across south east Asia, and invitingly presenting them to an Australian audience.

Wondering what kind of products Tang Emporium has to offer? Here are a few of our fun and fabulous categories, ensuring something for everyone!

Fresh Foods

From dumplings and buns to fruit and veg, create your own Asian inspired masterpiece with fresh ingredients sure to entice your senses and get you inspired!

Frozen Foods

Buy now, cook later! Stock up your home freezer with our range of pre-packaged frozen foods! We stock everything from seafood to vegetables to traditional buns and dumplings, so you can create a delicious Asian inspired feast at home.

Sake & Plum Wines

Experience the authentic taste of traditional Japanese Sake! With so many flavours to try ranging from sweet to umami, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Drink it on the rocks or mixed in a delicious cocktail- the possibilities are endless!

Noodles

Our selection of traditional imported pre-packaged noodles at Tang Emporium is the ramen lovers dream! Whether you’re craving an authentic taste from home or wanting to try something out of the ordinary, our range is the very best and the most extensive in the CBD.

Confectionary

We’re sure you’ve heard of the cult Japanese biscuit that is Hello Panda, but what about its equally delicious counterparts? Acquaint yourself with hundreds of sweet treats from across South East Asia online or in-store today.

FB - Our Hello Panda biscuits have been a favourite treat worldwide for many years. Tasty little bites of biscuit filled with creamy flavours such a

Make sure you head down to 185 Russell St, Melbourne and experience what Tang has to offer!

Winter Favourites – Time for Tea or Coffee. Or warm up with your favourite Chicken Soup!

It’s cold, very cold for Melbourne. This Thursday, 20th of July it’s predicted to be only 1ºC overnight. That’s icy! So let’s warm up with some winter favourites from Tang: The Asian Food Emporium. Premium Coffee, White Coffee and White Milky Tea. And Chicken Soup – from China, Taiwan and Malaysia – Warm, comforting and good for you.

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Let’s start with Tea. From Gold Kili we offer their White Milk Tea. Each packet contains 15 sachets and provides a double shot of instant tea. According to its makers ‘Double Shot White Milk Tea is a rich, intensive, fragrant tea beverage’. It uses only the highest premium black (fermented) tea leaves. It can be served hot or cold with each sachet being suitable for one cup of tea. Each 35g pack currently offers a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer.

 

Also from Gold Kili at Tang we have ‘White Coffee’, an instant coffee sachet. Each pack contains 20 sachets. An Espresso style coffee, each sachet contains coffee from the finest Arabica beans, roasted and blended with a creamer mix. A rich coffee with a fulsome taste. Just add 150ml of hot water to the mix in your cup – sip and enjoy.

The latest offering from Gold Kili is also a double shot coffee, but this one is described as ‘Café Blanc’ style – frothy with sugar and inulin, ‘a natural sugar derived from plants’. ‘A velvety, frothy flavour’ – the Inulin is known to promote the growth of good Bifidus bacteria, maintaining a healthy ‘gut culture’ and ensuring a good digestive system. It comes 15 sachets to the pack and again offers the ‘buy one, get one free’ offer from Gold Kili.

Also from Gold Kili, there is the Kopi-O Kosong coffee variety. From ‘the finest ground Arabica and Coffee Robusta beans, this instant coffee is extra strong with no added sugar’. Place the coffee bag in a cup, add 150ml of hot water, steep for 2 minutes, remove and add sugar and milk to taste. Each packet carries 20 sachets and is packed and prepared in Singapore as are all Gold Kili products.

 

Who doesn’t like Chicken Soup? Here we provide a range of pre-prepared soup mixes to add to your chicken soup stock ensuring a healthy, fragrant broth.

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From Masfood of Malaysia there is the Abalone and Herbal Spices mix for cooking Chicken Soup. No colouring, cholesterol free with zero trans-fats, this mix provides the basis for a slow cooked soup with a difference. Leave a pot on the stove during these cold days and warm up with a tasty soup.

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Chwee Song is a brand from China. Presented here is a Fragrant Chicken Soup Herbal Mix. It is a mixture of Chinese Herbs (listed on the back) with purported healing properties, gathered from ancient Chinese remedies. It is believed a broth made from this mixture will stave off fatigue.

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Bone Broths are now considered very nutritious and a healthy option. From Singapore try Rou Gu Cha from the Claypot Company, a ‘meat bone soup’ mix. Just add the filter bags in the packet with garlic to boiling water – no need to open the bags, add your chicken, beef, seafood or pork and simmer for 45 minutes – Ready to consume!

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Similarly there is a ‘sweet’ soup from the Star Flower brand. Serving for 4, this blend is added to boiling water with 500g of chicken meat and simmered for 2-3 hours. It contains Astragalia and lychee fruit, Chinese yam and other herbs.

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From Taiwan, manufactured by the Kong Gi May Food Co, we have a soup pack mix for a light ‘chicken liquor’. This mix contains Cinnamon, Angelica, Sichuan Lovage Rhizome, Wolfberry, Astragulus Root and Dried Date. With similar cooking instructions, the soup is clear and fragrant.

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A1 from A K Koh is another favourite herbal soup mix. It contains a traditional range of Chinese herbs, but is relatively quick to prepare taking only 1/2 an hour. This soup is registered as Halal.

 

Lastly try the Kong Gi May soup mix for Stewed Ribs, and the Mas Food mix for Klang Meat Bone Tea Soup, both with unique combinations of herbs to please the palate. Or from Kee Hiang Enterprises of Malaysia you can select the original mix for Kee Hiong Klang Soup Spices – this variety has no preservatives or colouring added. It is believed to offer very positive healing properties to those who drink from it.

Tang: The Asian Food Emporium is open 7 days per week from 10am to 11pm most days. Located conveniently at 185 Russell St please come by. We invite you to visit soon and enjoy our huge selection of Asian groceries, confectionery, frozen food, sauces and fresh vegetables. You will find us here Map. Browse through our website before you visit and if you still don’t find what you are looking for please don’t hesitate to ask our friendly staff for help and guidance.

Tang: The Asian Food Emporium – simply the best choice of Asian groceries and food in Melbourne.

See you there.

Jujube (Red Date) – The World’s First Fruit

Jujube or Red Date is native to China, Japan and much of South East Asia. The fruit grows on a small tree that is about 9 metres high. As the tree matures, it loses its thorny spines and its fragrant yellow flowers go on to form mature reddish brown oval fruits – the Jujube. At Tang: The Asian Food Emporium we stock a full range and variety of Jujube for your selection.

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The flavour is described as being like a combination of apples and chocolate. The fruit of the Jujube tree has been used for Chinese Medicine for well over 10,000 years. Poets extolling its virtues were recognised as early 600BC. It is considered curative for kidneys, lung and liver complaints. There are over 400 cultivars of this wonderful fruit.

Jujubes here in Australia are most commonly available in dried form.

Here are some of the packaged branded varieties stocked at Tang: The Asian Food Emporium.

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The ‘Hami Date’ is produced in ‘the western region’ by Datang or to give the company its full name ‘Xinjiang Datang in Western Region Agriculture Ecological Technology Co Ltd.’ Quite a mouthful but these Red Dates are delicious. These are graded as ‘No 1’ and will provide you with 400g of health delight. Look for the boy and the camel on the pack.

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Another popular variety is the Zhishen Xinjiang Jujube prepared by Zhanahua Kingman Food Ltd. Sold in packaging with a clear window, buyers can see the plump ripe dates ready to eat on offer. It is a clean well prepared product ready for use in soup or porridge – or just eat from the bag.

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Another popular Jujube is the Hetian variety or ‘Hetian Jade Variety’. This is a bigger date with a thicker skin, high in Vitamin C, this fruit is often called a ‘natural vitamin pill’ by those who regularly consume it.

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Again from Xinjiang Datang in Western Region Agriculture Ecological Technology Co Ltd and branded Hotan Jun Date, this is a ‘Grade 1’ date. Seeds are removed for your convenience. Again look for the boy and the camel on the pack. Each pack is 400g chock full of dates ready to eat.

At Tang we also stock Sour Jujube Preserves, Jujube Crisps and Winter Crispy Jujube.

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Sour Jujube Preserves are from the Haoxiangi Jujube Industry Co Ltd and have a delicious outer coating Look for the green packet branded Meirimiyue and enjoy this sweet delight. Each packet is 200g.

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From the same company enjoy Jujube Crisps. A great nutritious snack, try a packet (108g). Look for the pink packet with the picture of the crisps on the front with the young girl relaxing.

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Lastly from Three Squirrels we have Winter Crispy Jujube. Each pack of 180g is full of nutritious, healthy jujube goodness. This is another great snack to keep you going in your busy day.

The Jujube or Red Date has been described as the ‘World’s First Fruit’.

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When choosing a snack why not choose one that has recognised health benefits? From ancient times, jujube has been used in treating ailments, improving the skin, cleansing the blood, relieving stress, strengthening the immune system, protecting the liver, aiding in weight loss, stimulating restful sleep, increasing bone mineral density and detoxifying the body. That’s quite a list of achievements.

You can make your selection from Tang: The Asian Food Emporium located at 185 Russell St in Melbourne’s CBD.

Find our Jujube selections here in our store. Remember to ask our helpful staff for their advice and direction. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sauces you simply must have in your kitchen

Watch the video here: Hey! Sauces you must have!

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We thought we’d let you know which ones we stock at Tang: The Asian Food Emporium and recommend as a ‘must have’

Soy Sauces

Soy Sauces are a first choice Kitchen ‘must have’. There are three types we recommend – light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sweetened soy sauce.

Light Soy Sauce

This is lighter in colour and is mainly used as a flavouring in many dishes – it lifts the dish with a salty zest. Commonly its used in noodle dishes, stir fries, on salads, in dipping sauces as well as in soups.

Dark Soy Sauce

This is most familiar to Chinese chefs. It has a caramel style flavouring, is darker than light soy in colour (that should be no surprise). For this reason it is used to add colour to the dishes being prepared, for example red braised dishes.

Sweet Soy Sauce

Sweetened, this has a much thicker consistency. Popular varieties are sourced (excuse the pun) in Taiwan and Indonesia. It is again used in dipping sauces, red braising and stir fries. A caution – it is very sweet!

Chilli Oil and Chilli Oil Based Sauces

This ‘sauce’ is a key ingredient used widely throughout China as a dipping sauce for dumplings, an addition to congee, an addition to warm noodle soups or added to steamed buns. There are many variations on Chilli Oil sauces with Chilli Oil Black Bean and crisp chilli oil being two favorites. Ask our staff members for their recommendations.

Black Bean Sauce (Dou-Chi)

Fermented Black Beans are made from a mix fermented from salted black beans and rice wine. At Tang we stock a range of Black Bean Sauces. Very popular with steamed dishes and with grilled fish.

Cooking Wine

Cooking wines are used in most Chinese Seafood and meat dishes. The highest quality wines are yellow in colour varying to white (clear) in other varieties. Often seasonings are added making for a regional touch. The wines are made from glutinous rice with wheat yeast, and with some wines added wheat in the fermentation process. Often sweet tasting the wines are used in stir fries, hotpots, stews and soups.

Vinegars

There are 3 vinegars commonly used – White Vinegar, Black Vinegar and Red Vinegar. Black vinegar is widely used because of its aroma. Red Vinegar is used for dipping sauces or for colouring roasted meats. White vinegar is selected for its sour taste. All vinegars are based on fermented rice. Browse at Tang to find the vinegar that suits your taste.

Oyster Sauce

Both Sweet and Salty, it has a smoky aftertaste. True oyster sauce is made from oyster extracts, sugar, water, soy sauce and wheat flour. It is a preferred sauce for many beef and fish dishes.

Sesame Oil

With a distinctive nutty flavour, aroma and taste sesame oil is a definite favourite right throughout China. Made from roasted sesame seeds it varies in colour with both ‘white’ and ‘black’ sesame oils available. Or you can use ‘toasted pure sesame oil’. It is universally popular and is added to many dishes – steamed eggs, stir fries, soups, dips and salads. It enhances flavours and is commonly used with poultry, fish and beef. At Tang we have a great selection of sesame oils. Please ask our friendly staff for their assistance in making your choice.

Brown Bean Paste

Sometimes called Sweet Bean Paste, this is a popular addition from Northern China and also Sichuan. Best known as the main dipping sauce for Peking Duck, it is again a paste made through a special fermentation process using Soya Beans and Flour. The process accentuates the maltose and glucose elements of the paste creating a sweet flavour. Salt is used to balance the sweetness.

Hoisin Sauce

Also available as a paste, this is a dark, rich and spicy, sweet sauce. Reddish brown in colour it is again made from Soya Beans with garlic and Chinese spices. It is very popular when added to hot pots and for marinating meats like ‘Hoisin Pork’ which are then served with steamed buns.

The best way to find the sauces you like most is to come to our store at 185 Russell St, browse and make your selections. Ensure your kitchen always is stocked with these essential and favourite sauces.

And if you’re not sure as to which variety best suits your needs and your taste, please don’t hesitate to ask our friendly staff for assistance.

Chinese Sauces and Pastes–Guide to Basic Chinese Cooking

Recently 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 introducing real Chinese recipes. Either you are familiar with Chinese cooking or not, the large ground of sauces used in Chinese recipes sometimes can be quite confusing. This is a post to guide you from the beginner to advanced Chinese cooking–using different types of sauces and paste for flavoring. It include introduction of various Chinese sauces, pastes, cooking wine, vinegars and oil.

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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 after fermentation.

There are three  types of soy sauce: light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and soy sauce pastes. They perform differently in dishes.

Light soy sauce(生抽) has a lighter color than dark soy sauce and it mainly used for adding the flavor. So it is commonly used in stir fry dishes, salad, noodle soups and dipping sauces.  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. With a darker the color. It is mainly used for adding the color of the dish. For example in most red-braised dishes, dark soy sauce usually is used.
Soy sauce paste (酱油膏) is sweeteded soy sauce with a thicker texture (quite similar to oyster suace), extremely popular in Taiwan. The most famous brand of soy sauce paste is Kimlan. It can be used in stir-fries, dipping sauces and red-braising (especially taiwan style red-braising like Luroufan.) More details about how it is used in Taiwanese cuisine, check here.

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Doubanjiang  (豆瓣酱)

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. After long time fermentation, doubanjiang has a unique spicy flavor.

There are several Pixian doubanjiang brands in China but only 2 of them popular outside China (Juancheng and DanDan). Housewives in Sichuan province love to make red oil doubanjiang, which is usually kept in a jar.

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Chili Oil and Sauces(辣椒油和辣椒酱)

Laoganma(老干妈)

If you ever visit any Chinese restaurants, you will find chili oil or chili sauces on the table as a customer self-serve sauce. They can almost go well with everything Chinese. A dumpling dipping sauce, a bowl of congee, warm noodles soups or even steamed buns.  They are several types of chili oil and sauces that are loved by Chinese foodies. The most famous one might be Laoganma (老干妈), we sometimes joke that she is the godmother of all lazy Chinese foodies.  Back in 1996, Tao Huabi opened a small shop selling noodles, but she became quite popular due to her great taste chili sauce. Years later, after shutting down the small shop, Tao Huabi devoted herself into a chili sauce production line.  The two most popular chili oils from Laoganma are crisp chili oil and black bean chili oil. And I love chicken oil chili sauce too.  In most cases, they bring quite good tastes in most stir-fry dishes, soups, dipping sauces and cold salad. Laobanma has obtained high popularity outside China. You can find them in Asian markets and groceries.

Besides the Godmother, there are other two dominating chili sauce widely used in Sichuan cuisine and Hunan cuisine–Szechuan chili oil(川味红油) and Hunan chopped chili(湖南剁椒).

Szechuan chili oil, sometimes is simplified as Chinese chili oil is made with red pepper flakes, spices and oil. With a well balanced mala taste, it is one of the most essential ingredients for lots of Sichuan dishes like red oil wonton, mouthwatering chicken and dan dan noodles.

Hunan chopped chili (湖南剁椒) is a slightly fermented chili paste with a much fresher taste with a slight touch of sour taste. Usually garlic and ginger are also called for common Hunan chopped chili. It is super great with steamed food like steamed fish head, steamed baby taro and etc.

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Fermented Black Beans or Dou-chi (豆豉)

Fermented black beans are made of fermented salted black beans and rice wine. They have a savory and slightly salty flavor. In most cases, fermented black beans can be used in steamed recipes for example steamed ribs and in grilled fish. Spicy black bean sauce is made from fermented black beans, spices and oil.  One of the most popular brand in China is Lao Gan Ma Black Bean Chilli Sauce, 280g.

Cooking Wine (料酒)

Chinese cooking wines play really important roles in most Chinese seafood recipes and meat dishes. The highest quality (Huadiao) is a pure yellow wine. Based on yellow wine and white wine, Chinese developed their cooking wine (Liaojiao) by adding other seasonings.  Generally, Liaojiu is much cheaper than Huadiao.

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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 and in Sichuan area. It is the main dipping sauce for the famous Beijing roasted duck (北京烤鸭). Brown bean paste usually is made from soy beans and 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 balance the taste.

Sha Cha Sauce(沙茶酱)

Sha Cha Sauce (沙茶酱) is a complex sauce popular in Southern China, Guangdong province and Taiwan area Mild Sha Cha Sauce  have a slightly sweet taste. There are several different varieties  in China. But all of them require a huge group of ingredients including peanuts, sesame paste and spices. The most popular way of using Sha Cha sauce is the dips of hot pot, especially Beef hot pot. Personally I love Taiwan bull head..

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 or marinating for meat like Hoisin pork with steamed buns.

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. You can buy store bough Char Siu Sauce or match one using other ingredients.

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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. It is the magic paste for lots of yummy Chinese dishes. With just a small amount, sesame paste can greatly improve the tastes of noodles (Wuhan Hot and dry noodles, Dan Dan noodles, Szechuan cold noodles).

 Sesame Oil (芝麻油)

Due to the distinctive nutty aroma and taste, sesame oil is one of the most important flavor enhancer in Chinese cooking. It almost can go well with everything Chinese like steamed eggs, stir fries, soups, dips and salad. In most cases, Chinese sesame oils are toasted pure sesame oil, either white sesame oil or black sesame oil.

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Oyster 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.

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Vinegar (醋)

Generally we have white vinegar, black vinegar and red vinegar (mainly popular in Zhejiang province) in China. Unlike the fruit and wine vinegar popular in western cuisines, vinegar in China is fermented based on grains (rice usually glutinous rice),  wheat bran and sorghum.  

In most cases, black vinegar is widely used due to its aroma. Red vinegar is mainly used as dips or coloring for roasted meat. While white vinegar is used when sour taste is required but no influence on the color for example quick pickles (跳水泡菜).

There is a very thick and different mature vinegar (老陈醋), mainly produced in Shanxi province. Mature vinegar is fermented based on peas, sorghum, wheat, salt and spices. It has a longer history than rice based vinegar. The taste of mature vinegar is also much stronger and more complex than other common cooking vinegars in China. As a result, it might be the best choice for dipping sauces.

Source: chinasichuanfood.com

A wide range of these sauces and more can be purchased from Tang: The Asian Food Emporium, come in and browse Melbourne’s biggest selection of Asian Groceries at 185 Russell St

5 Famous Types of Delicious Japanese Noodles

Noodles are one of the staple foods in many cultures including Japan. A lot of Japanese dishes use noodles as the main ingredient, such as Ramen and Udon. Small shops, restaurants, and even food vendors during the festivals are filled with all kinds of noodles. So what are some of the most famous and tasty noodle dishes in Japan?

View the Tang Noodle Range

Ramen

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Shoyu Ramen

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Miso Ramen

Ramen (ラーメン) is a noodle soup dish which comes from China. The noodles are made from wheat and are served in a bowl with some toppings, such as Chashu (Sliced pork), Menma (Bamboo shoots), soft-boiled eggs or some kind of seaweed. Soy sauce or miso is often used in the soup to make it even more delicious. There are several types of ramen, usually each region has its own ramen style.
The most popular types are:

  • Shoyu (醤油, Soy Sauce), with clear brown chicken broth and soy sauce soup. This ramen often uses meat as the topping, such as pork, beef or fish.
  • Miso (味噌, Soybean Paste), the ramen soup is flavored with soybean paste (miso) and oily chicken or fish broth intended to warm your body. This ramen is from Hokkaido, and is suitable to its cold weather.
  • Shio (塩, Salt) ramen features are light soup with clear broth. Usually, it uses chicken broth with a lot of salt. Meat is usually added as a topping, such as pork or beef, and narutomaki.
  • Tonkotsu (豚骨, Pork Bone), originated from Kyushu. The broth is cloudy white, made of pork bones which have been boiled until dissolved.

Udon

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Curry Udon

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Tempura Udon

Udon (うどん) is kind of Japanese noodles with thick texture made of wheat flour. Usually, they are served hot in a simple dish (Known as kake udon) or flavoured broth Kakejiru. Kakejiru is a blend of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. Some toppings are also added such as tempura, chopped scallions, and tofu. Each region has different way to served udon, cold regions such as Hokkaido often use more soy sauce and oily broth to keep the body warm.
The popular udons are:

  • Curry Udon, udon noodles combined with Japanese curry. This udon is most suitable for the winter.
  • Tempura Udon, usually served with hot broth and tempura as the topping.

Soba

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Soba

Soba (そば) noodles are made of buckwheat and are as thick as spaghetti. The dish can be served hot in noodle soup or cold with dipping sauce. Different from others noodles dishes that are sometimes seasonal only, Soba dishes are available throughout the year because buckwheat can be harvested four times a year. Soba is popular in all regions of Japan and can be easily found in many small shops and restaurants. Soba noodles are also available in dried form in supermarkets, or in online stores.

Yakisoba

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Yakisoba vendor at a festival

Yakisoba (焼きそば) is also made of buckwheat. It originated in China and became popular in Japan. Yakisoba noodles are served grilled or fried mixed with meat, vegetables, and garnished with red ginger. This noodle dish can be easily found during any Japanese festival.

Somen

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Somen

Somen noodles are made of white flour. They are thinner than Udon and Soba. Sōmen are usually served cold with tsuyu (Dipping sauce). During summer, sōmen are chilled and eaten on the hot day to stay cool.
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Nagashi Somen

There is a unique tradition in Japan associated with somen. “Nagashi Somen”, or act of catching somen noodles that are flowing in the water through bamboo gutter with chopsticks, and dipping them into cool broth before eating.

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Tang: The Asian Food Emporium has an extensive range of noodle varieties from Japan and all across Asia. Come into the store at 185 Russell St and browse our range today!