Tag Archives: sauces

Sauces you simply must have in your kitchen

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


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.


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.