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Chinese Cooking Condiments

Cooking Oil

Polyunsaturated oils are preferred for Chinese cooking. Chinese consider peanut oil as being the most flavoursome, but corn, safflower, and soya oils are used. Butter, margarine, and olive oil are never used for Chinese wok cookery.


  • Bean Sauce
    After soy sauce is brewed, the soybean pulp is removed from the vats and made into several types of condiments. The first is Bean Sauce, (sometimes called Brown Bean Sauce or Soybean Condiment). Use this rich condiment to replace soy sauce where a thicker gravy is desired. Especially good used as a marinade for roasted meats.
  • Sweet Bean Sauce
    Use this intriguing sauce along with or in place of Hoisin sauce for a similar but more subtle flavor. Mix it with Hot Bean Sauce in Szechuan dishes to cool things off a bit. Sweet Bean Sauce is also typically used in Peking style foods.
  • Hot Bean Sauce
    Add to any recipe that yearns for extra zip. Made from Soy and Kidney Beans, fresh Szechuan Chilies, Sesame Oil and seasonings, this spicy condiment offers a delightfully complex flavor. Our brand has the best balance of flavors of any SM has tried. Any unused portion of this or any of the other sauces can be kept in a jar in the refrigerator for several months.
  • Black Bean Garlic Sauce
    Savory, ready to use sauce with aromatic black beans and garlic. Use in stir frys and steamed dishes. For a simple dish, stir fry some diced chicken in 1 Tbs. sauce. Add some diced green and red bell pepper to complete the dish. You'll like this one for the flavor and convenience.
  • Black Bean Chili Sauce
    Savory fermented soy beans and spicy chilies, ready to season stir-fried Black Bean Shrimp or other pungent recipes. Spread it on a fish fillet and steam for a memorable treat.
  • Chili Paste With Garlic
    A tangy hot bean sauce with an extra shot of tasty garlic. A bit warmer than Hot Bean Sauce (above). SM can never decide whether this or the regular hot bean sauce is his favorite, so he uses either as the mood strikes.
  • Hoisin Sauce
    A rich brownish red Asian sauce made from soybean paste, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and spices. Constantly used in Egg Rolls, Cha Siu (barbecued pork) and other dishes.
  • Oyster sauce
    A staple condiment of Chinese cooking, this rich brown sauce is made with oysters, soy sauce, salt, and spices. The fishy taste abates in the brewing process. Be aware that cheaper brands may have MSG and other additives.
  • Spare Rib Sauce
    Ready-to-use sauce makes delicious ribs. A careful blend of tomatoes, sesame seeds, rice wine and garlic and exotic seasonings.

Roots or Stems of Plants

  • Garlic
    Dried root with a distinctive odor and flavor. Use Minced Garlic or Garlic Chips in stews, and soups. Garlic Powder can be used in marinades, or mixed with herbs and rubbed into poultry, pork, or beef before cook.
  • Ginger
    Ginger has a slightly biting and hot note. Its aroma is rich, sweet, warm, and woody. It is widely used in Chinese cooking.
  • Straw Mushroom
    A delight to your eye and a treat for your palate with their subtle, gentle flavor. Makes a nice addition to a relish tray.


  • Chinese Cooking Wine
    Flavorful rice wine in the Chinese style is often hard to find. We are happy to have some for you. Use in stir frying or other types of cooking.
  • Dried Sichuan Chilies
    Small, reddish-brown and sizzling. Use in stir frys to flavor the oil for dishes like Kung Pao Chicken. Grind or crush to add sizzle where needed.
  • 5-Spice Powder
    An ancient spice mixture of Star Anise, Sichuan Peppercorns, Fennel (anise seed), Cloves and Cinnamon. Strong, hot, fragrant, and slightly sweet, a little of this powder goes a long way. Use it to season baked or stir fried meats or red cooked (braised) dishes.
  • Hot Pepper Oil
    Bits of fiery hot chilies in vegetable oil used with abandon in many regions of China. Serve at the table to add life to any dish. Very hot.
  • Rice Vinegar
    Vinegar mainly consists mainly of acetic acis and some vitamins B1 and B2. There are two kinds of Chinese rice vinegars: white and black. Unlike Western products, Chinese vinegars are more nutritious and feature more interesting flavors. Rice vinegars can be used both in cooking and for dips at the table.
  • Star Anise
    A subtle licorice flavor somewhat like fennel, comes from these dried seeds that resemble 8-pointed flowers. Quite popular in red-cooking dishes. Use to flavor your Master Sauce to make Soy Sauce Chicken or Red Cooked Lamb.
  • Sugar
    Used in sweetish dishes. Adding some sugar can save your dish when you have put too much salt.
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