Many Asian cuisines rely heavily on sauces and condiments, like black bean garlic sauce. They can add flavour and fragrance to your dishes, whether you are stir-frying vegetables, steaming tofu, or making soups.
These sauces listed below are also simple to incorporate into daily cooking.
10 Essential Sauces to Have in Your Kitchen
Some sauces can also be marinades or dipping sauces, especially various soy sauce options at supermarkets in Singapore. Here are some essential Asian cooking sauces and condiments to keep in your kitchen cabinet.
#1 Light Soy Sauce
Soy sauce options at supermarkets in Singapore are from fermented soybeans. It is a must-have in any Chinese kitchen. Soy sauces are crucial in cooking and dipping sauces. Light soy sauce does not have a softer flavour or less sodium than dark soy sauce; it simply has a different consistency. Low sodium options are available; however, check labels before making purchases.
#2 Dark Soy Sauce
Dark soy sauce at Chinese supermarkets in Singapore has a thicker texture and a sweeter flavour than light soy sauce. It can be used in cooking and as a standalone dip. This soy sauce option is no different from the abovementioned variant. Dark soy sauce is often for marinating meats and flavouring dishes like char kway teow and fried carrot cake.
#3 Sesame Oil
Sesame oil has a high smoking point. Hence, cooks usually add this sauce at the end of cooking to flavour the dish. It can also enhance the flavour of your noodles and soups. Add a dash of sesame oil to plain instant noodles for a more savoury profile.
#4 Fish Sauce
The fish sauce packs more flavour into most Southeast Asian cuisines. Hence, it is an essential ingredient in many Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Most use fish sauces to marinate meats and fish and flavour noodle dishes. However, you can also use it as the base of a dipping sauce. It is an essential ingredient in homemade satay sauce in Singapore.
#5 Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is a common ingredient in most Chinese cooking, like the various soy sauce selections at supermarkets in Singapore. It is made from oyster extracts and seasoning and does not taste like oysters. Nevertheless, it has a full-bodied richness that screams umami. You can use this versatile sauce for stir-fried vegetables, fried noodles, and braised tofu. It can transform into an accompanying sauce with dishes that taste great with steamed rice as it cooks.
#6 Sambal Sauce
Like how satay sauce is a staple in Singapore, sambal is also an excellent condiment that has made its mark in some dishes. It goes well with noodles, soups, stews, meat, rice, and even eggs. Sambal can also be used to spice up marinades, dips, sauces, and spreads.
#7 Black Vinegar & Black Rice Vinegar
Black rice vinegar is a type of fermented glutinous rice vinegar. Some manufacturers call it black rice vinegar, black vinegar, or black sweet rice vinegar. Zhenjiang vinegar, also known as Chinkiang vinegar, is a rice-based black vinegar widely used in Chinese cuisine. Zhenjiang vinegar has a watery texture and is savoury-tangy black vinegar. It is more common as a dipping sauce for foods such as meat dumplings. Consider it the Chinese equivalent of vinaigrette.
#8 Black Bean Garlic Sauce
Stir-fries, steamed dishes, and especially seafood dishes can benefit from black bean garlic sauce. Experts usually use whole fermented black beans when cooking. Premade black bean garlic sauce is a convenient jarred option for adding flavour to a dish. It has a sharp taste featuring a profile of salty, spicy, and sweet with a hint of sweetness. Black bean garlic sauce adds a flavour to Chinese food like no other. And remember that a little goes a long way, so use sparingly.
#9 Char Siu Sauce
Char siu is the traditional method of cooking smoked meat. It’s one of the most tender and juicy combinations of savoury and sweet pork you’ve ever had. It has umami from various ingredients, a bit of zest from wines, and sweetness from brown sugar and honey. Hoisin, honey, soy sauce, sherry, and Chinese five spice powder are common base ingredients that give Char Siu its ubiquitous flavour and glossy sheen. You can buy bottles of char siu sauce at supermarkets for quicker preparation.
#10 Satay Sauce
Satay sauce in Singapore is a mix of peanut butter, soy sauce, chilli flakes, fish sauce, coconut milk, light brown sugar and ground coriander. It provides a unique flavour profile for grilled meats sold at hawker stands. Satay sauce is a traditional dish countries offer as an entree, an appetiser, or a stir-fry sauce. Spicy satay sauce is primarily a marinade. Nevertheless, you can also use it as a dipping sauce, braising sauce, or dressing.
Satay in Singapore
Satay has been adapted to Asians’ multicultural palates with various spicy sauces and marinating methods. Using wooden skewers rather than metal skewers is a fundamental adaptation of the dish in Asia. Satay sauce in Singapore is from ground peanuts and spices like coriander and cumin seeds. The meats also use various seasonings for marinating.
In Singapore, they typically serve the peanut sauce as a dip alongside the grilled meat. The spice trade brought Arab traders to Southeast Asia, allowing Arabic cuisine to spread to Indonesia and Malaya. Satay has influenced the creation of other dishes such as satay bee hoon, shrimp satay, and barbecued prawns. There are bottles of ready-made satay sauce at supermarkets in Singapore for quick preparation.
Buy from Reputable Sauce Brands
Sauces and condiments are the most crucial elements in cooking, especially in Chinese cuisine. Your kitchen should never run out of them. Stock your pantry with sauces and condiments from Amigo SG. They are a well-known manufacturer of high-quality sauces and condiments for home and commercial cooking. Customers can choose from the various mild and premium sauces, pastes, and desserts they offer, such as ginger candy. Visit their website to learn about the brands of chilli pastes, oyster sauce, xo sauce and soy sauce options in Singapore.