Nine Most Essential Ingredients used in Chinese Cuisine

No matter where you reside in the country, you can easily find the Chinese restaurant near you. The reason is people extensively love Chinese cuisine, and one of the main reasons behind the popularity of Chinese cuisine is the use of various ingredients that make Chinese cuisine delicious, colorful, and aromatic. This comprehensive guide highlights all essential ingredients used in Chinese cuisine. Let’s begin!

  • Regular Soya Sauce- Also known as light soya sauce, a regular soya sauce is a must-have ingredient used in numerous Chinese dishes. It is lighter in color and adds savory umami flavor to the dish. The good quality light soya sauce is naturally brewed and does not contain a long list of artificial colors and chemicals. While buying regular soya sauce, make sure you find naturally brewed sauce.
  • Dark soya sauce- As its name suggests, it is darker in color, and almost appears black. When it comes to getting excellent flavor, color, and consistency to any dish, dark soya sauce is critical to have. You can find wide varieties of dark soya sauce, including mushroom flavored.
  • Oyster sauce- The authentic hakka Chinese restaurant in Scarborough widely uses the oyster sauce to elevate the flavor of Chinese dishes. It is a dark and thick sauce prepared from oyster extract. It offers a salty and savory taste. Oyster sauce is commonly used in Chinese cuisine, including chicken chow fun or chicken, dim-sum, and broccoli. The authentic hakka Chinese restaurant in Scarborough uses oysters to enhance the taste of their dishes.
  • Sesame soil- It is one of the key ingredients used in Chinese cuisine. Sesame oil has a dark amber color and a rich aroma. Adding a little bit of sesame oil while stir-frying a dish gives it a great flavor. Ensure you use a very small amount of sesame oil in the preparation because if used extensively, it can overpower the other flavors of the ingredients. It is common in stir-fried dishes.
  • Cornstarch- Also known as corn flour, a cornstarch is used as a thickening agent in dishes. Many Chinese dishes use a mix of cornstarch and water. This mix is called cornstarch flurry. It is basically used in stir-fry dishes and braises. Another use of cornstarch is marinating meat. It is also used for frying and dredging, bringing a perfectly light and crunchy texture to a dish. Restaurants widely use cornstarch while preparing Chinese cuisine. In fact, the best hakka chinese restaurant in Scarborough also uses cornstarch in many dishes.
  • Ground white pepper- White pepper is used in Chinese cuisine instead black pepper. Freshly grounded white pepper tastes well and is always more fragrant, which is why it is widely used in Chinese hot and sour soup.
  • Shaoxing Wine- This is another important ingredient used in Chinese cuisine, which is added as a soya sauce. It appears light brown, offers umami flavor and adds depth of flavor to any dish. You can use it in almost anything, from preparing sauce to making the marinade. Since it is wine, it has 17% alcohol and is used in a smaller amount, so it does not overpower the other ingredients.
  • Peanut oil– This is another major ingredient widely used in Chinese cuisine. Since it has a higher boiling point, it is perfect for stir-fries. When you use peanut oil instead of regular cooking oil, you will notice a big difference in the taste of the dishes. Restaurants widely use peanut oil to enhance the flavor of many dishes.
  • Scallions– Also known as green onion, it is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. This is a major fresh ingredient, while you can also store it in a certain way to keep it fresh for a longer time. It is used in pancakes, noodles, and other stir-fry dishes.

The final words

There are many more ingredients used in Chinese cuisine, and these are the most commonly used ingredients that are must to have in a Chinese restaurant. Many of these ingredients are also used in Nepali and Indian cuisine. So, don’t be surprised if you notice some of the ingredients used when you order authentic Nepali cuisine in Scarborough.

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