Ying's ideas of easy Chinese home-cooking

The followings are the seasoning ingredients I use almost every day.

From left to right

Back row
Dark soy sauce 老抽 – for colouring, usually in braising and stewing;
Light soy sauce 生抽 – Cantonese can’t live without it! It can instantly add better taste to almost any Cantonese food, except soups, we don’t season soup. Soybean produces amino acid during fementation;
Oyster sauce 蚝油 – it tastes sweet with a little seafood flavour. It can season fried vegetables;
Aged sorghum vinegar 陈醋 – there are various types Chinese vinegars, this is the one I use the most. It’s in dark brown and with grainy taste;
White rice vinegar 白米醋 – this is more acid than the sorghum vinegar. When I want the food to be sour but in no other colour, I would use it;
Shaoxing wine 绍兴酒/料酒 – or other types of rice wine, don’t use those expensive ones. This alcohol can be used in marinating or frying. Alcohol Vol ranges from 20% to 30%;

Front row
Cooked oil 熟油 – this may sound a little weird. Usually I would keep the oil that has been used for deep-frying. This oil can be used in making dough or Chinese warm salad(凉拌菜);
Powdered white pepper 白胡椒粉;
Black pepper 黑椒;
Toasted sesame seeds 芝麻;
Sesame oil 麻油;
Starch powder 生粉 – starch powder is also a very commonly used ingredient in Chinese cuisine. It can tenderize the meat and thicken the sauce. It’s usually made of tapioca, green bean, potato, etc..

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