Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pantry Basics: Chinese Essentials

For the second post in my Pantry Basics series, I decided to tackle Chinese ingredients. I very rarely cook classical Chinese dishes, but always keep most of these spices and sauces on hand to temper my multi-culti experiments. I’ve consulted my dear friend Betty Lew who compiled this list based on her mother’s extensive pantry and her own culinary repertoire. Betty cooks primarily Cantonese dishes at home and uses all these ingredients to maintain a true balance of flavours—salty, sweet, hot and sour.

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Ginger, ground to a paste (I peel and grind large quantities at a time in a food processor, store a small amount in the fridge for current use, and freeze the rest in small containers for later use.)

White Sesame
Dry Red Chilli
Dried Orange Peel
Star Anise
White Peppercorn
Szechuan Peppercorn
Five-Spice Powder (This is a combination of ground Cassia or Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Anise, Szechuan Peppercorn, Ginger.)
Dried Shrimp
Dried Scallop
Fermented Soy Bean
Dried Shitake Mushroom
Black Tea

Long-Grain Rice (like Jasmine Rice)
Glutenous Rice (like Sushi Rice)
Glutenous Rice Flour
Egg Noodle
Rice Noodle 

 [click image to enlarge]

Fermented Bean Curd
Soy Sauce
Plum Sauce
Hoisin Sauce
Oyster Sauce
Hot Bean Sauce
Chilli Oil
Vegetable Oil
Peanut Oil
Toasted Sesame Oil (for flavouring only)

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