Asian Sauces and Marinades

Asian Sauces and Marinades

by Wendy Sweetser


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Cooks and gourmets everywhere know how delicious Asian food can be. Asian cuisine is so different, yet so appealing, to the western palate, that we make it a cornerstone of our tasting experience.

While we know that shrimps bok choi and sprouts are among the distinctive elements of Asian cooking, the sauces that make dishes special are a mystery to many Western chefs. They are widely available in Asian shops, supermarket specialty food sections, and by mail order. But the bottles are often labeled in Chinese or Vietnamese characters. Even labels in English don't actually describe the tastes or uses of the special sauces that we would like to use - but may be reluctant to buy.

Asian Sauces and Marinades unlocks this mystery of the orient. It is the key to the pungent, aromatic and richly spiced sauces that are easy to obtain and use to make the rich and complex flavors that are authentic and satisfying. It contains:

  • An 8-page glossary of terms, from Annato to Hoi Sin to Sambal Oeleek
  • Marinades for fish, meat, poultry and tofu
  • Stir-fry sauces and techniques
  • Dressings and pickling sauces for vegetables and fruits
  • Dipping sauces and relishes
  • Rubs and glazes for meat and seafood
  • Stews and braised dishes
  • Curries, mild to fiery
  • Soups, broths and stocks
  • Sauces as accompaniments
  • Dessert sauces.

Each section is filled with familiar and unusual recipes (80 in total) that are uniquely associated with the sauces and marinades described. There is a history of the dish and the national cuisine and dozens of very tempting full-color photographs of the dishes described.

There is a great need for the information in this book, and Wendy Sweetser presents it in a form and style that is inviting and accessible to Western cook, from novice to experienced.

"All great chefs agree that the secret to delicious dishes is the sauce. This volume does a superb job of showing you how fundamental they are in Asian cooking and explains their many uses. Having this book in your collection is like having a magic wand in your kitchen."
- Chef Martin Yan,
- host of Yan Can Cook

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781552976142
Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date: 09/07/2002
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Wendy Sweetser specializes in food and travel writing. Traveling in Asia for 25 years, she got to know local cuisine firsthand by touring markets and food stalls. Recently, she has spent several years working with a leading Asian food company developing recipes and new products.

Table of Contents



    Hoi sin, oyster sauce, and red bean curd marinade
    Ginger wine, soy, and coriander marinade
    Palm sugar, garlic, and nuoc mam marinade
    Red pepper paste
    Sesame, soy, and ginger marinade

Stir-fry sauces

    Garlic, fresh cilantro, and chile sauce
    Sweet and sour stir-fry sauce
    Garlic, fish sauce, and lime stir-fry sauce
    Plum sauce
    Black bean sauce
    Dark soy, ginger, and sesame sauce
    Tamarind sauce
    Sweet chile and tomato sauce

Dressings and pickling sauces

    Chile peanut dressing
    Chinese pickling brine
    Korean pickling mix
    Papaya chutney
    mirin, and tamari dressing
    Fish sauce, herb, and lime dressing
    Fresh cilantro, lime, and green chile dressing
    Lemongrass, cilantro, and ginger dressing
    Lemongrass dressing

Dipping sauces and relishes

    Plum dipping sauce
    Sweet soy sauce
    Light soy and mirin dipping sauce
    Sesame dipping sauce
    Garlic, chile, and lime dipping sauce
    Yellow bean and peanut dipping sauce
    Sweet and sour chile dipping sauce
    Rice vinegar, basil, and chile dipping sauce
    Sweet chile dipping sauce
    Chile preserve
    Vinegar dipping sauce

Rubs and glazes

    Teriyaki glaze
    Rice wine glaze
    Sake, mirin, and soy glaze
    Lime, turmeric and coconut glaze
    Soy and ginger glaze
    Sesame, soy, and ginger glaze
    Soy and chili barbecue glaze
    Honey, sweet soy, and lime glaze

Stews and braised dishes

    Beer and garlic braising sauce
    Chile and tomato sauce
    Red braising sauce
    Chile bean, soy, and ginger sauce
    Sake and sweet soy sauce
    Lime and lemongrass sauce
    Three-flavor sauce
    Rich tomato sauce
    Onion, chile, and tomato sauce


    Red curry paste
    Cbinese curry powder
    Onion, garlic, and ginger curry paste
    Green curry paste
    Mekong curry paste
    Red chile, nut, and onion paste
    Chile spice paste
    Curry devil spice mix

Soups, broths, and stocks

    Chicken, soy, and ginger broth
    Chicken, rice wine, and fresh cilantro broth
    Black tea broth
    Spicy beef stock
    Chicken, lemongrass, and lime leaf stock
    Chinese chicken broth
    Spicy coconut broth
    Coconut, red curry, and chicken broth

Sauces as accompaniments

    Sate peanut sauce
    Galangal and ginger sauce
    Peanut and sesame sauce
    Hoi sin and ginger sauce
    Lemon sauce
    Soy, vinegar, and chile sauce
    Rice vinegar and Japanese soy sauce

Dessert sauces

    Caramel toffee
    Lime and brown sugar syrup
    Egg and vanilla custard
    Mango coulis
    Coconut custard


What People are Saying About This

Does a superb job of showing you how fundamental [sauces] are in Asian cooking and explains their many uses.


Asian sauces and marinades

It is not surprising that Asia, home to around half the world's population, has produced some of the most diverse, exciting and inspirational cuisines in the world. When Asian people sit down to eat, they are not simply satisfying a craving for food. They are celebrating something even more fundamental to their culture and way of life — the ritual and pleasure of sharing food with family and friends.

At the heart of Asian cooking are the sauces and marinades that are integral to so many of its dishes. Pungent and richly spiced, aromatic with fresh herbs and fruit, sour with tamarind, or fired with the intense heat of chiles, every sauce is a complex and subtle masterpiece in its own right. Add to that the age-old custom of mothers handing down carefully guarded recipes to their daughters, never writing anything down or sharing their culinary secrets beyond the family, and the seemingly inscrutable puzzle that is Oriental cooking begins to deepen.

The aim of this book is to show that it is possible to unlock the secrets of Asian cuisines and that by a careful blend of ingredients and an understanding of the techniques that are used in Oriental cooking, you can create authentic Asian dishes in your own kitchen. Most of the ingredients called for in the recipes can be bought in supermarkets — more unusual ones can be tracked down in specialty stores or markets, or brought home as exciting culinary souvenirs from holidays to the East.

Although similar ingredients feature in cuisines all over Asia, different countries favor their own individual variations, either in the texture of soy sauce, the "heat" of curry paste, the saltiness of shrimp paste, or the pungency of fish sauce. It is these delicate differences and the manner in which ingredients are combined that make each individual Oriental cuisine unique.

External influences have also left their mark on the melting pot of Asia's cultures, its peoples, and, by extension, its cooking. Baguettes on sale in a Vietnamese market are a reminder of French colonial rule in Indochina. The Dutch introduced Indonesians to desserts and cakes, the Spanish added olive oil, tomatoes, olives and paella to Filipino kitchens, and Nyonya cuisine developed when the Chinese traders in Melaka and Singapore settled there and married Malay wives.

One of the defining flavors of Asian cooking is chile. This fruit of the capsicum plant grows prolifically all over the region and its liberal use, particularly in Thai, Indonesian, and Korean dishes, can make some recipes too hot for Western palates unaccustomed to such heat. There are hundreds of chile varieties and, as a general rule, heat can be measured in reverse proportion to size: the smaller the chile,
the hotter it will be. This book approaches the quantity of chiles to be used in recipes with caution but, as with good wine, individual taste will dictate. If a recipe sounds too hot, cut the chiles down to suit your palate. You can always increase the amount next time, since you may well be surprised at how addictive chiles can become!

Asian cookery writers often compare the merits of a good meal with those of a good novel in that it must start well, have character and suspense, and follow through to a memorable finish. If this book can tempt you to discover more of the wonderful secrets of Asian cooking, a whole continent of evocative flavors and aromas is here to be explored and enjoyed in your own home.

As they say in China, chin, chin-ch'e. Bon appétit!

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