Any Chinese chef will tell you that the secret to a good stir fry or chop suey is the sauce. Sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami make up the five basic gustatory sensations that humans taste when eating. The Chinese have cleverly developed many sauces over the centuries made by fermenting beans and sometimes seafood. The base sauces you buy from Chinese stores are often salty and pungent and need to be combined with other condiments and sauces to find the perfect balance for your regional palate.
MY SECRET RECIPES
My Australian Chinese heritage has influenced my preferred flavours in Chinese stir fry, and include my favorite childhood sauces like tomato, Worchestershire, HP and BBQ sauce. This is a collection of my top 10 stir fry sauces I have been using in my restaurants and at home for the past 20 years. Just mix them together and keep them in a glass jar to use when ready. Most stir fry dishes will start with the aromatics on onion, ginger and/or garlic, followed by spices that may include peppercorns, Sichuan pepper, fermented black beans, cloves or star anise. This is followed by raw or pre-cooked meats and seafood, a good spoonful of sauce, and then finished with fresh vegetables.