01 September 2011

Our Food Heritage: Sauces & Seasonings Workshop

Sauces and seasonings are a very important part of my life. Seasonings are definitely a must, especially in Chinese cooking, and sauces are like complementary to food, most often to bring out or enhance the taste. I almost always have to have some sauces to go with my food, be it chilli sauce, sweet & sour sauce or sambal, so when I saw Chef Christoper Tan offering a demo class in Sauces and Seasonings at Shermay's Cooking School, I signed up immediately.

Recipes that were demo-ed in class included chilli sauce base, plum sauce, char siew marinade, char siew, fragrant chilli oil, char siew mein and nyonya salad with plum dressing. The recipe pack also included bonus recipes of sweet soy-sauce, tomato sambal and aromatic infused soy sauce.

 Nyonya salad with home-made plum dressing. The plum sauce is quite easy to make albeit a little time consuming. But hey, it beats using commercial sauce which has added preservatives. This is made with real plums and boasts of a rich fruity and tangy flavour with a vibrant red-purplish colour. Goes very well with salad! I think I could use this sauce with Yusheng as well :)

Home-made Char Siew with home-made Char Siew Marinade and special glaze. Oh, just look at the gorgeously baked Char Siew, which could be achieved using our home oven. Patience is needed here as the Char Siew needs to be glazed a few times in between baking. The marinate could also be used for chicken wings, pork chops and such.
 Home-made Fragrant Chilli Oil or "Lat Jiu Yao". Everyone was raving about this chilli oil as it was so robust and fragrant. Only a quarter left from a full bowl after the food tasting. This was the vegetarian version, for a more luxe version, I thought of adding some dried scallops or shrimps :p

 Home-made Char Siew Mein, with home-made chilli sauce base, topped with home-made char siew and some fragrant chilli oil. Oh My Goodness, I would patronise the stall everyday if anyone were to sell Char Siew Mein like this! But then again, with this much hard work put into each and every component, I doubt not many hawkers these days would be willing to sell it, and certainly not for $3 a bowl.

The home-made chilli sauce tasted very special, it was spicy, yet a tad fruity and tangy, gave the noodles an unique umami taste. The char siew was sooooo succulent and bouncy and very well marinated and well grilled with just the right bits of charred meat and also the fatty parts (I like!). Tip of the ice-berg, the fragrant chilli oil, just enhanced all the flavours altogether. Yum!

Each participant brought home a small tub of plum sauce and chilli sauce. I'm thinking of using the plum sauce for salad. For the chilli sauce, thinking of replicating the Char Siew Mein, but oh, so much work to do for the char siew and fragrant chilli oil! Well, the sauce should be able to keep for 2-3 more weeks, I must find time for the Char Siew Mein.

1 comment:

  1. The plum sauce looks delicious. I would never think to make it myself.