An Exploration of Chinese Cuisine in the Provinces and Cities of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan
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Chinese Sauces


Five Spice Powder

Makes approximately 4 tablespoons
This powder is a combination of five ground spices and can be found in most supermarkets. Kosher brands of five spice powder are difficult to find, but it is easy to prepare your own. Use ground spices when available and grind the Sichuan peppercorns and star anise, which are not always easily found.




  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 8 star anise, or 4 teaspoons ground anise
  • half teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds


1. In a dry skillet, roast the peppercorns by shaking the pan over low to medium heat until the aroma of the peppercorns is released, about 3 minutes.
2. Grind the roasted peppercorns and star anise separately in a blender or a spice mill. Strain. Mix in other spices and grind again until very fine. Store in an airtight container.


Hoisin Sauce

Makes 3/4 Cup
Because it can be difficult to find kosher Hoisin sauce, 1 have managed to get a hold of a homemade version. The recipe is in two parts. The azuki beans must first be cooked and pureed into a paste, then the sauce made. Properly stored in a well sealed jar in the refrigerator, this sauce will keep for months.

Unsweetened Red Bean Paste 1 Cup dried azuki red beans (found in health food stores) 4 cups water



1. Sort the beans and discard those that are broken and discolored. Rinse the beans and place them in a saucepan. Add the water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 1 half hours, or until the beans are very soft and the liquid has been absorbed.
2. Put the metal blade into the bowl of a food processor and pour in the cooked beans. Process into a fine paste. The beans can also be mashed by hand. This puree is now ready to use in sauces or sweetened for desserts. Transfer to a clean jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator up to a week or freeze for a month.

  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 dried hot chili peppers
  • half Cup Unsweetened Red Bean Paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • half Cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water


1. In a small saucepan, heat the oil and add the garlic and peppers. Stir and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until the flavors are released and the garlic browns slightly. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
2. Remove and discard the peppers. Add the bean paste. Stir until blended, then add the remaining ingredients, continuing to stir until blended. Simmer over very low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.
3. Pour the sauce into a food processor and blend until smooth, or mash by hand into a smooth paste. Pour into a clean jar with an airtight lid. Cover and store in the refrigerator to use as needed.


Hot Mustard Sauce

Makes 1/3 Cup
Serve as a spicy dip for any of the dumpling recipes. First you will feel it in your nose, then your eyes and finally it will go straight to the top of your head.




  • 6 tablespoons hot mustard powder
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil


1. Combine the mustard powder and water in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Let the mixture stand for 1 minute.

2. Stir in the vinegar and sesame oil. Pour the mixture into a clean jar and cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 weeks.

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