Black Bean Sauce: thicker cousin to soy
with a heavier flavor.
Chili Sauce: think Tabasco - widely used in Szechwan cooking.
Dark Sesame Oil: rich oil pressed from sesames seeds used for flavoring, not
frying. Use in dips and marinades.
Ginger: Used all over China, ginger has a lemony flavor with a kick. Look for
smooth, shiny pieces of this root.
Hoisin Sauce: A thick, sweet sauce made from soybeans used in marinades and
Oyster Sauce: Thick brown sauce made from soybeans and oysters widely used in
Plum Sauce/Duck Sauce: The pinkish red sauce found in most Chinese restaurants
often served with duck.
Rice Vinegar: light, flavorful vinegar used in sauces.
Soy Sauce: Made from fermented soybeans and a staple all over Asia. Most soy
sauces are "light" - if the label doesn't say, that's what it is. Dark gives
food a dark red color. Like wines, every manufacturer's version is different.
Try a variety.
Asian Chicken Wings
2 inch piece of ginger root, peeled
2 bunches green onions
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. orange juice
1/2 C. hoisin sauce
1/4 C. cooking sherry
1/3 C. Asian plum sauce
1/3 C. apple cider vinegar
1/4 C. Asian sesame oil
1 t. Asian chili paste
4 Asian star anise
1/3 C. honey
4 pounds of chicken wings
Roughly chop the ginger root and the green onions and place in the bowl of a
food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the seasonings are cut
into small pieces, then process until they become quite fine.
Transfer contents of food processor into a deep, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add
the remaining ingredients except the chicken wings. Bring to a boil, then reduce
heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool.
Meanwhile, cut off wing tips. Disjoint wings into two sections and place in a
bowl or plastic container. Pour cooled sauce over them, tossing to coat all
wings evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil two large, shallow roasting pans. Place your oven
racks in the upper and lower thirds of your preheated oven.
Drain wings, reserving the marinade. Divide them between the two prepared pans.
Bake uncovered 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, basting every 20 minutes with the reserved
sauce and turning each wing as you baste. Halfway through the cooking, rotate
each pan to the other shelf so they cook evenly. When cooked, remove wings from
pans and place on sheets of foil in a single layer. (They will be a bit sticky
so the foil is the easiest method to use.) After completely cool, place in an
airtight container and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.