KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

Key Sauces

Chili Sauce - otherwise known as hot sauce. Chili sauce whether it be Sambal Oelek or Sriracha, is an essential ingredient in adding heat to a dish. Sample the different brands as each one has a different distinct flavor and texture than the next. Proceed with caution as store bought sauces often contain salt so this can alter the 

Recommendations:

Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce

Huy Fong Sambal Oelek

Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Shark Brand Sriracha Chili Sauce

Fish Sauce - a shelf staple for Southeast Asian cooking. Whether used for seasoning in soups, consumed as a dipping sauce or enhancing the flavor of a stir fry dish, fish sauce is essential to have in your pantry. The salty properties will preserve its shelf life longer than other sauces making it a good ingredient to stock up on. 

Recommendations:

Viet Huong Three Crabs Fish Sauce

Red Boat Fish Sauce

Squid Brand Fish Sauce

Phu Quoc Fish Sauce

Hoisin Sauce - a thick, sweet & savory sauce made from fermented soy beans often used in Chinese cuisine but also as a flavor enhancer for many Southeast Asian dishes. You can often find hoisin sauce useful for marinades, as part of a glaze for roast pork or duck and as an added flavor booster to soups such as pho.

Recommendations:

Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce

Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce

Oyster Sauce - a savory umami sauce derived from oysters, salt, sugar and other seasonings. The staple for Asian stir fries and also used for marinades as a flavor enhancer. Despite its name, oyster sauce does not taste like oysters. Incorporate oyster sauce in your next stir fry whether it be vegetables, mushrooms or meat for a tasty meal. 

Recommendations:

Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce

Maekrua Oyster Sauce

Soy Sauce - a shelf staple for Asian cuisine. Soy sauce comes in all different varieties and flavors and it varies based on the type of cuisine that is being made. Many countries across Asia use different soy sauces and they all enhance dishes differently. For example, Japanese soy sauce used for sashimi and sushi is vastly different from kecap manis, a thick sweet soy sauce originated from Indonesia often used for fried rice and more. Additionally, there are recipes that differentiate "light soy sauce" and "dark soy sauce" as well so do research on the dishes that you like and you can purchase the right kind accordingly. 

Recommendations:

Pearl River Bridge Superior Light Soy Sauce

Lee Kum Kee Premium Soy Sauce

Healthy Boy Thai Light Soy Sauce

Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce

Pearl River Bridge Superior Dark Soy Sauce

ABC Sweet Soy Sauce

Shrimp Paste - a pungent paste made of ground fermented shrimp and salt. This condiment is often used in Southeast Asian cooking from notable soups such as Vietnamese Bun Bo Hue and Bun Rieu. It does not have the most pleasant smell along with fish sauce however it does serve as a rich umami flavor enhancer that helps round out the flavor of dishes when used sparingly.

Recommendations:

Co Gai Vietnam Shrimp Sauce

Nguyen Gia Shrimp Sauce

Koon Chun Fine Shrimp Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce - a sweet and spicy dipping sauce which contains  sugar, garlic, vinegar and crushed chilis. This sauce is best enjoyed with fried foods such as wings, eggrolls, dumplings and more. Sweet chili sauce is also a fantastic add in to stir fry dishes to add extra sweetness and a bit of spice flavor. 

Recommendations:

Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce

UFC Sweet Chili Sauce

Maggi Sweet Chili Sauce

XO Sauce - a spicy seafood sauce made from dried shrimp and scallops, aged ham, chilis and more. This condiment has such a unique flavor and adds a rich taste of umami to stir fry dishes. XO sauce is amazing with whole fried fish and vegetables but since it is higher in sodium, XO sauce should only be used sparingly. 

Recommendations: 

Lee Kum Kee XO Sauce

Morning Sky XO Sauce

Noodles & Wrappers

Egg Noodles - thin noodles made of egg, flour and water that can be found both dried and fresh. Noodles are bright yellow and texture is slighty chewy and tender. Often enjoyed in Asian cuisine from soups to stir fries such as Hu Tieu or wonton noodle soup.

Recommendations:

Twin Marquis Wonton Noodles

New Yung Ky Wonton Noodle

Frozen Rice Noodles - comes in a variety of lengths and widths so picking the right kind of noodles will vary based on the desired dish. Thin rice noodles for noodle soups such as Pho yields a different texture from thicker rice noodles for Bun Bo Hue and wide flat noodles for Pad Thai or Mee Katang. Rice noodles can come in both dried and fresh variety, leaving the dried option to be more pantry friendly. The fresh option is great as well if available and can be kept frozen until use which is best to defrost the night before in the refrigerator. 

Recommendations:

Rama Food Banh Pho Tuoi (Fresh Rice Stick Noodle)

Sincere Orient Banh Pho Tuoi (Fresh Rice Pho Noodles)

Dried Rice Noodles - falls under the rice noodles category but I figured it was important to point out the different type of vermicelli and other uses. Vermicelli comes in all sorts of sizes. For dishes such as spring rolls or bun thit nuong, you'll want to verify the noodle size as it compares drastically from noodles for bun bo Hue.

Recommendations:

Three Ladies Brand Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli 

Bamboo Tree Bun Tuoi

K&K Rice Vermicelli (Bun Bo Hue)

Asian Best Rice Sticks Noodles XL (Pad Thai/Mee Katang)

Mung Bean (Cellophane) Vermicelli - a otherwise known as glass noodles. These noodles while visually similar to rice vermicelli yields a slightly different texture. Often pre-soaked and boiled prior to cooking, mung bean vermicelli noodles are clear and slightly chewy. 

Recommendations:

Double Pagoda Vermicelli 

HUNSTY Lungkow Vermicelli

Spring Roll Wrappers - thin rice paper sheets for spring rolls but is also used in other Vietnamese street food dishes. Generally prepared by lightly soaking in water then assembling the spring rolls immediately to retain texture and freshness. 

Recommendations:

Bamboo Tree Spring Roll Rice Paper

Pak Lee Trading Co Banh Trang Spring Roll Wrapper

Egg Roll Wrappers - paper thin wrappers that generally comes in 8 inch square sheets. Often used for egg rolls and lumpia as these wrappers become super crispy when fried. Packages can usually found in 25 or 50 packs, generally in the frozen aisle. 

Recommendations:

Spring Home Spring Roll Pastry

Wei-Chuan Spring Roll shells

Plain Dumpling Skins - pre-rolled and thin flour dumpling skins often found refrigerated/frozen best used for assembling dumplings, xiao long bao, gyoza, mandu and more. Texture can vary based on the brand and cultural origin as different countries in Asia make various types of dumplings. 

Recommendations:

Twin Marquis Dumpling Wrappers

Egg Dumpling Skins - similar to plain dumpling skins except yellow in color as there is egg in the base. Often stored in the refrigerated or frozen section of the Asian grocery store coming in packs of 25 or 50. Best used for wontons, siu mai and dumplings.

Recommendations:

Twin Marquis Dumpling Wrappers