If you often cook at home, condiments are some of the must-have ingredients when cooking to add flavor, in addition to spices and herbs. Every household in Singapore that lives on Asian cuisine must have these top 10 essential condiments in the kitchen for Asian cooking:
- Hoisin sauce Often used in Chinese cooking, the dark brown sauce is made of various spices, chili, salt, garlic, vinegar, fermented soy, and sugar. It’s best for glazing or cooking meat as well as a dipping sauce.
- Sambal Typically used in Malay or Indonesian cooking, sambal comes in a variety of taste and ingredients. Two of the most common sambals include sambal belacan (shrimp paste) and sambal oelek (grinded chili paste). Sambal can either be used as a dipping sauce or add hotness to a dish.
- Soy sauce Soy sauce is made of wheat and soy and is often used in Japanese and Chinese cooking. Soy sauce is pretty flexible and can be used as a dipping sauce or to marinade and season.
- Oyster sauce A staple in Thai and Chinese cooking, oyster sauce is made of caramel coloring, thickening starch, sugar, salt, and oyster extract. It’s best for stir-frying. Since the texture is already pretty thick, you don’t really need to mix it with any other ingredient.
- Fish sauce Fish sauce is widely used in various Asian cooking to add flavor other than salt. The brown-colored liquid is made of fish fermented in water and sea salt. The pungent sauce is frequently added in curries, sauces, and marinades.
- Plum sauce The Chinese condiment is a sweet and sour sauce made of ginger, vinegar, sugar, and plums. Besides serving as a dipping sauce to deep-fried foods like egg rolls, it’s also great for glazing duck, pork, and chicken.
- Gochujang The red-colored Korean paste is made of salt, rice, and red chilies fermented with soybeans. It’s often used to marinade pork or beef and add flavor to stews.
- Miso paste Often used in Japanese cooking, particularly miso soup, miso paste is made of fermented soybeans and barley or rice.
- Mirin Another staple in Japanese cooking, the sweet low-alcohol rice wine is used to add flavor.
- Rice vinegar Rice vinegar is often used to cook vegetables or mixed with a dipping sauce.
You can check out the condiments available in Singapore, as they’re widely available at the grocery stores or major supermarkets. They can also be purchased online for convenience. Some stores even offer bulk purchases for more savings.