As an avid lover of food from all around the world, oriental dishes are some of my favorites. With bold flavors and colors from all the wonderful vegetable and sauces your taste buds are sure to be pleased. If you share in the love for oriental food than you will want to keep these ten must have ingredients in your kitchen.
1. Soy Sauce
As a wonderful sauce on its own you can use soy sauce to make most oriental dishes. It has great flavor and is good mixed with any combination of the rest of the ingredients on this list. Do not be afraid to prepare any type of meat with a soy sauce marinade as it goes well with most foods.
2. Sesame Seed Oil
One hundred percent pure dark sesame seed oil is great for cooking and just a little goes a long way. There are many different brands that make it but read the labels to make sure there are no added ingredients. The flavor of sesame seed oil is wonderful in oriental food and compliments many recipes.
3. Oyster Sauce
While the name is correct on what the sauce is made from it is misleading in the sense of what comes to mind. While you may think it is going to be fishy, oyster sauce is not fishy at all. Made from boiled or ground up oysters and spices it has quite a bit of flavor. This sauce is great in vegetable and meat dishes.
4. Chili Paste with Garlic
A nice chili paste with garlic is great to have around for adding flavor to your dishes. If you want things mild you add a little and if you want them spicy you add a lot. Chili paste can be added to any dish to give it kick if you are a spicy food lover.
5. Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is like a barbeque sauce only better because it has delicious flavor and can go on anything from fish and chicken to beef. Most oriental recipes call for hoisin sauce so it is important to keep a jar of it around.
6. Water Chestnuts
The easiest way to buy water chestnuts is sliced in a can because they are crisp and keep their flavor. You can find them in the oriental cooking isle in different varieties. Sliced makes less work for you however if a recipe calls for whole ones those are available too.
7. Bamboo Shoots
Another easy ingredient to keep on hand is bamboo shoots because they also come in cans. They are sliced as well so all you have to do is drain them and put them in your dish. There is no preparation involved which makes cooking easier.
8. Straw Mushrooms
While some people are not fans of mushrooms, others are mushroom lovers and straw mushrooms are a favorite. These tasty little mushrooms are great in most oriental dishes so make sure you keep at least one can on hand.
9. Baby Corn
Sweet baby corn is another food that comes in cans and they are great for oriental cooking. With delicious flavor and crunch these are a great addition to many dishes and stir fry meals.
10. Hot Oil
The hot oil used in oriental cooking is made with oil and hot peppers so that the spiciness and flavor stay in the oil. However it does not have any chunks in it because the peppers are strained out. This is a great ingredient for oriental dishes to add flavor and kick.
Remember to put these ten ingredients on your shopping list next time you are at the grocery store so you can make some oriental food. While it may be a lot to buy at first these ingredients last a while and will go a long ways. If you make your own oriental food you will save money in the long run so it is nice to have the ingredients on hand.