Friday, August 27, 2010

Oyster Sauce - My Magic Sauce

When I first begin to cook, I used a lot of oyster sauce and in some way, it is like a magic sauce because it just add all the flavors you need, whether it be a meat or vegetable based dish. These are quick to make and almost guarantee that what you cook will be eaten up (hmm some terms and conditions may apply - like following the recipe). However, since I begin to try different ways of Chinese cooking from Fushia's book and from my Chinese friends in Lund, I use oyster sauce less and less but it's still an essential item in my pantry. The three dishes I am posting today are just for those of us who might be living overseas and need something quick and comforting or if you have not done much cooking before to get some ideas of the versatility of this 'magic sauce'. Unless otherwise specified, these portions are good for one or two person and more if serving in combination with other small dishes.

När jag började att laga mat använde jag mycket oyster sauce i mina rätter. Man kan säga att det är en 'magic sauce' för att det är det enda man behöver. Dessa rätter som jag ska beskriva är lätta att tillaga. Eftersom jag har lärt mig nya kinesiska recepts, använder jag inte oyster sauce så mycket längre, men det är fortfarande en sak som jag alltid kommer ha i mitt kök.

Stir Fry Oyster Sauce Broccoli with carrots and prawns
 Oyster Sauce Based Dishes

1 bouquet broccoli, cut into florets, separating the stalks portion from the florets sections
1 carrot, peeled and slice thinly
4-5 prawns, marinated with a dash of pepper and salt
minced garlic and shallots, about 1/2 teaspoon each
Oyster sauce, 2-3 tablespoon

  1. Heat up about 1.5 tablespoon cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the minced shallots first when its warm enough, then the garlic when the shallots has turned slightly brown and fragrant.
  2. When the garlic is golden brown and fragrant, add in the prawns, broccoli stalks and carrots first and stir fry until they are half-cooked. You can test with a fork or by trying to cut one of the carrot or broccoli stalk with your spatula. If it slices through easily, it is done.
  3. Add in the broccoli florets next and stir fry it for about a minute, adding about 50ml water.
  4. Add the oyster sauce (you may vary accordingly but oyster sauce are salty in nature) next and cook until done. Serve with rice.
Stir Fry Chicken with spring onions and ginger
Oyster Sauce Based Dishes

1 chicken fillet or chicken breast, sliced thickly 
2 spring onions, sectioned into 3 cm parts
thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and slice thinly
2-3 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

  1.  Heat up about 2 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium heat and add in the slice ginger first, frying them till golden brown.
  2. Add the spring onions next, stir fry until fragrant and add the chicken slices next.
  3. When the chicken has changed color, add in about 50ml water, oyster sauce and wine, mixing everything thoroughly and simmer it for a few minutes on low heat.
  4. Serve with rice or as part of your spread of other dishes. 
Stir Fry Bak Choy with chicken/pork/prawns
Oyster Sauce Based Dishes

1 big stalk of Bak Choy or  2-3 smaller bundles, washed and sliced vertically
half a chicken breast or equivalent amount of pork if using, or 5-6 prawns, marinated with some salt and pepper
Minced garlic and shallots, about 1/2 teaspoon each.
Oyster sauce, about 2 tablespoon

  1. Heat about 2 tablespoon cooking oil over medium heat and add in the minced garlic and shallots, stir fry till fragrant.
  2. Add in the meat slices and fry till almost done, turn up the heat to high before adding the bak choy.
  3. When the bak choy has wilted, add about 50ml water and oyster sauce, mix well, cover and simmer for a while longer until the bak choy is cooked. If you like them a bit crunchier, you can lessen the simmering time.

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