Chinese Style Orange-Sesame Sauce

I have been playing around with this sauce recently. It is quite rich and dark in flavour – a current obsession of mine in the kitchen. Wintery flavours. This sauce is orangey with the depth of soy and a hint of sesame. It has sweet overtones. It goes well with anything deep fried – tofu, cauliflower, pakoda – or grilled items – eggplant slices for example – or roasted or stirfried veg – broccoli, cauliflower etc.

Use it as a coating sauce, dipping sauce (although it is quite thick) or spread the sauce on a plate and place ingredients on top of the sauce. I love roasted slices of eggplant and deep fried tofu on the sauce, scattered with tons of spring onions (scallions).

Today I made some deep fried cauliflower and coated them in the sauce for a delicious snack.

Similar recipes include Miso and Ginger Dressing, Orange Star Anise Sauce, and Chilli Soy Sauce.

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Mandarin and Star Anise Flavoured Soy Sauce

It is mandarin season and one of the things we do at this time of the year is to dry the skins from our home grown mandarins. They are used during the year in teas, stocks, soups, sauces and anything else I can justify throwing a little into.

We also make an orange flavoured soy sauce, simply by soaking the soy with the skins and some star anise. Why not try it? Use the soy sauce as you would use normal soy sauce for extra flavours.

Similar recipes include Chilli Soy Sauce, and Sesame Chilli Soy Sauce.

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Congee with Ginger, Mushrooms and Chilli-Black Bean Sauce

At some point during Winter we long for congee because of its warming and nourishing nature, and because it is the sort of dish that can be eaten from dawn until after midnight. Only the toppings will vary. My first introduction to congee, so many years ago, was through an Asian friend who would take me for mid night bowls in Sydney’s China Town. It was quite a ritual.

Today we make congee cooked with shiitake mushrooms and ginger, and topped with king oyster mushrooms, bean curd bows and a chilli-black bean sauce. We describe the best way to cook congee and make congee bowls here, so have a look before you make today’s recipe.

In our Chilli-Black Bean Sauce we use a Lao Gan Ma Sauce. You can read more about these amazing sauces here.

Similar dishes include Barley, Millet and Mung Congee, How to Make Congee Bowls, and Black Glutinous Rice Congee.

Browse all of our Congee recipes, and our King Oyster Mushroom dishes. Or browse our Mid Winter recipes.

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Congee with Crispy Garlic Shallots, Crispy Ginger and Butternut Pumpkin

Although the first inhabitants of our country in some locations call the second half of Winter as Pre-Spring, here in Adelaide it still feels like Deep Winter. There is nothing better than congee when Winter blues hit.

Today we make congee cooked with butternut pumpkin and ginger, and topped with king oyster mushrooms, chilli jam, yoghurt, crispy fried garlic shallots and crispy fried ginger. The butternut melts into the congee as it cooks. We describe the best way to cook congee and make congee bowls here, so have a look before you make today’s recipe.

A word about Butternut – we call it Butternut Pumpkin, in the US they call it Butternut Squash. In Australia it is one of our most loved pumpkins and we use it almost exclusively at our place. The pumpkin I grew up with – the Queensland Blue – is so hard it almost needs an axe to cut and is less popular these days.

Similar dishes include Easy Pumpkin and Coconut Curry, Congee with Ginger, Mushrooms and Chilli-Black Bean Sauce, Barley, Millet and Mung Congee, How to Make Congee Bowls, and Black Glutinous Rice Congee.

Browse all of our Congee recipes, and our Butternut/Pumpkin dishes. Or browse our Mid Winter recipes.

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Ginger Spring Onion Claypot Rice

Claypot rice is something very special. I urge you to try it. This recipe is a slow cooked one, cooked until the rice is quite soft – not quite congee – just softer than your usual rice. Cooking it in a clay pot gives a special flavour and texture to the dish. You will really enjoy this.

Similar recipes include Congee, Tomato Rice, and Sizzling Rice Squares.

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Sesame – Chilli – Soy Dipping Sauce (with my favourite Chinese Vegetable Dumplings)

I do love a good dipping sauce. Think – steamed vegetables, fried vegetables, dumplings, tofu, noodles, spring rolls, summer rolls, sizzling rice squares. The perfect sauce will lift your dish to new heights.

There are many varieties of dipping sauce, and the Japanese or Chinese style ones have their respective core set of ingredients. For Chinese it is soy, toasted sesame oil, Chinese vinegar perhaps, and some ginger and spring onions. Today’s dipping sauce is another variation on that theme. So very very good.

The sauce is perfect with these vegetable dumplings that I get from the Asian grocery in the freezer section – I put them in a flat pan with a little water and a little oil, and cover the pan. As the water simmers, the dumplings defrost and steam, and when the water evaporates they crisp on the bottom. Flip them over if you wish for a nice crispy top. They are also delicious steamed or even very gently microwaved.

Similar recipes include Soy and Sesame Dipping Sauce, Rice Squares in Dipping Sauce, and Chilli Soy Dipping Sauce.

Browse all of our Dipping Sauces and all of our Chinese recipes. Our Late Autumn dishes are here.

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Indo Chinese Sweetcorn Soup

Sweet corn is so divinely juicy and tender at the moment so I had no choice to make Sweet Corn Soup. I have a lovely Indian recipe but decided to make an Indo-Chinese style soup. There is one in Vol 4. of Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books, but the ingredient proportions have errors, I believe.

Instead, I made my similar version but included diced vegetables that are a quintessential part of this soup. Of course there is nothing really Chinese about this particular version of sweet corn soup – it is an Indian adaptation of a dish to make it appropriate for local palates. I remember being taken by my Indian friend to a Chinese restaurant in Goa in the early 2000’s, and the waiter was astonished that I didn’t want chilli sauce with everything! We should not grin too broadly – Australia travelled the same route when beginning to experience Chinese food in the 1960’s and ’70s. Remember Chop Suey and Chikko Rolls?

Enjoy this soup. I have added some chilli options for accompaniments, should you so desire.

Similar dishes include Most Heavenly Sweetcorn Soup, CaldoIndo-Chinese Baby Sweet Corn and Green Bean Soup, South Indian Baby Corn Soup, and South Indian Green Peas Soup.

Browse all of our Indo Chinese recipes and all of our Indian soups. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Bean Curd (Tofu) and Mushrooms with Vegetables

I have mentioned my ancient Chinese cookbook before, the one direct from the 1970’s, bright orange cover, published by Sunset, and absolutely falling apart now. It is held together with a bulldog clip. It is still available online, I see – leftover copies and second hand ones.  It is not surprising, the recipes are great. Mostly non-veg, but with enough veg recipes for me to still want to keep it on my bookshelves – at least until I have cooked every one of the veg dishes.

Today’s dish is simple but delicious. Tofu in a mushroom sauce with either broccoli, beans or carrots. Delicious. I have replaced oyster sauce with miso – you might like to use a mushroom based vegetarian oyster sauce if you prefer.

Similar recipes include Korean Braised Tofu with Chilli-Soy-Sesame, Broccoli and Chickpeas with Orange Butter Sauce, Chinese Cold Cucumber, Green Beans with Garlic and Sesame, and Sizzling Rice Squares.

Browse all of our Tofu dishes and all of our Chinese fare. Have a look at the recipes we have made from the cookbook Chinese Cooking. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Chinese Quick Rice Squares and Sizzling Rice Squares in Dipping Sauce

How inventive rice squares are. They are pretty easy to make, then their bland goodness is partnered with some flavoursome soups, broths or sauces. You have to admire cultures that waste little.

If sizzling rice squares are your thing, the rice squares are deep fried before placing in the soup or sauce – they sizzle when they are hot and really sizzle as they hit the liquid. They can also be used in any stir fried dish. We have our Asian brothers and sisters to thank for this easy and filling addition to simple meals.

We love to make these from scratch, but left over cooked rice can be used too. They make such a delicious afternoon snack.

Similar recipes include Crispy Green Beans with Ginger and Soy, Congee and Thattai Vadai.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, and our Chinese recipes. Explore all of our Mid Spring dishes too.

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Black Glutinous Rice Congee

Having a special clay Chinese cooking pot certainly turns the focus to congee – the pot (in my simple mind) adds something undefinable and delectable to the congee that is not achievable in other pots and pans. Today our congee is cooked with black glutinous rice. I mixed it with a little white rice this time, but it can be made without the white rice.

For more information on making Congee and Chinese Clay Pots, check this article.

Similar dishes include Black Rice with Chinese Flavours, Congee with Butternut and Ginger, Scallion Claypot Rice, Black Rice with Curry Leaves and Tomatoes, Congee Bowls, Rice, Millet and Lentil Congee, Quinoa Congee with Tomatoes, and Red Rice and Adzuki Bean Congee.

Browse all of our Congee recipes and all of our Chinese dishes. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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