Thursday, 3 November 2011

Can't Live Without - Sauces

Is there anything in your life that you can't live without? On several occasions we find ourselves saying that something has to be added to the stocking up list, because we just can't live without them! So I thought I'd write a series of our own 'Can't Live Without' s, to remind me what to stock, and to recommend to you what is so good that we can't live without them.

Today I'll start with sauces.

Maggi Liquid Seasoning

Judging from the size (1Kg), can you tell how important it is to us? I grew up with this, and even got my hubby hooked. We just can't live without it!

I think it's a kind of Soya Sauce, but with a twist. This works great to give your dishes that Umami taste. What's Umami, you ask? It's the 5th taste you have that makes your tongue all happy. So you have Sweet, Salty, Sour and Bitter, and then Umami. Still don't get it? Well, you must have heard of a chemical ingredient that gives you that Umami hit - MSG.

I'm not going to go in depth about what's in the sauce, probably some bad things lurking in there, so anything in moderation. Anyway, it makes our dishes stand out so much more than just using soya or oyster sauce. Also, it makes a fab dip for seafood, or just a drop on boiled (hard or soft) eggs makes it that much more WOW. I reckon it'll work great with anything that has a lot of protein in it (prawns, eggs).

We use this when we cook Chinese dishes, or have egg and seafood. The only time I'll prefer soya sauce (preferably Kikkoman, will post a recipe with it soon) over Maggi sauce is when I have Sushi, or Tuna and Sweetcorn Pasta (I loooove soya sauce!!) 

Anyway, you can get a much smaller bottle (100ml) from most supermarkets.

Lee Kam Kei XO Sauce

Another uber sauce (XO kind of mean WOW, or X factor) to tingle your Umami taste buds, but with all the posh natural ingredients including dried shrimps, dried scallops and Kam Wah Ham (Chinese most famous and expensive ham). I normally mix it with soya sauce (I'm a soya sauce craze!) to make it easier for dipping.

The sauce is full of flavour, so only a little is needed to add the X factor into dishes like Chinese Dim Sums , or noodle soups. I think you can even put it on Sushi, or just eat it with plain rice ;p

Unfortunately you can only get these in the better Chinese grocery stores. We've seen it in London, next to some cheaper version. We did try them but it's just not for me. They just won't give me my fix but upset me even more! After all, apart from saving money, you also need to consider quality, or value for money. Luckily for us, we have our lovely parents to feed our addiction by posting them to us from Hong Kong <3

My mouth is salivating by just looking at the pic! Need to find something to eat that goes with the sauce!