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Chicken with oyster sauce

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Chicken with oyster sauce

Chicken with oyster sauce

Chinese chicken recipes.  Chinese food. Chinese recipes.

Chicken with oyster sauce.  Despite its name, oyster sauce does not taste “fishy” or even like osters.  It is a rich sauce that has a special affinity for chicken.


  • 1/2 chicken, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 4 scallions
  • 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Dash of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 slice gingerroot, the size of a quarter
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


Chop the chicken into 1-inch pieces.  Chop the scallions into 1/2-inch pieces.  In a bowl combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sherry, sugar and pepper.


Heat a wok or skiller over high heat until a drop of water inmediately zizzles into steam.  Add the peanut oil, garlic, and gingerroot.  Stir for about 30 seconds or until the odor of the garlic has become pungent.  Add the chicken and stir for 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Add the oyster sauce mixture and stir to coat the chicken. Add 1/4 cup of the chicken stock.   Cover and lower heat to simmer.  Cook for 4 minutes or until the chicken is done.  Add the remaining chicken stock if necessary to keep the oyster sauce from burning.  Raise heat to high and add the constarch mixture. Stir for 15 seconds or until the sauce has thickened.  Stir in the sesame oil and scallions.  Serve.


Oyster sauce adds a savory flavour to many dishes, making it an ideal choice for flavouring meat and vegetables. The sauce is a staple for much Chinese family-style cooking. It is commonly used in noodle stir-fries, such as chow mein. It is also found in popular Chinese-American dishes such as beef with stir-fried vegetables. This sauce can also be used as a topping for some dishes.

Since its early stage of development, this sauce has been widely popular with Cantonese chefs as a traditional umami rich condiment.

Until now, the applications of this sauce are no longer restricted to Cantonese cuisine. Be it the well-balanced Shandong cuisine, the spicy hot Sichuanese cuisine, or the seafood and red stewing-dominated Jiangsu and Zhejiang cuisine, this sauce plays a part in enhancing the flavours without hampering the authenticity of taste. It brings out the umami flavour in the best delicacies while adding texture and flavour to everyday dishes, which makes it a condiment of choice indispensable for both professional or home kitchens.

Oyster sauces are well known for its magic of “bringing out the umami taste in flavourful foods” while “adding flavour to bland ingredients”, serving as versatile condiment ideal for umami-inducing, flavour enhancement, colour-enriching, brightness-adding and sauce-retaining for different cuisines.

The popularity of oyster sauce in the international market has lifted its application in different cuisines apart from Chinese.

Data gathered from Wikipedia

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chicken with oyster sauce

Oyster Sauce: Unveiling the Umami Elixir in Chinese Cuisine

Introduction: this sauce is a dark and luscious condiment, is a staple in Chinese cuisine that adds depth, umami, and a savory richness to a variety of dishes. This unique sauce is renowned for its ability to enhance the flavors of both meat and vegetable dishes.

In this exploration, we’ll uncover the origins, production process, and versatile applications of this sauce in Chinese culinary traditions.

Origin and Production: this ingredient is believed to have originated in Southern China, particularly in Guangdong province, known for its rich seafood offerings. The product was created by simmering oysters in water to extract their essence, resulting in a concentrated liquid that formed the foundation of this ingrdient.

The modern production process involves simmering oysters in water and soy sauce, then thickening the mixture with starch. Additional ingredients like sugar, salt, and sometimes MSG (monosodium glutamate) are added to achieve the desired balance of sweetness, saltiness, and umami. The mixture is then strained to obtain the smooth, velvety oyster sauce.

Flavor Profile: this product contributes a complex flavor profile to dishes, combining the brininess of oysters with the richness of soy sauce. It provides a balance of sweet and salty notes, creating a savory depth known as umami. Umami, often described as the fifth taste sensation, adds a savory and satisfying dimension to foods.

Applications in Chinese Cuisine:

1. Stir-Fries (Chao):
This ingredient is a star player in Chinese stir-fries. Whether with vegetables, beef, chicken, or seafood, adding a spoonful of this ingrdient elevates the overall taste, giving the dish a glossy finish and an irresistible umami kick.

2. Marinades and Glazes:
Marinades and glazes benefit from the richness of this product. By combining it with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and perhaps a touch of sesame oil, you can create a flavorful concoction to marinate meats or glaze roasted dishes.

3. Vegetarian Dishes:
This product is not exclusive to meat-based dishes. It plays a crucial role in vegetarian cooking, enhancing the flavors of stir-fried vegetables, tofu, and mushroom-based meals. Vegetarian oyster sauce, made from mushrooms, is also available for those who prefer a plant-based alternative.

4. Noodle and Rice Dishes:
This product is a common addition to noodle and rice dishes. From lo mein to fried rice, a drizzle of oyster sauce imparts a savory depth that complements the other ingredients.

5. Dipping Sauces:
This product can be used as a base for dipping sauces. Mixing it with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a hint of chili creates a savory dipping sauce perfect for dumplings, spring rolls, or grilled meats.

6. Braising and Simmering:
Also is an essential ingredient in braised and simmered dishes. Its concentrated flavor infuses into meats and vegetables during the slow cooking process, creating dishes with a rich and savory taste.

Varieties: While traditional oyster sauce remains popular, variations have emerged to cater to diverse dietary preferences. Some versions include vegetarian oyster sauce made from mushrooms, providing a similar umami punch without the use of oysters.

Conclusion: this ingredient, with its origins deeply rooted in Southern Chinese culinary traditions, has become a cornerstone in Chinese cuisine. Its ability to enhance flavors, impart umami richness, and contribute to a glossy finish makes it an indispensable ingredient in the kitchen.

As Chinese cuisine continues to captivate global taste buds, the allure of oyster sauce persists, inviting both seasoned chefs and home cooks to embark on a savory journey with this umami elixir.

chicken with oyster sauce

Peanut Oil in Chinese Cuisine: A Culinary Elixir

Introduction: Peanut oil, with its distinctive nutty aroma and high smoke point, holds a revered position in Chinese cuisine. This versatile cooking oil has been a fundamental element in Chinese kitchens for centuries, contributing not only to the flavor of dishes but also to the artistry of various cooking techniques. In this exploration, we will delve into the origins of peanut oil, its culinary properties, and its diverse applications in Chinese cooking.

Origins and Extraction: Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil, is derived from the kernels of peanuts, which are legumes rather than true nuts. Originating in South America, peanuts made their way to China via trade routes, becoming a staple in Chinese agriculture and cuisine. The extraction process typically involves roasting the peanuts to enhance flavor, followed by pressing or solvent extraction to obtain the oil.

Culinary Properties: Peanut oil is valued for its mild flavor, light texture, and high smoke point, making it an ideal choice for various cooking methods. Its slightly nutty taste adds a subtle richness to dishes without overpowering other ingredients. The high smoke point of peanut oil, around 450°F (232°C), allows for versatile applications in both stir-frying and deep-frying, making it a staple in the Chinese culinary repertoire.

Common Uses in Chinese Cuisine:

1. Stir-Frying (Chao):
Peanut oil’s high smoke point and neutral flavor make it an excellent choice for stir-frying. Its ability to withstand high temperatures ensures that ingredients cook quickly while retaining their natural textures and flavors. From vegetables to meats, peanut oil imparts a delicate nuttiness to stir-fried dishes.

2. Deep-Frying (Zha):
In deep-frying, peanut oil’s high smoke point prevents the oil from breaking down at elevated temperatures. This results in crispy and golden textures in deep-fried dishes, from spring rolls to crispy duck. The oil’s neutrality allows the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through.

3. Sauces and Dressings:
Peanut oil is often used as a base for sauces and dressings. Its mild flavor allows it to carry the essence of other ingredients, enhancing the overall taste of dishes. It is a key component in classic Chinese sauces like hoisin and various dipping sauces.

4. Marinating and Seasoning:
Due to its subtle nutty taste, peanut oil is used in marinades and as a seasoning agent. It helps infuse meats and vegetables with a hint of richness and works well in combination with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other flavor enhancers.

5. Noodle and Rice Dishes:
Peanut oil adds a delightful touch to noodle and rice dishes. Whether used in the wok for fried rice or as a finishing drizzle for cold noodles, it imparts a pleasing aroma and a mild nutty undertone.

Nutritional Benefits: Beyond its culinary attributes, peanut oil also offers nutritional benefits. It is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy. Additionally, it contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that contributes to skin health.

Varieties of Peanut Oil: There are different varieties of peanut oil available, including refined, unrefined, roasted, and cold-pressed options. Refined peanut oil, with its higher smoke point and milder flavor, is often preferred for cooking methods that require high heat.

Conclusion: Peanut oil, a culinary elixir in Chinese cuisine, weaves its golden threads through a myriad of dishes, enhancing flavors and elevating textures. From the sizzle of the wok in stir-fried creations to the crisp perfection of deep-fried delights, peanut oil is a vital ingredient that embodies the artistry of Chinese cooking. Its ability to balance subtlety with functionality has secured its enduring place in kitchens, where it continues to be a key element in the symphony of flavors that define Chinese culinary excellence.


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