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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Asian Cooking / Asian Sauces
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    Asian Sauces

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    Rinshinomori
    Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:03 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Reading up on sauces have been informational for me. For example, I wanted to write up on tenmenjan (China) and hoisin sauce (China) but I am having problems understanding why tenmenjan is readily available in Japan but not hoisin sauce. On the other hand, hoisin sauce is readily available in the US but not tenmenjan. Somewhat similar tastes. What I'm seeing is both of these sauces are very close to sweet miso (fermented soy beans) with other ingredients added. Study continues. icon_biggrin.gif

    If anyone know about hoisin sauce - the origin and how used in China, please chime in. Hoisin sauce is translated as Seafood miso and tenmenjan as sweet miso.
    Rinshinomori
    Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:24 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Hoisin sauce (海鲜酱), tenmenjang (甜麺醤) , tenmenjiang are basically the same Chinese sauce consisting of mostly fermented soy beans (miso), sweet potato,garlic, sugar, and other ingredients and is considered sweet miso variety.

    I had problems understanding why hoisin sauce is common and accepted in the US but in Japan it is not and instead tenmenjang is the sauce used and commonly found there. Well, asking around I found that hoisin sauce and the usage of the word is Cantonese origin and tenmenjang is Mandarin word origin. That makes sense to me since many Chinese foods founds in the US started with Cantonese origin. Of course, that is slowly changing now. But in Japan, the Chinese food there is more Mandarin style. That too is changing there as well.

    Iron Chef Chinese Chen-san's father is from China and moved to Japan and opened up Chinese restaurants in Japan sometime early in 1930's. He is often credited with bringing Szechuan style of foods such as mapo doufu and tantanmen to Japan. However, when he introduced tantanmen, he had to change the recipe to satisfy Japanese palate in those early years. His son, Iron Chef Chinese Chen-san used tenmenjan a lot in his recipes and trying to write out his recipes in English I had problems with some of the ingredient lists such as tenmenjan or toubanjan. Now the puzzle is solved. Basically tenmenjan and hoisin sauce are similar item. The difference between them is very small so you can use either one.

    In Japan, hoisin or tenmenjan is known as sweet miso type. And, really that's what that is. There are so many miso types in Japan now and I'm sure it's true in China as well. The flavored and sweet miso is very popular in Japan for dipping, sauces, etc.

    The hoisin sauce looks like this:

    The tenmenjang sauce looks like this and I still prefer it over hoisin sauce. It seems less sweeter and more rounded in flavor than hoisin sauce.


    I have a mapo tofu recipe posted here using Iron Chef Chinese Chen-san's recipe. I originally indicated tenmenjan only, but now knowing this sauce is basically same as hoisin sauce and is more readily available in the US, I changed it reflect that. Here is that Iron Chef Chinese - Chef Chen's Mapo Tofu



    I've seen some homemade hoisin using peanut sauce, but for me that just does not sound right. It is basically miso made from soy beans so I went looking for the recipes in Asian sites and came up with one that looks very authentic and I plan on posting it here on food.com once I verify the taste first and make the adjustments if needed. I think the adjustment will come from sweetness, additions of spices, etc. But, this is the one that looks right.

    500 gram of dark miso
    220 gram of sugar
    50 cc soy sauce
    200 cc mirin (sweetened sake)
    200 cc sake
    1 T sesame oil
    to this I would add garlic paste or minced garlic

    Combine all except sesame oil and cook on very low heat for about 20 min. It should start getting thicker and coat the spoon. Take it off the heat and add sesame oil to finish off.
    Rinshinomori
    Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:55 am
    Food.com Groupie
    One of my favorite foods anytime, but especially in warmer weather are chilled noodle dishes. And there is one using tenmenjan or hoisin sauce called jajamen that I really like. The meat mixture is often ground pork, ground beef, or combo pork and beef with tenmenjan/hoisin and other ingredients.

    This one I made using combo pork and beef as well as chopped up mushrooms.



    Here is another variation I found online coming from a Japanese restaurant:
    Leggy Peggy
    Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:09 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Oh wow. Both of those look fantastic. yummy.gif
    And I'm stuck eating toast for breakfast.
    vlastafromSlovenia
    Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:39 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    My husband just came home from a 10 day work visit to Japan, and he NEEDS CoCo's Ichi beef curry recipe or anything close to it. I mean he is addicted to this stuff. He had a regular curry before and he did not like it, but gave it a try, after all the cooworkers told him, he has to try CoCo's curry. What is in this stuff? LOL Any help would be greatlly appreciated. Thanx!
    Rinshinomori
    Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:04 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Hello - when you say your husband had curry before, do you mean he had other Japanese style curries before? Or non-Japanese style curries? Japanese style curry is style all it's own - obviously Japanese like it, but others who grew up eating more authentic curry styles may not like it. I like all different styles but tend to prefer the Japanese style because that's what I grew up eating.
    Member #610488
    Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:17 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    vlastafromSlovenia wrote:
    CoCo's Ichi beef curry recipe


    http://www.ichibanya.co.jp/english/info/multilingual.html

    Curry House CoCo Ichibanya


    One option would be to make the curry yourself - S&B Curry Powder.



    The following recipe might help:

    For the roux:
    3 tablespoons butter
    1/4 cup flour
    2 tablespoons Japanese curry powder (or western curry powder)
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add less if you want it mild or more if you want it spicy)
    Fresh ground black pepper
    1 tablespoons ketchup (or tomato paste)
    1 tablespoons tonkatsu sauce (or Worcestershire sauce)
    For the curry:
    2 teaspoon oil
    2 large onions sliced thin
    2 pounds chicken thighs cleaned and cut into chunks (you could also use beef, shrimp, or tofu)
    2 carrots cut into chunks
    4 cups water
    2 large yukon gold potatoes cut into large chunks
    1 small apple peeled cored and pureed (I use a Microplane)
    2 teaspoons kosher salt (use less if you use regular salt)
    1 teaspoon Japanese curry powder
    1/2 cup peas

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium low heat and add the onions. Sauté the onions until they are golden brown and caramelized (about 30 minutes). Turn up the heat to high, add the chicken, and brown.

    Add the carrots and the water, then bring to a boil. Skim off any foam or oil that accumulates at the surface then lower heat to medium and add the potatoes, puréed apple, salt, and curry powder. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until you can pass a fork through the carrots and potatoes and the meat is tender.

    For the roux, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the flour and curry powder, stirring until you have a thick paste. Add the cayenne pepper and some fresh ground black pepper and incorporate into the roux. Add the ketchup and tonkatsu sauce and combine. Continue to cook until the paste starts crumbling. Remove from heat and set aside until the meat and veggies are ready.

    To make the curry, just ladle about 2 cups of liquid into the roux then whisk until it's smooth. Pour this mixture back into the other pot and gently stir until thickened. Add the peas and heat through.

    Serve over rice or noodles.

    (The restaurant would make a curry without the meat and then ladle it along with a pre-cooked item like pork cutlet, etc. You can do the same by omitting the meat and the peas. The potatoes, apples and such should cook down into the curry and thicken it but if not, use a potato masher or food processor to blend them into a smooth sauce)

    The other option would be pre-made curry blocs - S&B Golden Curry



    There are several brands available internationally - All offered by S&B and House Brands. Golden Curry, Vermont House, Java Curry, KoKuMaRu and one all in Japanese (Maybe Tasty Curry??)

    Chef #2351023
    Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:59 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Asian sauces are awesome!! I spent a month looking for Ponzu sauce when I was in Australia so I could use it with seared tuna and fruit. Sounds weird but so good. Fish sauce is great until you spill it and your house smells like fish for weeks. Sriracha (rooster sauce) is something I always keep on hand. Mix it with a little mayo for the sauce to make spicy tuna rolls. But my real favorite is Sweet Chili Sauce (sweet tritty). I'll put that stuff on anything and eat it up. I even made a video about cooking with it about a month ago. Lemme know what you think..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuqdW3rLB9Y

    I'll make another when I get some free time
    Pot Scrubber
    Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:19 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Leggy Peggy wrote:
    I use a lot of Lee Kum Kee sauces, but it's great to be introduced to other brands.

    I'm a Lee Kum Kee brand sauce user, too. They are a good brand readily available in US supermarkets. One of my favorite US celebrity chefs is Martin Yan who had a cooking show on PBS for many years and his recipes all use Lee Kum Kee sauces. Of course, he is paid well for his endorsement I'm sure... but he is a very well respected chef and wouldn't use sub standard products in his food.

    Unfortunately, Peggy, when I moved to my new place my big fancy refrigerator was 1/2 inch too wide to fit in the space so the fridge sat outside on James' carport for a few days and SOMEHOW in the rush of moving I didn't clear out the bottom condiment shelf where I had my Asian sauces stored. James threw them away thinking they were spoiled not being refrigerated. Ugh! Most likely they were still good because most of them don't really need to be refrigerated but I didn't mention cause I didn't want him to feel bad. It was probably $75 worth of sauces, though. icon_sad.gif
    Pot Scrubber
    Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:26 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Rinshinomori wrote:
    Sambal Oelek is a Indonesian chili paste made from ground red chili. It is often made with only chili or small amount of other ingredients such as vinegar and salt.



    Sambal oelek is not so much sauce as a taste enhancer used in cooking. It can be used in curries or in development of other sauces such as dipping sauces and barbecue sauces for grilling. It adds heat without interfering with other tastes.

    I always keep sambal oelek in the fridge. I use it in place of Tabasco sauce in recipes. I find the high amount of vinegar in Tabasco tastes off putting to me and interferes with other flavors.
    Leggy Peggy
    Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:02 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Pot Scrubber wrote:

    James threw them away thinking they were spoiled not being refrigerated. Ugh! Most likely they were still good because most of them don't really need to be refrigerated but I didn't mention cause I didn't want him to feel bad. It was probably $75 worth of sauces, though. icon_sad.gif


    Aw, bummer. I know how upsetting that can be. Quite a few years ago the
    receptionist at the office threw out some things that were 'past use by' but
    they really had no expiry date. It wasn't anything like your loss, but it still hurt.
    That said, it's good you didn't say anything. It wouldn't solve anything or
    bring them back. icon_sad.gif Want me to send you anything when I get home?
    Rinshinomori
    Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:52 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    all this talk about refrigerator and throwing things out, I am cleaning my refrigerator out today. I try to do this ahem at least every few years. Wonder what neat sauces I will find along the way icon_lol.gif BTW, I never throw any of my sauces away.
    Leggy Peggy
    Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:40 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Rinshinomori wrote:
    all this talk about refrigerator and throwing things out, I am cleaning my refrigerator out today. I try to do this ahem at least every few years. Wonder what neat sauces I will find along the way icon_lol.gif BTW, I never throw any of my sauces away.


    Hey Rinshinomori -- if we don't hear from you soon, should we assume the
    refrigerate won? icon_smile.gif
    As for not throwing out sauces, I remember someone asking in this forum
    'how long does fish sauce last'. I think you answered 'for your lifetime'. rotfl.gif
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