Let’s get saucy! We’re all about that flavoured life, and the best way to add a bit of pizazz to any dish in with a condiment. Do you know these Hong Kong famous sauces?
Living in the The 852, you’ve probably tried these signature Hong Kong-style breakfasts and cute dim sum at different yum cha spots across the city. But for those who are into home cooking, we’ve put together a list of Hong Kong famous sauces that are often used in Chinese cuisine for you to stock your pantry. Here are our fave Hong Kongdiments!
Hong Kong famous sauces and condiments
1. Soy sauce
Who doesn’t like soy sauce? This popular Chinese condiment is made from fermented soybeans. While the Japanese like to pour soy sauce on top of their steamed white rice, locals here like to put soy sauce on their fried eggs, steamed fish, or simply soup noodles. Because it’s just the best tasting sodium we can have. Most popular brands include Lee Kum Kee or Knorr.
2. Chili sauce
Instead of siracha (which is a widely popular Asian sauce), chili sauce is more commonly found in Hong Kong restaurants, and one of the most well-known brands is Yu Kwen Yick. A large number of locals grew up eating fried noodles with a big dollop of chili sauce on top – that’s just how we like it!
3. Doubanjiang (chili bean paste)
We definitely have a favourite when it comes to famous sauces in Hong Kong! Doubanjiang is a spicy and salty paste made from fermented broad beans, soybeans, salt, rice, and other spices – yay for vegetarians. It’s widely used in Sichuan cuisines, such as Sichuan-style braised eggplant and fried tofu. It also serves as a great dumpling dipping sauce or extra flavouring for ramen broth. Mmm… ramen…
Looking for vegetarian sauces? Get them at these health food stores in town.
4. Oyster sauce
One of the most famous sauces in Hong Kong is oyster sauce, made by popular brands like Lee Kum Kee. Created from oyster extract, sugar, salt, and water, it’s a thick dark brown liquid popular in Cantonese, Thai, Vietnamese and Khmer cuisine. In Hong Kong, people use it for everything, from blanched vegetables to Hainanese chicken rice as it brings out that umami flavour. There are also a number of vegetarian oyster sauces available in the market, usually prepared from oyster mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms, and allowing even veggies to appreciate some good old homestyle Cantonese cuisine.
5. XO sauce
XO sauce is a flavourful seafood sauce originating in Hong Kong that consists of marinated dried scallops and shrimp. It’s often used in fried rice, fried noodles, and as a dipping sauce for one of the most popular Hong Kong street food – Cheong Fun (steamed rice rolls). It’s deliciously spicy and garlicky!
6. Chinese black vinegar
What are dumplings without some Chinese black vinegar! Usually made from rice, it’s got a smoky/malty flavour. Eating on its own will be a bit too sour and salty, but pairing it with Chinese steamed dumplings = best.ever.combination. And it’s vegetarian!
Find the best vegetarian dumplings in Hong Kong.
7. Hoisin sauce
One of the most fragrant famous sauces in Hong Kong is hoisin sauce. It consists of soybeans, fennel seeds, red chilies, and garlic (sometimes even with vinegar and Chinese five-spice), and can be used as a glaze for meat or as a dipping sauce. If you’re into Vietnamese food, it’s also a popular condiment for Pho and Vietnamese spring rolls, but we like it best with fried leafy greens.