Chinese restaurant fare always seemed too daunting to try making at home. But I saw another side of Chinese cooking when eating with my boyfriend's parents, Peter and Wendy Lee. With a few fresh ingredients, easy-to-find sauces, and some basic techniques, home cooking is light, flavorful ― and easy. Serve steamed Chinese broccoli or snow peas on the side, and pour a Chenin Blanc.
From the Asian-foods aisle
• Noodle soup base such as Kikkoman Memmi. A mixture of soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and fish flavorings, sold in bottles beside the soy sauce.
• Chinese rice cooking wine such as Shaohsing (sometimes spelled Shao Xing). Used in small quantities to flavor dishes.
• Chinese black (Chinkiang) vinegar. Made from rice; used as a condiment on finished dishes.
• Sriracha hot sauce. A red chile sauce used as a condiment.