Your essential sauces
Sesame oil is an edible oil made from roasted sesame seeds. It has a strong nutty flavour and so is generally used sparingly in recipes to impart flavour, not as a cooking oil. It is most commonly used in Chinese cookery for seasoning, marinades and dipping sauces. It has a low smoke point, which means it should be added at the end of the cooking process so it doesn’t burn. It’s available in supermarkets.
Soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, salt, water and wheat flour. It has a rich, dark-brown colour, an earthy aroma and a umami, salty flavour. It is most commonly used in sauces to season but you can also use it as a meat marinade, and a dipping sauce for sushi, dumplings or spring rolls. It’s available in supermarkets.
Rice wine vinegar is made from fermented glutinous rice. The ingredients are simple: water, glutinous rice and salt. It is less acidic than regular white vinegar, making it less intense and slightly sweeter. It is perfect for using in stir-fry sauces, dressings and dipping sauces.