Kitchen Tips

How to Store Chinese Sauces and Seasoning

chinese sauce

Image Courtesy: Frank Farm used under the Creative Commons Licence

For that perfect Chinese dish, you may find yourself buying, time and again, several ingredients like ginger, garlic, and of course, soy sauce. But what should you do with that bottle of soy sauce or hoisin sauce that you just bought? It is not always okay to store the sauce in the cupboard. Nor is it always necessary to refrigerate your sauces. There are certain tell-tale signs that a Chinese sauce is starting to turn bad, and you need those kitchen how to’s in order to prevent your sauces from losing their flavour. Here are some helpful tips on how to store Chinese sauces and seasoning:

Must be refrigerated after opening:

1. Sweet and Sour Sauce
2. Hoisin Sauce
3. Oyster Sauce
4. Plum Sauce
5. Black Bean Sauce

Can be stored in the cupboard:

1. Sesame Oil
2. Hot Chili Oil
3. Soy Sauce (Light and Dark)
4. Rice Vinegar
5. Fish Sauce

When storing Chinese sauces and seasoning:

1. Keep the container tightly sealed.

2. Wipe away any excess sauce from the outer lip of the jar or bottle as it can cause mould and spoil your sauce.

2. Store non-refrigerated sauces away from direct heat and light.

3. Place canned sauces in a sealed container after opening and refrigerate.
Different types of Chinese sauces have varying shelf lives depending on the type of sauce and even the specific brand. Properly stored, all sauces should have a shelf life of at least three months. A change in flavour/colour is the first indication that a sauce is beginning to lose its freshness. The sooner you consume the sauce, the less likely it is for bacteria to build inside. Refrigeration helps the flavour remain at its peak for a longer period.

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