China and luncheon meat – a remarkable relationship

When I first lived in China as a student in 1975, I recall that I was surprised to find domestic canned luncheon meat in the shops. My mind apparently did not immediately associate luncheon meat with China. That assumption was ungrounded. China is the number one pork nation, with almost half of all pigs in the world living there. Pork is so common in China, that in the names of Chinese pork dishes it is usually simply referred to as rou ‘meat’. So, when you see xiangla rousi (Fragrant Spicy Meat Shreds) on the menu of a Chinese restaurant, you can be almost sure that the meat is pork. Some northern Chinese use the term darou (‘big meat’) for pork, hinting that it is the main type of meat in their diet. Also see my previous post on types of meat in China.

The non-association was probably based on the fact that luncheon meat was a regular item in our kitchen when I was young. It was (and still is) a convenient ingredient to meat up a dish when you are in a hurry. You can slice it or dice it, eat it raw, stir it through your almost finished pasta or fried rice, or whatever.

Growing demand

And that is exactly the reason why the consumption of luncheon meat has been increasing so rapidly in China during the past few years. The following table shows the consumption of from 2012 to 2018.

Year Consumption (mt)
2012 136,000
2013 155,000
2014 181,000
2015 213,000
2016 256,000
2017 298,000
2018 347,000

That is a continuous double-digit growth. However, when you look at the absolute figures and compare them with the size of the Chinese population, you don’t need a calculator to figure out that this growth rate can continue for quite a while. With the expansion of the modern life style with its much faster pace to second and third tier Chinese cities, the demand for convenient cooking ingredients will grow with it.

A quick and nutritious dish: egg-coated slices of luncheon meat

Opportunity for whom?

Does this mean that international suppliers of luncheon meat should see China as their major target for growth in the coming years? Well, yes and no. Yes, because the growth will take place; no, because you have to cope with fierce competition from domestic competitors. The following table shows the local production of luncheon meat for the same years.

Year Production (mt)
2012 476,000
2013 496,000
2014 522,000
2015 503,000
2016 539,000
2017 619,000
2018 701,000

Again, no calculator is needed to see that, even with the little dip in 2015, domestic production exceeds demand for each year. Moreover, the annual increase has fastened since 2016.

Export/import

China is exporting luncheon meat to various parts of the world. However, it has been surprisingly difficult to find statistics with similar details as for consumption and production. This is perhaps related to a number of quality issues that have occurred in various countries importing Chinese luncheon meat.

In spite of the sufficient domestic production, China is importing some luncheon meat as well. Hormel’s seminal Spam is obviously available, followed by Tulip from Denmark. There is also Betchina from Russia.

Top brands

 

Top domestic brands are Maling from Shanghai, Gulong from Xiamen and Yingjinqian from Guangzhou, in that order. It is not easy to categorise domestic products. Let’s try do so on the basis of ingredients. The following table lists the ingredients as indicated by the above three producers.

Brand Ingredients
Maling pork, water, corn starch, vegetable protein
Gulong pork, water, corn starch, salt
Yingjinqian meat, potable water, starch, vegetable protein

Gulong stands out in that it does not add protein from other sources than meat. Gulong is also the only product indicating salt as an ingredient. We can be sure that the other producers are also adding salt, but fail to mention it.

The following picture was taken in a Beijing supermarket on August 26, 2019.

Military lunch – also for civilians

An interesting special category of Chinese luncheon meat are those produced by military manufacturers. I have already posted about military food in China and indicated that this industry is also selling to the general public for commercial reasons. The top product in this category is Lingxiang from Chongqing. Its ingredients as listed:

Pork, potable water, sugar, salt, MSG, spices

Sugar is added, probably for flavour, so are the MSG and spices. Perhaps soldiers need to be stimulated more with flavours than the general public. Another reason could be that civilians use luncheon meat as an ingredient, while soldiers will regular eat it straight from the can. In that case, they will appreciate that little extra flavour.

Eurasia Consult Food knows the Chinese food industry since 1985. Follow us on Twitter.

Eurasia Consult Consulting can help you embed your business in Chinese society.

Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975.

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Eggs – Chinese like them salty

Eggs are one of the oldest ingredients of food in China, witness the 2800-year old eggs on exhibition in Nanjing.

ancientegg

Chinese cuisine includes many dishes with eggs as the main ingredient; fried tomatoes with eggs probably being the simplest as well as the best known. Don’t forget to add a little sugar en chopped garlic, just before turning of the heat.

Eggs can also be used as a minor ingredient to add bulk and texture to a variety of dishes, sometimes as a replacement for meat.

Fresh eggs have special meaning to the Chinese. Eggs are auspicious food, a symbol of fertility, of longevity, of new life. The birth of a child is celebrated with the delivery of hard-boiled eggs to friends and relatives, often dyed a brilliant red in honour of the occasion. Eggs are also a part of the bride’s dowry, sent by her family on the wedding day to her husband’s home as a sign of her potential fertility. They reciprocate with a gift of live chickens.

Birthdays are also marked with noodles and eggs all over China, and even as an ethnic Chinese growing up abroad, I remember my grandmother making a bowl of vermicelli for me with a large egg on top, dyed bright red, of course.

However, eggs are a perishable product, which is why many rural families still keep chickens so they have a steady supply. Chinese have developed a few ways to preserve their shelf life. I am introducing three of these in this post

Pidan – 1000-year eggs

Pidan

First, let’s set straight the myth hidden in that Western term. They have not lain forgotten for 1000 years, despite the name. Instead, pidan, as they are known in Chinese, are carefully cured for several weeks to several months so that the albumen solidifies into a dark, transparent, gel-like semisolid while the yolk hardens slightly on the outside but remains molten in the centre. There are strict culinary standards on what makes a pidan a gourmet experience.

Pidan are always eaten with condiments. They may be served with sweet slices of pink pickled ginger, doused in sesame oil and vinegar, or smothered in minced garlic or chopped cilantro leaves.

The most common raw ingredient for pidan is duck eggs, valued for the size of the yolks and the generosity of the egg white. However, chicken or quail eggs are also used, but more for novelty rather than need. A good century egg often has a snowflake pattern on the outside of the white, an indication of a well-cured egg. Its fearsome colour is the result of a chemical reaction with the curing mix usually wood ash, salt and rice husks mixed with clay or lime.

Pidan as export product

Pidan can even become a lucrative export product. The Shiqian region of Guizhou has been producing pidan for over 600 years. The local government has realised its potential value and supported modern industrial production of its traditional pidan in 1993. The state owned enterprise was dissolved in 1995, but its manager continued the production as a private entrepreneur. The company currently produces more than 10 mln eggs p.a.  Shiqian pidan were already exported to other Asian countries, in particular Malaysia, but more recently exports to the US and Canada, with their growing Chinese population, have also increased.

Xiandan – salty eggs

Xiandan

Another popular staple is the salted egg, a pure white delight that is as visually attractive as its cousin is not.

Eggs from either chicken or duck are carefully wiped clean with Chinese liquor and placed in bottles of saturated brine. After a month to several weeks, the whites would have thoroughly absorbed the salt, and the yolks hardened into little golden globes.

Salted eggs are most often boiled and then split and eaten straight from the shell. They are also used for cooking. The salted egg yolks are vital ingredients in many seasonal foods, including the rice dumplings eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival and the sweet moon cakes during Mid-Autumn festival.

Chayedan – tea eggs

Chayedan

Tea eggs are usually prepared at home. Brew a pot of tea. You can use any Chinese tea, but a dark tea like Pu’er will taste stronger than green tea. Place the tea and tea leaves in a pot, add a piece of star anise, a stick of cinnamon and either some cloves or cardamom. Add soy sauce and enough water for the liquid to come halfway up the pot.

Wash about 10 eggs and place them in the pot to boil. After 15 minutes, remove the eggs and gently tap them to crack the shells. Turn off the heat and return them to the infusion. You want a marbled effect. The flavours and colours improve if you also break the membranes so the tea infusion can penetrate. Then wait, to allow the eggs to soak in the tea sauce for a few hours, preferably overnight. You’ll be rewarded for your patience with the most flavourful hard-cooked eggs you have ever eaten.

You can reuse the tea sauce to cook more eggs when the first batch is finished, but remember to either add more tea or soy sauce to adjust the seasoning.

Free range eggs redefined

Innovation in food is one of the core themes of this blog. A Chinese organic farmer in Taiyuan (Shanxi) has redefined the concept of ‘natural’ eggs, better known in the Western world as ‘free range eggs’. His term is ‘original eggs (tujidan)’, which he defines as ‘eggs resulting from natural insemination of the hen by a cock’. This is even more humane that simply allowing chickens to walk around freely.

Tujidan

The yolk of the resulting eggs is brighter yellow than those of mass-produced eggs and are said to be lower in cholesterol. Strictly speaking, this is not really innovation, but simply going back to basics. Still, it is a development worth pointing out.

Dried eggs – a novel product

The general trend in the Chinese food industry towards more convenient products has also affect this sector. Recently, Master Shen Food (Anhui) launched a ready to eat egg product: dried eggs. This is a truly innovative product. It imitates traditional Chinese dried bean curd, but is made from eggs, making it a more nutritious product. The ingredients:

Egg, fermented soy sauce (includes caramel colour), sugar, salt, flavours, lemon, food additives (MSG, disodium 5’-ribonucleotide, sodium pyrophosphate, sodium tri-polyphosphate, red koji red, sodium d-isoascorbate)

The brand name is also partly imitation: Master Shen is obviously alluding to the Master Kong brand instant noodles.

Export

China exports some of its egg products as well. Hubei province was China’s top exporter of for the 10th consecutive year in 2019, generating an income of USD 90 mln.

Eurasia Consult Food knows the Chinese food industry since 1985. Follow us on Twitter.

Eurasia Consult Consulting can help you embed your business in Chinese society.

Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975.

Millet – an ancient but rejuvenated food

The millet group of plants, like rice and wheat, are grasses that produce small, edible seeds. Archaeologists have long known that they were domesticated very early in China and India; the earliest known noodles, which are 4000 years old and were reported by a Chinese team in 2005, were made of millet. Although rice was domesticated in China’s warm and humid south, millet was domesticated in the north of the country, where conditions were much colder and drier. Archaeological evidence suggests that millet was cultivated as long ago as the Xia Dynasty (21st – 17th century BC) and Shang Dynasty (1600 BC-1056 BC), primarily around the Yellow River basin, northeast China and Inner Mongolia. Yet archaeologists have debated whether these developments were independent or whether rice farmers from the south migrated north and began to cultivate wild millet–which grows much better than rice does in cold and dry conditions–thus transforming it into domesticated varieties.

Millet

Revolutionary food

Millet (xiaomi ‘small rice’ in Chinese) was the sustenance that Chairman Mao and the Red Army relied on to sustain them during the arduous campaigns against the Kuomintang and the invading Japanese.

Perhaps even more importantly, depending on how you look at it, millet was also one of the first grains used to brew liquor.

Millet itself retains some of the properties we might associate with the soldiers who relied on it back in 30s and 40s. While it prefers a warm climate, it possesses the ability to adapt to other environments, as well as being remarkably drought resistant and able to survive in poor, heavily acidic or alkaline soils. In short, it’s the kind of food you want to back you up in a tough situation.

Perhaps this is why, in some parts of northern China, it is also traditionally eaten by mothers after giving birth. The grain is mixed with brown sugar and boiled, providing a much needed nutritional boost for recovering mothers and their babies. For similar reasons, the elderly are also advised to gobble down a bowl of millet congee every day before going to bed, to provide energy and help get a good night’s rest. For the life in between these stages, traditional Chinese medicine teaches that millet will help nourish yin, remove humidity, strengthen the spleen and stimulate the appetite, as well as nurture the liver and help lift blood production.

Healthy grain

From the Western perspective, millet falls down when compared with other grains in terms of providing nutritional value, primarily because the nutrients it does contain are hard to digest. However, it is rich in calcium, phosphorous, iron, carotene, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, niacin, zinc, manganese, selenium and estrogen, amongst other things. Not bad for a grain that unlike rice does not even need to be refined before it is consumed.

Millet is currently being rejuvenated in China, as part of a revival of ‘coarse grains’. Obesity is a growing health problem in China and eating more coarse grains is regarded as one way to fight overweight.

There is also a nostalgic trend to revive ‘rural cuisines’ in China’s major cities. This is another opportunity for millet to return to the Chinese dinner tables.

Branded millet

A brand promotion meeting for Shanxi millet was held in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province, Feb 27, 2019. Nine companies were selected to be members of Shanxi Millet Industrial Alliance which is comprised of 28-member businesses attending the meeting. Several regional millet brands such as Changzhi millet, Yangquan millet, and Wangxiang millet, have been established in recent years, bringing greater economic benefits to local farmers. Apart from further expanding the market in Beijing, Shanxi will explore new markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen in 2019, according to Wang Yunlong, director of Shanxi Food and Strategic Reserves Administration. Promotion events for Shanxi millet will be organized in Shanghai and Guangdong province. Members of Shanxi Millet Industrial Alliance are encouraged to carry out marketing campaigns targeting senior residents, workers and students as well as develop supermarket counters and outlets selling millet.

Products

So what finished foods based on millet are available on the shelves of Chinese supermarkets? I will introduce a few.

Millet babao porridge

I already introduced babao porridge in one of my earlier posts. Millet can be used as the basic raw material instead of rice. In fact, porridge is the most typical way to eat millet in China. During the colder months, vendors selling millet porridge can be found on many street corners in Beijing.

Millet guoba

MilletGuoba

Another old acquaintance that can be made from millet is guoba. Sun brand guoba, the oldest branded guoba in China, is available in a millet version. The ingredients listed on the package are:

Millet, palm oil, rice, corn starch, salt, spices, msg

Millet glass noodles

ChunsiMillet

Fensi, glass noodles are usually made from rice (and occasionally from lotus root meal), but again, millet can be used as raw material as well. The Chunsi brand glass noodles are market as ‘made from 100% course grains’.

Millet tortillas

Shanbao

With the word ‘tortillas’, I am simply following the English words on the package. We could also refer to this product as millet crackers. The picture shows the Shanbao brand of millet tortillas. The ingredients list reads as follows:

Millet flour, corn flour, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, additives (acesulfame-K, ethyl maltol)

Eurasia Consult Food knows the Chinese food industry since 1985. Follow us on Twitter.

Eurasia Consult Consulting can help you embed your business in Chinese society.

Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975.

 

Artificial jelly fish – Chinese can make it look, feel and taste real

In Chinese culture, artificial has a more positive connotation than in Western culture. We tend to regard anything artificial as less that ‘the real thing’. Chinese on the other hand perceive creating a good to perfect copy of the real thing as a skill and the product of that skill as something that has added value over the copied object.

This cultural difference is very visible in the different ways Chinese and Westerners deal with landscape. Many Westerners have their favourite spot of unadulterated nature that they frequently visit to recuperate. When Chinese find such a spot, they like to embellish it, to make it even more beautiful. You can accentuate a hill by adding a few metres of soil, dig a little lake, build a wooden bridge over a brook.

The Chinese word for ‘artificial’ is renzao (man-made). Man’s interference with nature makes it more renqi. This literally means ‘people spirited’ and refers to the cozy ambiance that you create, when people get together. In other words, a human hand will make nature more human.

In Chinese cuisine, and later carried on in the Chinese food industry, this positive perception of artificial has led to a large number of artificial versions of natural foods and ingredients.

For this post I have selected artificial jelly fish an example. Even the natural jelly fish is not something you will find on many menus of Western restaurants, let alone an artificial version.

My source for this post states that artificial jelly fish is novel food that can compare in look and quality with natural jelly fish. It adds that regular consumption can lower the glycemic level, and can prevent heart diseases and obesity. Wonderful!

While most industrially produced jelly fish starts from sodium alginate, this recipe uses seaweed as raw material. The seaweed is steeped in sufficient water and treated with sulphuric acid to take away the calcium and soaked in a sodium carbonate solution. The acidity of the filtrate of the resulting liquid is then lowered to 7.5 – 8 using diluted sulphuric acid.

The basic recipe of artificial jelly fish is:

580 gr of the processed seaweed; 20 gr gelatin; 90 gr calcium chlorate; 5 gr sodium hydroxide; 200 gr salt; 5 gr MSG; 100 gr water.

First solve the gelatin in 100 ml water and stir in the treated seaweed; leave for 6 hrs. Stir again and add the sodium hydroxide until pH 10.

Solve the calcium chlorate in water using a 1:5 ratio, and then add the solution to 450 ml of water. Poor 400 ml of the liquid on an enamel plate and wait until it sets into a sheet of 2 – 3 mm. Repeat that until all liquid is finished.

The sheets are seasoned with salt and MSG and left for 3 days. Then the product can be cut into shapes, most typically shreds, like the natural jelly fish. Sodium benzoate can be used as preservative.

Jelly fish is usually eaten as a cold appetiser. Some vinegar, chili and chopped spring onions can be added.

JellyFish

It is difficult to assess if the cost price for this product is lower than that of the real thing. This also applies to the balance of nature. We do not need to hunt jelly fish, but we are still harvesting seaweed. However, seaweed can be grown in coastal water, just as we grow wheat in soil, while jelly fish is hard to herd like some of the fish we like to eat.

This product is definitely high in dietary fibre, even though some less agreeable chemicals are needed to get it on our table.

I think that the real bonus for the creators of this recipe (and a long list of other recipes, including those for artificial chicken, honey, grapes, and shrimps) is that they derive pleasure from the very fact that they are able to create all this artificial food that is like the real thing . . . and a little bit more.

Eurasia Consult Food knows the Chinese food industry since 1985. Follow us on Twitter.

Eurasia Consult Consulting can help you embed your business in Chinese society.

Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975.

 

Guoba – from nuisance to delicacy

Many of mankind’s finest delicacies have been discovered by accident; sometimes literally. Cheese has probably been discovered when milk had been stored in a calf’s stomach sufficiently long enough for the rennet in the stomach to produce curds.

Problems cooks, professional or at home, often meet when preparing starchy foods in a frying pan is that part of it sticks at the bottom of the pan, forming a relatively hard layer that proves tough to get rid up. Scrubbing it is the only solution.

However, as long as the stuff that is stuck at the bottom is not too black and burnt, it can actually be very tasty. The physical-chemical reaction produces a whole range of aromachemicals that please the taste buds and the nose (though perhaps less so the eyes).

A waiter in a Spanish restaurant in Rotterdam once told me that the rice stuck at the bottom of the pan is the part they like best of their national food paella.

Pan is guo in Chinese and to stick ba. The phrase ba guo, getting stuck to the pan, is a negative cooking term. However, Chinese have also developed a liking for rice fried that way, and those two words turned around, guoba, have become the designation of a tasty snack.

Guoba as a dish

Guoba is a form of rice that is actually scorched or hard cooked to change its colour and texture. Guoba is popular in many forms of Chinese cuisine, particularly in Sichuan cooking. It is known by many names in different areas of China and surrounding countries, and may even be found worldwide in areas where Chinese cuisine is presented and appreciated.

GBnatural

Initially, guoba was made by burning or heavily cooking rice to the bottom of a wok or pot. When the cook took out the rice, the leftover rice was used in various dishes. Later, demand for this sort of rice dish led to the commercial preparation of blocks of this crisped rice.

Any kind of Chinese dish can be served with guoba. Some common forms of this scorched rice food include sweet and sour dishes, as well as other international Chinese favorites like lo mein, chow mein, or other dishes. The usual choices of meat, seafood, and vegetable elements like tofu and bean curd apply to many guoba dishes.

One thing that guoba offers to cooks is the chance to include a different kind of presentation based on the shape and texture of the rice. Cooks can serve the guoba, with heavy sauces or other elements, in blocks, or crumble the rice onto the plate. The scorched rice stands up to all sorts of innovative culinary uses, which makes it popular in many restaurant kitchens, especially where innovative aesthetic presentation is a part of the culinary strategy.

Another form of this food is a “sizzling rice soup” that has become common in some parts of the world. This is not the usual form of the food, so some cooks, even authentically Chinese ones, may not be aware of the use of scorched rice in this particular soup. The general use of the scorched rice in a thinner soup or broth is another way that the rice can be served for a contrasting taste experience.

Snack

Regular readers of my blog will already have noticed that Chinese are masters in re-creating modern snack food (or in their own terminology: leisure food) from traditional dishes. This is also the case with guoba.

Already in the 1980s, Chinese snack makers launched small squares of guoba with various flavours as the Chinese alternative to the Western potato crisps. When I was stationed in China for my company, we regularly served guoba with the aperitifs when entertaining Dutch or other international guests. The all loved them.

ShGuoba

The first picture shows a package of guoba produced by Xishilai Food (Shanghai) and come in: chili, beef, five spices and BBQ flavours. The ingredients listed:

Rice, maize, vegetable oil, salt, crystal sugar, MSG, spices, additives (food flavours, rising agent, antioxidant).

GBerge

The alternative is onion-flavoured guoba produced by Sha’erge (Crazy Brother) from Dongguan (Guangdong). It has black rice as one of its ingredients, which is advertised as ‘black pearls’ or ‘the king of rice’, due to its nutritional qualities. The producer claims that this product contains vitamins A and B as well as calcium, potassium and magnesium. Ingredients:

Rice, black rice, refined vegetable oil, soybeans, starch, eggs, shortening, refined pork fat, salt, MSG, onion spices.

It had been relatively quiet on the guoba scene in terms of new developments. However, Wolong Shenchu (Divine Cook) from Hunan province launched a new type of guoba in 2018: Wolong Guoba.

The crackers look more slick than the first products and they are marketed in a high-end position, as if it is a very traditiional Chinese product. The ingredients list:

Rice, vegetable oil, chili, Sichuan pepper, spics, salt

This is definitely a healthier formulation that has cut on fat and MSG.

Guoba as market for flavour mixes

Some flavour houses have already discovered the guoba industry as a separate market segment and have develop special seasoning mixes for guoba. Beijing-based Shanwei Puda Food supplies 4 types: five spices, beef, BBQ and cumin. The ingredients list provided for the cumin mix is as follows.

salt, sugar, MSG, spices, cumin powder, food additives (not specified)

The manufacturer advises a dosage rate of 4% -6% of the weight of the end product.

Innovation: peanut guoba

Guoba has already developed as a generic type of snack in the Chinese food industry. The concept is now further stretched to guoba made from other raw materials than the traditional. Zhenyuantong (Huzhou, Zhejiang) has launched a peanut guoba. The ingredients list reads as follows:

White sesame seeds, peanuts, maltose syrup, flour, vegetable oil, coconut meat, coconut milk powder, salt.

PeanutGuoba

The company also produces: melon seed guoba:

Melon seeds, crystal sugar, flour, vegetable oil, salt.

and:

White sesame seeds, crystal sugar, flour, vegetable oil, chili oil, salt.

We are eagerly awaiting the following product to add to this post!

Eurasia Consult’s database of the Chinese food industry includes 59 producers of various types of guoba.

Eurasia Consult Food knows the Chinese food industry since 1985. Follow us on Twitter.

Eurasia Consult Consulting can help you embed your business in Chinese society.

Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975.

 

Favourite Chinese flavours – Yuxiang – Fishy without fish

Spice mixes are big business in China. The increasing pace of life and the rapidly expanding spending power of Chinese consumers renders spending a few hours in the kitchen per day to prepare the obligatory three hot family meals a day less and less attractive for Chinese.

However, these changes do not affect the Chinese demand for authentic flavours. Sure, an occasional Big Mac or a helping of Hot Wings from KFC is great, but in general food still has to look, feel, smell and taste as the real thing, regardless how fast it gets.

After my ‘What on earth is . . .’, I am therefore launching another series in this blog: Chinese flavours. I will introduce a number of generic classic Chinese flavours, and how they are implement in ready to eat, or ready to cook, products.

This kick off item introduces my own favourite: yuxiang (literally: ‘fish flavour’). There is actually no fish involved in this spice mix, but apparently it strikes the Chinese palate as fishy. It has reddish brown colour, combines al basic flavours: sweet, sour, salty and spicy and the three main pungent spices: ginger, onions, and garlic.

It can be combined with a number of macro-ingredients like pork, beef, fish and it can even be used to render foreign ingredients like potatoes Chinese.

The basic recipe

Here is a standard recipe for yuxiang sauce.

  • Ingredients: seeped chili pepper or hot douban (see our item on douban sauce), salt, soy  sauce, (rice) vinegar, sugar, MSG, ground ginger, ground rice, onions, stock, watered starch, cooking rice wine
  • Preparation: mix all ingredients with some cooking oil and stir fry until fragrance and colour appear, then add the starch mixed with water. The yuxiang sauce if almost immediately ready.
  • Attention: the taste and colour should not become caramel-like, so do not overcook.
  • Application: yuxiang sauce can be combined with various meats and vegetables. First cook the fresh ingredients and add the sauce once they are done, to avoid overcooking the sauce.

Ready to use products

Now have a look at a few industrial foods using yuxiang sauce:

YXeggplant

Guangzhi Food Yuxiang Eggplant Rice

The photo of the lid already shows what the product looks like inside: cooked rice and eggplants cooked with yuxiang sauce.

YXamano

Amano Yuxiang Eggplant

This is yuxiang eggplant in what Chinese like to call a ‘soft can’, and aluminum foil pack, without rice.

YXlee

Lee Kum Kee Yuxiang Sauce

Good old Lee Kum Kee would not want to lag behind and offers a ready to use yuxiang sauce in a pot.

Eurasia Consult Food knows the Chinese food industry since 1985. Follow us on Twitter.

Eurasia Consult Consulting can help you embed your business in Chinese society.

Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975.