Asian cuisine has many standout sauces. They come all in all forms: sweet, savory, smoky and spicy. Dan Souza, Editor-in-Chief of Cook's Illustrated for America's Test Kitchen, talks with our Managing Producer Sally Swift about the importance of three sauces that are essential to Asian cooking: oyster sauce, fish sauce, and hoisin sauce. They discuss how the sauces are made and used in the kitchen, and the winner of each sauce category in a recent taste test. Dan also shared a recipe with us for a Vegan Fish Sauce. You can also use your favorite oyster, fish or hoisin sauce on one (or more) of the many recipes we've linked below the interview.
Sally Swift: A couple of weeks ago, we did a show on oysters. We talked to Chef Brandon Jew, in San Francisco, who makes his own oyster sauce, which was a crazy idea. I'm sure it's delicious, but man, it is involved. So, I wanted to talk to you about a great you did on classic Asian sauces. The first is oyster sauce. Can you talk to me about how you guys evaluated it, and which ones you decided you liked?
SS: Just for people who may not know what it is: if you eat beef with broccoli, you're having oyster sauce, essentially.
SS: What did you guys decide was a great oyster sauce?
SS: Which is everywhere. You see that bottle everywhere.
SS: Let's move on to fish sauce, which is another, I would say, essential Asian sauce. What should we be looking for when we buy fish sauce?
SS: What was your runner up to Red Boat?
SS: What about the vegan fish sauces? Have you tasted any?
SS: Moving on to the third sauce, which is hoisin. Will you explain what that is?
SS: You write that there should be some heat in hoisin, which I thought was interesting because I don't think we taste it that often in hoisin sauce.
SS: These sauces are great. What a great round up. Dan, thanks so much.
Use your newfound knowledge of and appreciation for fish, oyster and hoisin sauces in these recipes.
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