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Jan 21, 2011 02:47 AM

Shiao Shing Cooking Wine, Fish Sauce and Hot Chili Bean Paste

Could you recommend which brands to look for in the asian supermarket?
thanks in advance.

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  1. Shao hsing rice wine: Pagoda
    Fish sauce: Three Crabs
    Hot chili bean paste: Fuchsia Dunlop recommends Sichuan Dan Dan Seasoning Co Ltd.

    1. I'll limit myself to fish sauce: Golden Boy all the way. Squid and Three Crabs used to be my go-to brands, but some 'hounds opined that Golden Boy is better. I tried it and agree completely.

      5 Replies
      1. re: alanbarnes

        Well, drat! I just bought a HUGE bottle of another brand. Better cook a lot. I hate that :)

        1. re: c oliver

          Not saying the other ones aren't very good. And when it's just one ingredient in a soup or curry, the difference may be indistinguishable. But for things like nuoc cham, where you're pretty much dipping food in fish sauce, Golden Boy is hard to beat.

          1. re: alanbarnes

            I really didn't get why so many people recommended 3 crabs to me over and over again until I tried it raw. Now I get it. Still I prefer the kick of Tiparos for cooking.

            1. re: JungMann

              Tiparos is my brand too. Hot chili bean paste I usually buy any brand made in Taiwan. I don't bother with Shaoxing and just use whisk(e)y, Scotch or Irish (thank you Nina Simonds for this suggestion).

        2. re: alanbarnes

          During the Dunlop COTM month I did use Golden Boy fish sauce and liked it very much. But I find that 3 Crabs has a more subtle taste. Two of the ingredients, however, are fructose and hydrolyzed wheat protein and those balance the salty flavor of other brands.

        3. A commonly used hot chili bean paste in Sichuan is called Pixian bean paste(郫县豆瓣酱). Pixian is a place in Sichuan that's known for its chili bean paste.

          Depends on where you live you'll get different distributors (hence difference brands) but with reference to this bean paste,

          It looks like this:

          1. Check out Grace Young's book "The Breath of a Wok."
            She not only offers recommendations for many kitchen staples, but also even includes color photographs, so you can see which items to get even if you can't read Chinese.

            1. What do you guys recommend as a really good Oyster Sauce (as opposed to Oyster Flavored Sauce)??

              1 Reply
              1. re: arktos

                I am not sure if you consider this as a real oyster sauce but Lee Kum Kee is the brand I usually have in my kitchen.
                Although like most bottled oyster sauce it contains artificial flavoring, Lee Kum Kee is considered the standard product used in professional kitchen and home.
                There are many different packages under Lee Kum Kee brand but I like the "Premium Oyster Sauce" package the most as it has higher concentration of oyster extract. The bottle looks like this: