Are you curious about the taste of Peking sauce?
This popular Chinese sauce is known for its sweet and slightly spicy flavor, often compared to barbecue sauce. But what exactly does it taste like?
In this article, we’ll explore the unique flavor profile of Peking sauce, including its salty, sweet, and umami notes. Whether you’re a fan of Chinese cuisine or simply looking to try something new, read on to discover what Peking sauce tastes like and how it can be used in a variety of dishes.
What Is Peking Sauce Taste Like?
Peking sauce is a rich, savory sauce with a hint of sweetness. It is typically made from a base of ingredients like vinegar, soy sauce or paste, and different spices. The sauce is naturally salty and sweet, but it also features umami, or the “fifth flavor,” which stands out for its saltiness.
The taste of Peking sauce can be described as a combination of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. It has a thick and dark consistency that is similar to plum jam. The intensity of the flavor can vary depending on the recipe and ingredients used. Some Peking sauces may be sweeter, while others may be saltier.
The sauce is often used in Chinese cooking, particularly in the Beijing region. It is commonly paired with grilled and roasted foods, such as Peking duck. Many people enjoy it as a dipping sauce for various foods or use it as a marinade prior to cooking.
What Is Peking Sauce?
Peking sauce is a popular sauce in Chinese cuisine, typically made from a blend of ingredients such as soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and garlic, along with other spices. It is a dark reddish-brown sauce that has a thick consistency, similar to barbecue sauce. The sauce is known for its sweet and slightly spicy taste, which is often compared to the taste of plum jam.
The sauce is most commonly used in Beijing-style cooking and is often paired with grilled and roasted meats, such as Peking duck. It can be used as a dipping sauce for various foods or as a marinade prior to cooking. The flavor of Peking sauce can vary depending on the recipe and ingredients used, with some versions being sweeter than others.
The Ingredients That Give Peking Sauce Its Unique Flavor
Peking sauce is made from a combination of ingredients that give it its unique flavor. The base of the sauce typically includes vinegar, soy sauce or paste, and different spices. However, the key ingredient that sets Peking sauce apart from other sauces is the fermented yellow soybean paste, Tian Mian Jiang, which is traditionally used in its preparation.
The fermented soybean paste gives Peking sauce its intense umami flavor, which is similar to that of savory foods. This flavor is often described as the “fifth taste” and is one of the key components that make Peking sauce so delicious.
In addition to the fermented soybean paste, Peking sauce may also include other ingredients such as chili peppers, garlic, sugar, and various spices. These ingredients are added to enhance the overall flavor of the sauce and give it a slightly sweet and spicy taste.
While there are variations on the recipe and different brands may include different herbs and spices to differentiate their sauce, the use of Tian Mian Jiang remains a constant in traditional Peking sauce. This ingredient is what gives the sauce its distinct flavor and sets it apart from other Chinese sauces.
The Taste Profile Of Peking Sauce
The taste profile of Peking sauce is complex and multi-dimensional. It has a sweet and sour taste that is balanced with a salty flavor. The umami taste, which is often described as the “fifth flavor,” adds depth and richness to the sauce. The fermented soybean paste used in its preparation gives it an intense umami flavor.
The sauce has a thick and dark consistency that is similar to plum jam. It is not a spicy sauce, despite the fact that chili peppers are commonly used in its preparation. The acidic notes in the sauce add a tangy flavor that complements the sweetness and saltiness.
The intensity of the flavor can vary depending on the recipe and ingredients used. Some cooks prefer a sweeter sauce, while others prefer a saltier one. The use of different spices can also affect the flavor profile of the sauce.
How Peking Sauce Is Used In Chinese Cuisine
Peking sauce is a versatile sauce that is widely used in Chinese cuisine. It has a unique flavor profile that makes it a popular choice for a variety of dishes. In Chinese cooking, Peking sauce is most commonly used in the Beijing-style cookery. It is often paired with grilled and roasted meats, such as Peking duck, and is used as a dipping sauce for various dishes.
Apart from being used as a dipping sauce, Peking sauce is also used as a marinade prior to cooking. The sauce’s sweet and spicy flavor profile makes it an excellent choice for marinating meats and vegetables before grilling or roasting. It can also be brushed onto food as it cooks to add an extra layer of flavor.
In addition to its use with grilled and roasted foods, Peking sauce can also be added to stir-fries. It is frequently employed in the capacity of a dipping sauce and can be used as a condiment for Chinese scallion pancakes, which is one of its popular applications. A well-liked appetizer, Chinese scallion pancakes are frequently consumed alongside a variety of meat and vegetable entrees that are traditionally made in Chinese cuisine.
Peking sauce can also be used as a marinade or glaze in the art of barbecuing, either before the food is grilled or while it is being cooked on the grill. Its unique flavor profile makes it an excellent choice for barbecuing meats and vegetables.
Peking Sauce Variations And Regional Differences
While the basic components of Peking sauce are chili or red bell pepper, garlic, and soybean paste or sauce, there are many variations of the recipe. Different cooks may add their own special ingredients or adjust the amounts of certain spices to create a unique flavor profile. This is similar to American barbecue sauce, where the seasonings and flavors can vary greatly from one cook to the next.
Regional differences can also impact the taste of Peking sauce. In Beijing, the sauce is typically sweeter and less spicy than in other regions. In Sichuan province, for example, the sauce may be spicier due to the use of Sichuan peppercorns. In Guangdong province, the sauce may be thinner and less sweet due to the use of oyster sauce.
How To Make Peking Sauce At Home
If you want to make Peking sauce at home, you will need a few key ingredients. The primary ingredient is fermented soybean paste, also known as Tian Mian Jiang. This can be difficult to find outside of China, but you can use a substitute like Sichuan style sweet bean paste.
Here is a recipe for making Peking sauce at home:
– 1/2 cup soy sauce
– 1/4 cup rice vinegar
– 1/4 cup honey
– 2 tablespoons Tian Mian Jiang or Sichuan style sweet bean paste
– 1 tablespoon cornstarch
– 1 teaspoon hot sauce
– 1 teaspoon white pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
– 1/2 cup water
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, Tian Mian Jiang or Sichuan style sweet bean paste, cornstarch, hot sauce, white pepper, and sesame oil.
2. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir well.
3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened.
4. Remove from heat and let cool before using.
This recipe makes about one cup of Peking sauce. You can adjust the ingredients to your liking, adding more or less spice or sweetness as desired. Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Making Peking sauce at home allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor to your liking. Whether you use it as a marinade or a dipping sauce, this rich and savory sauce is sure to add flavor to any dish.