Have you been introduced to Chinese White sauce? Maybe you’ve seen a recipe that calls for it, maybe it’s on a menu somewhere. Either way, you want to know what it is, right? What it is made of and what does it taste like? Well, here is everything you are going to want to know.
So, what is Chinese White sauce? Chinese White sauce is a light and clear, yet creamy sauce that is made from a base of stock (typically chicken or vegetable), cornstarch, and oriental flavorings including ginger and garlic. It is commonly consumed with Moo Goo Gai Pan (Chicken and Vegetables) and other stir fry dishes.
This is a deliciously light yet flavorsome and versatile sauce.
So much so that it often forms the base of many stir fry dishes, particularly those that include chicken, seafood, and vegetables.
Or sometimes, it’s even used as a base with other ingredients added on top.
It’s easy to see why.
But what is it made of exactly? And what can you expect in terms of flavor,
Let’s take a look, shall we?
What Is Chinese White Sauce Made Of?
Chinese White sauce is typically made of stock (chicken, or vegetable), cornstarch, wine (mirin/Shaoxing), an oil (usually sesame), and specific oriental herbs and seasonings (usually garlic, ginger, sugar, and salt). Sometimes, scallions (onions) are added too.
This is a sauce that actually doesn’t vary too much.
Although not all recipes call for cornstarch.
While most do, those that omit this thickening ingredient are usually a little runnier.
It’s also important to note that additional herbs, spices, and seasonings may be added too; or at least, added in different quantities depending on the recipe or where you may be eating.
I have seen recipes that also include leeks, lemongrass, peppercorns, and even chilis.
While not traditional, they do inject an interesting twist and take on the original recipe.
What Does Chinese White Sauce Taste Like?
Chinese White Sauce is creamy, savory, yet light and mildly flavored; it does not overpower other foods. Variations that include cornstarch tend to be a little thicker in consistency, although those that don’t tend to be a little runnier.
You can certainly taste Chinese White sauce, but it’s well-balanced, and it’s not as rich and in-depth as some other oriental sauces.
What Does Chinese White Sauce Go With?
White Chinese sauce is a stir fry sauce first and foremost; ideal for chicken and vegetable-based dishes.
While traditionally this sauce is used in Moo Goo Gai Pa (a mushroom chicken stir fry with vegetables), there really is no reason you couldn’t use it more widely.
Besides, it’s quick and easy to make and the flavor profile ensures that it accompaniments dishes without overpowering them.
This is why it is also often paired with seafood too, commonly shrimp and lobster.
And its a great pairing for these delicately flavored sweet seafood too.
It doesn’t prevent their subtle flavors from being tasted, it just enhances them gently.
Other than that, stir-fries that include Chinese vegetables and leafy greens such as bok choi, choy sum, spinach, and cabbages are a perfect match for this sauce.
Lastly, this sauce has been known to be used as a broth; being poured over plain rice to give it extra flavor.
For those who do want to add complexity and flavor, it is also possible to add other flavorings and ingredients to Chinese White sauce too.
Those commonly used include soy sauce, oyster sauce, and other spices.
The main difference between Chinese White Sauce and Chinese Brown sauce is the color of the sauce and the depth of flavor. Chinese White sauce is light – both in color and taste. Chinese Brown sauce is dark and rich in flavor. As such, Chinese White sauce is often paired with fish, seafood, and/or vegetables whereas Chinese Brown sauce is often paired with fattier cuts of meat, including duck and lamb.
Hi there. I’m Jeremy – a passionate food technologist with several decades in the food industry. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my experience, knowledge, and recommendations; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to nutrition for every sauce imaginable.