Apr 27, 2021 • 38M

XO Soused - spices that flavour Chinese chicken stocks, soups and meat pastes

Andrew Wong and Mukta Das
Open in playerListen on);
A fortnightly chat about techniques and dishes from a professional Chinese kitchen, their history and their cultural setting
Episode details

Many Chinese dishes use a spiced chicken stock as a building block. This is a meat broth infused with cinnamon, cassia bark, fennel seed, angelica root, liquorice, and star anise. How are these spices used? What use do pre-mixed spice powders have, and why does Andrew prefer 13-spice powder (a classic western Chinese spice mix) over the Cantonese 5-spice powder for some dishes?

How is history reflected in the different regional spicing cultures and spiced cooking techniques in China? And have Chinese cooks gradually eased off on spicing over the centuries? Could a 12th century Chinese recipe for a spiced meat paste appeal to modern eaters?

A white ceramic spoon rests on a rattan table mat. In the bowl of the spoon is a deep-reddish brown relish.
Andrew’s beef preserve requires a spice mix preserve that includes cumin, chilli flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, and ground ginger. Spice mix preserves were also listed in Madame' Wu’s Song Dynasty meat paste recipe, which also used Sichuan peppercorns, but also other aromatics and spices.

Intro and outro music: 遊子 [wanderer] by mafmadmaf.com

Leave a comment