Chili Sauce vs Chili Paste
Chili sauce and chili paste are condiments prepared with chili peppers.
Chili sauce may be hot, sweet or a combination thereof, and may differ from hot sauce in that many sweet or mild varieties exist, which is typically lacking in hot sauces. Several varieties of chili sauce include sugar in their preparation, such as the Thai sweet chili sauce and Filipino agre dulce, which adds sweetness to their flavor profile. Sometimes, chili sauces are prepared with red tomato as primary ingredients. Many chili sauces may have a thicker texture and viscosity when compared to that of hot sauces.
Chili paste usually refers to a paste where the main ingredient is chili pepper. Some are used as a cooking ingredient, while others are used to season a dish after preparation. Some are fermented with beans, as in Chinese doubanjiang, and some are prepared with powdered fermented beans, as in Korean gochujang. There are different regional varieties of chili paste and also within the same cuisine.
Chili sauces and pastes can be used as dipping sauces, cooking glazes and marinades. Many commercial varieties of mass-produced chili sauce and paste exist.
What is the most popular type Chili Sauce and Chili Paste in China
1. Chili Oil
Chili oil is a distinctive Sichuan flavoring found mainly in cold dishes, as well as a few hot dishes. Chili oil or Lahtt Sauce is made by pouring hot oil onto a bowl of dried chilies, to which some Sichuan pepper is usually added. After steeping in hot oil for at least a few hours, the oil takes on the taste and fragrance of chili. The finer the chili is ground, the stronger the flavor (regional preferences vary – ground chili is usually used in western China, while whole dried chili is more common in northern China.)
Chinese chili sauces usually come as a thick paste and are used either as a dipping sauce or in stir-frying.
2. Chili Bean Sauce
Doubanjiang originates from Szechuan cuisine in which chilis are used liberally. It is made from broad bean or soybean paste, and usually contain a fair amount of chili. Often referred to in English as “chili bean sauce”.
3. Chopped Red Chili Sauce
Guilin (Kweilin) chili sauce (Guìlín làjiāojiàng 桂林辣椒醬) is made of fresh chili, garlic and fermented soybeans; it also is marketed as soy chili sauce (la jiao jiang and la dou ban jiang are not the same thing, though they look vaguely similar in the jar). Duò jiāo sauce (duò jiāo 剁椒) originates from Hunan cuisine, which is reputed to be even spicier than Sichuan cuisine. Duo means chopped, and jiao means chili. Duo jiao is made of chopped red chilis pickled in a brine solution, and has a salty and sour pickled taste; it is the key flavoring in the signature Hunan dish duòjiāo yútóu (剁椒魚頭), fish head steamed with chopped chili.
Seafood Chili Sauce
XO sauce is spicy seafood sauce from Hong Kong. It is commonly used in southern Chinese regions like Guangdong province.
Fermented Chili Sauce
Yongfeng chili sauce is a traditional fermented hot sauce.
Fries Chili Sauce Oil
You la jiao (油辣椒, fried chili in oil) is a Guizhou-style chili oil sauce, with fried bits of ground chili and other crispy ingredients. Chili crisp is a similar condiment mainly composed of crunchy soybeans and chili. Lao Gan Ma is a famous maker of both products.
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