Chinese Chili Sauce

(辣椒醬 mandarin: la-jyao-jyang; Cantonese: la-jyew-jyeung)

This is a very spicy, slightly fruity chili sauce made from spicy red chilis, salt, and soybeans or a potato-like tuber, with a bit of vinegar thrown in. It is a condiment I vastly prefer to hot bean paste, both for its loose, light texture and its full-bodied taste. I have for years used Szechwan brand, which comes in a tuna fish-like can with a black label with crossed red chilis stamped on it like a crest. Recently, I have discovered a bottled variety by Koon Yick Wah Kee, which is very tasty and spiked with lemon. In contrast to dried chili flakes, hot chili sauce provides a fuller (not necessarily spicier) flavor in a semiliquid base.
After opening, store chili sauce in a clean airtight bottle at room temperature or in the refrigerator, whichever you prefer. Nothing, so far as I know, can kill it.
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