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Step into the Kitchen: Chinese Curry Sauce Recipe

Chinese cuisine is known for its bold and complex flavours, and Chinese curry sauce is no exception. This sauce is a staple in many Chinese dishes and can be used as a base for a variety of recipes. Making Chinese curry sauce at home is easier than you might think, and it allows you to customize the sauce to your liking.

A wok sizzles as golden turmeric, fragrant garlic, and spicy ginger are sautéed. A rich, aromatic curry sauce simmers, filling the air with its mouthwatering aroma

Understanding Chinese curry sauce is the first step to creating a delicious recipe. The sauce is typically made with a blend of spices, including turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chilli powder. It is thickened with cornflour and soy sauce is added for saltiness. The sauce can be made spicier or milder depending on your preference.

Preparation basics are important when making Chinese curry sauce. It is important to have all the ingredients ready before starting to cook. The sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to a week. When cooking with Chinese curry sauce, it is best to use a wok or a large frying pan to ensure that the ingredients are evenly cooked.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese curry sauce is a versatile base for many dishes.
  • The sauce is made with a blend of spices and thickened with cornflour.
  • Chinese curry sauce can be customized to your liking and is best cooked in a wok or large frying pan.

Understanding Chinese Curry Sauce

A wok sizzles with fragrant Chinese curry sauce, simmering with spices and herbs, emitting a tantalizing aroma. Vegetables and tofu wait to be added, while the chef prepares to stir and blend the flavors

Chinese curry sauce is a versatile and flavourful sauce that is used in many Chinese dishes. This sauce is a combination of Indian curry and Chinese five-spice seasoning, making it unique in taste. The sauce is thick and rich, and it is usually served with rice, noodles, or vegetables.

History of Chinese Curry

Curry was introduced to China by the British during the colonial period. Chinese curry sauce is a blend of Indian curry and Chinese spices, which gives it a unique flavour. The sauce is a staple in many Chinese households and restaurants, and it is used in a variety of dishes, such as stir-fries, stews, and soups.

Key Ingredients

The key ingredients in Chinese curry sauce include curry powder, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, star anise, coriander, and fennel. Curry powder is the main ingredient that gives the sauce its distinct flavour. Turmeric gives the sauce its yellow colour, while cumin, cinnamon, star anise, coriander, and fennel add depth and complexity to the sauce.

Seafood can also be added to the sauce to enhance its flavour. Shrimp, crab, and squid are great options to add to the sauce. The seafood adds a unique flavour to the sauce and complements the spices well.

To make Chinese curry sauce, you will need to combine the spices with chicken or vegetable broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch. The cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce, giving it a rich and velvety texture. Once the sauce is made, it can be used in a variety of dishes, such as Chinese chips and curry, stir-fries, and stews.

Chinese curry sauce is a delicious and versatile sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes. Understanding the history and key ingredients of the sauce can help you appreciate its unique flavour. Adding seafood to the sauce can also enhance its flavour and make it even more delicious.

Preparation Basics

Ingredients arranged on a kitchen counter: ginger, garlic, curry powder, soy sauce, sugar, and vegetable broth. A pot and a wooden spoon are ready for cooking

Before you start making Chinese curry sauce, it is important to prepare all the necessary ingredients and equipment. Here are some basics to keep in mind.

Creating the Roux

The first step in making Chinese curry sauce is to create a roux. A roux is a mixture of flour and fat, which is used to thicken sauces and soups. To create a roux, you need to heat up some oil or butter in a pan and then add flour. Stir the mixture continuously until it turns golden brown. This will take about 5-7 minutes.

Spice Blend and Flavour Profile

The spices used in Chinese curry sauce are what give it its unique flavour. The most common spices used are curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and paprika. You can also add Chinese five-spice powder to give it an extra kick.

To create a flavourful sauce, it is important to use fresh ginger and garlic. Chop them finely and add them to the pan along with some diced onions. Fry them until they are soft and fragrant.

Seafood Option

If you want to add some seafood to your Chinese curry sauce, prawns or scallops are good options. Simply fry them in a separate pan until they are cooked through, and then add them to the sauce just before serving. This will give your dish an extra level of flavour and texture.

Making Chinese curry sauce is a simple process that requires a bit of preparation and attention to detail. By following these basics, you can create a delicious sauce that will impress your family and friends.

Cooking the Dish

A wok sizzles with aromatic spices, ginger, and garlic as a chef stirs in soy sauce, stock, and sugar to create a rich and fragrant Chinese curry sauce

Simmering the Sauce

To begin cooking your Chinese curry sauce, you'll need to simmer it to perfection. Start by heating up your chicken stock or water in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it's hot, add your curry powder, Chinese five spices, and any other spices you'd like to use. Let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened and developed a rich, fragrant aroma.

Adding the Main Ingredients

Once your sauce is ready, it's time to add your main ingredients. You can use any protein you'd like, such as chicken or beef, or even seafood if you prefer. Cut your protein into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Then, heat up some oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add your protein and stir-fry until it's cooked through and browned on all sides.

Next, add your vegetables to the wok or frying pan. You can use any combination of veg you'd like, such as peas, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, or snow peas. Stir-fry the veg for a few minutes until they're tender but still crisp.

Finally, pour your curry sauce over the top of your protein and veg. Stir everything together until the sauce is evenly distributed and everything is coated in a delicious layer of curry goodness. Let everything cook together for a few more minutes until the sauce has thickened and the flavours have melded together.

And that's it - your Chinese curry sauce is now ready to serve! Enjoy it over rice or noodles, or simply on its own as a warming and flavourful meal.

Serving Suggestions

A steaming bowl of Chinese curry sauce with colorful vegetables and tender chunks of meat, surrounded by a spread of jasmine rice and crispy egg rolls


Chinese curry sauce is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments. A popular choice is steamed rice, which is perfect for soaking up the delicious sauce. You can also serve it with noodles, fried rice, or even chips. If you're looking for something more indulgent, try salt and pepper chips with a drizzle of curry sauce.

For a main dish, you can serve the curry sauce with chicken, beef, pork, or seafood. If you're using seafood, prawns or scallops are great options. You can also add vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and carrots to make a more wholesome meal.

Presentation Tips

When serving Chinese curry sauce, presentation is key. You can garnish the dish with some fresh herbs such as coriander or spring onions to add some colour and freshness. You can also serve it in a bowl or on a plate, depending on your preference.

If you're serving the curry sauce with rice, you can shape the rice into a mould or use a rice cooker to make it into a perfect shape. You can also add some sesame seeds or chopped nuts for some crunch.

For a more casual dining experience, you can serve the curry sauce in a small bowl with some prawn crackers or vegetable crisps for dipping. This is a great option for parties or gatherings.

Chinese curry sauce is a delicious and versatile dish that can be served in many ways. Whether you're having it for dinner or as a snack, there are many ways to enjoy this tasty dish. So, get creative and try out different accompaniments and presentation styles to make it your own.

Customising Your Curry Sauce

A chef pours a blend of spices into a pot of simmering curry sauce, stirring it with a wooden spoon. The aroma of the fragrant spices fills the air as the sauce thickens to perfection

When it comes to making Chinese curry sauce, there is no one-size-fits-all recipe. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to thickness, texture, and flavour. Luckily, it's easy to customise your curry sauce to suit your tastes. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Adjusting Thickness and Texture

If you prefer a thicker, creamier curry sauce, you can add a thickening agent such as cornstarch or all-purpose flour. Simply mix a tablespoon of cornstarch or flour with a tablespoon of water to create a slurry, then whisk it into your sauce. Be sure to whisk continuously to avoid lumps.

For a smoother, creamier texture, you can add a splash of coconut milk or cream. This will also add a slightly sweet, nutty flavour to your sauce.

If you're looking for a gluten-free option, you can use cornflour instead of all-purpose flour as a thickening agent. Cornflour is also a great option if you want a lighter, silkier texture.

Alternative Dietary Options

If you're vegetarian or vegan, you can still enjoy Chinese curry sauce by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. You can also use alternative protein sources such as tofu or seitan instead of meat.

For a low-sodium option, you can use low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock. You can also adjust the amount of salt you add to your sauce to suit your tastes.

If you're a seafood lover, you can add seafood to your curry sauce for a delicious twist. Shrimp, scallops, and squid are all great options. Simply sauté your seafood in a separate pan, then add it to your sauce before serving. Be sure not to overcook your seafood, as it can become tough and rubbery.

By following these tips, you can customise your Chinese curry sauce to suit your tastes and dietary needs. Experiment with different ingredients and techniques to find the perfect balance of flavour and texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming pot of Chinese curry sauce simmers on a stove, surrounded by a variety of colorful spices and herbs. A recipe book lies open nearby, with the title "Frequently Asked Questions Chinese Curry Sauce Recipe" prominently displayed

What's the secret to a proper Chinese takeaway curry sauce?

The secret to a proper Chinese takeaway curry sauce is a balanced combination of spices and ingredients. The sauce should have a rich and aromatic flavour, with a good balance of sweet, sour, and spicy notes. A good Chinese curry sauce should also have a smooth and creamy texture. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the meat or vegetables, but not too thick that it becomes gloopy.

How can I make a Chinese curry sauce with a creamy coconut twist?

If you want to make a Chinese curry sauce with a creamy coconut twist, you can add coconut milk or cream to the recipe. This will give the sauce a rich and creamy texture, as well as a slightly sweet flavour. You can also add some lime juice or tamarind paste to balance out the sweetness. To make a seafood curry, you can add prawns or scallops to the sauce for a delicious and flavourful dish.

What are the essential ingredients for an authentic Chinese curry sauce?

The essential ingredients for an authentic Chinese curry sauce include curry powder, garlic, ginger, onions, soy sauce, and chicken or vegetable stock. Other optional ingredients include coconut milk, cream, and chilli peppers. You can also add your favourite vegetables and protein to the sauce, such as chicken, beef, prawns, or tofu.

Can you suggest a simple method for thickening a Chinese curry sauce?

To thicken a Chinese curry sauce, you can use cornflour or cornstarch. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of cornflour with a little bit of water to form a paste, then add it to the sauce. Stir the sauce continuously until it thickens. Be careful not to add too much cornflour, as this can make the sauce too thick and stodgy.

What's the difference between traditional curry and the curry used in Chinese cuisine?

The main difference between traditional curry and the curry used in Chinese cuisine is the combination of spices and ingredients used. Traditional curry is made with a combination of Indian spices, such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric, while Chinese curry typically uses a combination of Chinese five-spice powder, ginger, garlic, and curry powder. Chinese curry also tends to be milder and sweeter than traditional curry.

Does Jamie Oliver have a unique take on the Chinese curry sauce recipe?

Jamie Oliver has a unique take on the Chinese curry sauce recipe, which includes ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and fish sauce. His recipe also features a variety of vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, aubergines, and green beans. You can also add seafood to his recipe, such as prawns or mussels, for a delicious and flavourful dish.