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Storing 5 popular Asian condiments for better flavour and longevity


Asian cooking uses a myriad of sauces and pastes which give the region’s cuisines their unique flavours. For the cosmopolitan chef, it’s likely that a variety of condiments have a place in their pantry or refrigerator.

As with the food they’re used in, how condiments are stored make a difference in their flavour and lifespans. Here’s a look at five popular Asian condiments and how best to store them.

Fish Sauce

A popular sauce used in Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese and Filipino cooking, fish sauce is made from the fermentation of fish with sea salt. Its use in cooking varies from country to country, and it can be found in soups, noodles, salads or dishes featuring fish, shrimp, pork and chicken.

Due to the amount of salt used in its preparation, fish sauce can be kept at room temperature or in the fridge for years, although it should be at its best state within one year.

Hoisin sauce

A popular sauce in Chinese cooking, Hoisin sauce is made from starch, water, sugar, soybeans, white distilled vinegar, salt, garlic and red chili peppers. It can be found in Chinese dishes like Peking duck, char siew (barbequed pork) and spring rolls.

Once opened, Hoisin sauce should be stored in the refrigerator, away from direct heat and light. It will be at its best within five to six months, although it may last up to two years in the fridge if preservatives were used in its production. Fridges like the Electrolux EBM5107SC have slide away shelves that allow you to customise your storage in the fridge and find the best place to store your hoisin sauces.

Oyster sauce

As its name suggests, oyster sauce is made from cooking oysters and turning it into a viscous brown sauce with sugar, salt, water and cornstarch.  It is commonly used in Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian cuisine.

Much like Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce should be kept in the fridge after opening, where it is at its best for up to six months, and can be kept for two years.

The Electrolux EQE6307SA Quattro comes with a number of compartments designed for different needs, such as holding bottles or storing large party platters.

Refrigerators like the Electrolux EQE6307SA Quattro feature multiple compartments that provide a good place to organise and store your condiments. Its extra wide door bin easily accommodates two rows of small bottles like the ones oyster sauce is sold in for better access.


Sambal Chili

Sambal is a spicy chili popular in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia and Malaysia. It is made from chilies and citrus juice, shallots, fruit, salt, sugar, or other spices. It is a versatile, all-purpose condiment, added to marinades, dips, sauces and spreads. It is also used in cooking noodle dishes, soups, stews and meat.

By: Midori
Sambal is an Asian condiment made of several types of chillies, and is a versatile addition to many Malaysian or Indonesian dishes.

Sambal was created as a way to preserve chillies, so it can be stored at room temperature. Depending on how it was made, fresh sambal should last up to six months. When it comes to Sambal Belacan however, or sambal made with prawn paste, it is best to refrigerate it in a dry, air-tight container, where it may last for up to two weeks.  Fridges like the Electrolux ETB2300PC, which have crisper compartments with humidity control, help to regulate the moisture in the environment and keep the sambal belacan for longer.

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