This is a page about things found in our mom's cupboard that might not be found in the average kitchen.
Fish Sauce Edit
This stuff is for 'savory' what habaneros are for 'spicy.' Too much of it can ruin any dish. After leaving the nest, I had tried to emulate mom by just putting eyeballing 'a few dashes' in to my dishes frequently with disastrous results. This is particularly problematic when making eggs to go with sticky rice. Now I measure out exactly how much I know I need.
Our family's favorite brand is Squid Brand it is usually sold in a glass bottle with a green top and a picture of a dried squid.
This is a chief ingredient in many sauce bases. It has a thick consistency and rich savory flavor. If you are using pre-made stirfry sauce it probably already has oyster sauce in it. It is hard to go wrong with this stuff. You will have to add some liquid like cooking wine (michu or mirin) or water to thin it out in the pan.
Soy Sauce Edit
This is not just Kikoman. There are a few different kinds:
Kikoman is the typical brand for dipping soysauce used as a salty condiment for things like dumplings or sticky rice. It can also be added as a condiment for saltiness. It is however NOT good for cooking because the saltiness (even in the low sodium variety) is too high for the amount of savory flavor it lends.
Light Soy Sauce has a delicate flavor and light color- good for stirfry and clear soups.
Dark or MushroomEdit
Dark and mushroom soysauce have a robust flavor and very dark color. It is good for making noodles and lends a nice brown color to fried rice without making it too salty. It will turn any sauce very dark brown (any potentially make a visually unappealing stirfry if you are not careful).
This is a specialty sauce that is mainly used for making dipping sauces for pot stickers or eggrolls- this is definitely not interchangable with any of the above.
This is a condiment that is great on pretty much anything, but particularly good over Mei Krop (Crispy Noodles) or Ho Fun (Flat Rice Noodles).It is a sweeter version of Tabasco. Out brand is "Shark Brand."