10 Essential Chinese Spices and Sauces

Sesame Oil

A couple of drops of light, fragrant sesame oil can add a lot of taste and aroma to wok dishes. It's also light enough to work well in cold dishes, dressings and dipping sauces.

Sesame oil is available in both cold-pressed and toasted varieties. Cold-pressed oil has a lighter flavor and is almost colorless, making it a good addition to salad dressings, while the toasted variety has a nuttier, smoky flavor.

Use sesame oil sparingly. Its flavor is distinctive and can easily overpower other ingredients.