Maesri Green Curry Paste

Maesri Green Curry Paste Review

This will be the third review I have posted featuring Curry Pastes from the Maesri Company, the first being the Maesri Brand Panang Curry Paste, and the next being the Maesri Yellow Curry Paste. This current product, The Maesri Green Curry Paste, is every bit as good as the first two, and probably even more versatile than was contemplated by the manufacturer.

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Maesri Yellow Curry Paste

Maesri Yellow Curry Paste Review

Recently, I posted a review of the Maesri Brand Panang Curry Paste, which I found to be an excellent product. I actually bought three different Maesri Curry Pastes with the intention of testing them separately, and, in this post, I have tried out the Maesri Yellow Curry Paste. In short, this proved to be every bit as good quality as the Panange version and, personally, I actually liked it a little better.

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Maesri Panang Curry Paste

Maesri Panang Curry Paste Review

Maesri™ is a company in Thailand that produces a decent range of food products, including a series of traditional Thai curry pastes. I actually tried one of their Curry Pastes quite a few years ago and, though I do not remember a great deal about it, I do recall that it was very good. The Panang Curry Paste, pictured above, is not quite as hot as I remember the other paste being, but I am happy to report that the overall quality is every bit as high.

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LKK Chili Black Bean Sauce

LKK Chili Black Bean Sauce Review

When it comes to using Chinese Salted Black Beans, I generally prefer to use the actual beans when making a sauce as most of the commercial Black Bean Sauces are not very good, in my opinion.  Fermented black beans have a rather distinct ‘chocolaty’ under taste that is usually quite mild but this usually seems to be much more pronounced in commercial preparations. Commercial sauces also tend to have a rather nasty black color to them that can make a finished dish unattractive. Lee Kum Kee’s own version of regular Black Bean sauce (which may no longer be available) was no better than any of the others in these regards but this particular version with Chili added is excellent. The addition of chili does perhaps limit its use to spicier dishes, but it is still a very useful and versatile sauce nonetheless.

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LKK Spicy Bean Paste – 麻婆醬

LKK Spicy Bean Paste –  麻婆醬 – Ma Po Sauce

The Lee Kum Kee Company is known worldwide for high quality cooking products, and I always have at least a few of their specialties on hand. Their Spicy Bean Sauce is described as being a ‘Ma Po Sauce’, and even has a recipe for a simple version of the classic Chinese dish Ma Po Tofu on the label (and also at the website). Unfortunately, even a review of the ingredients makes clear that this sauce departs considerably far from the traditional Ma Po composition and, in that sense at least, Lee Kum Kee has rather failed here. That being said, though, as a generic ‘Spicy Bean Sauce’, it has terrific flavor and makes for a very useful and versatile sauce base for all sorts of other dishes.

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Cock Brand Chili Paste with Holy Basil

Cock™ Chili Paste with Holy Basil: A Review

I have purchased quite a number of Cock Brand™ products over the years and have never been disappointed. Their Chili Paste with Holy Basil, seen pictured above, was actually purchased on a whim, put in a store cupboard, and then forgotten about for a while. When I finally opened it, however, I was very glad to have made the purchase as it turned out to be a terrific sauce for quickly putting together Thai-style Stir-fried dishes.

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Yeo Minced Prawns in Spices
Yeo Minced Prawns in Spices

Yeo Minced Prawns in Spices Review

I fell in love with this umami-rich shrimp paste from Singapore after first purchasing at a little Asian grocery store in Fredericton, New Brunswick almost 40 years ago. It is produced by Yeo Hiap Seung Ltd., and is made with Shrimp, Chili, Onions and Peanuts as the main ingredients. The shrimp are clearly fermented slightly during the manufacturing process, and the result is quite similar to a Filipino Bagoóng Alamáng, or even a Sambal Ikan Bilis. It is sold mainly as a cookery ingredient, especially for soups and noodle dishes, but I find that it shines best as a cold condiment.

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Singlong Sambal Ikan Bilis
Singlong Sambal Ikan Bilis

Singlong Sambal Ikan Bilis Review

In my post featuring the Huy Fong Brand Sambal Oelek, I mentioned that a Sambal is an Indonesian chili paste and that the Sambal Oelek is the simplest, and the one on which all other are based. A Sambal Ikan Bilis builds on the basic recipe of red chili peppers and salt by enhancing it with the addition of dried Anchovies, or ‘Ikan Bilis’, as they are known in Indonesia.

This commercial product, made by the Singlong Company in Singapore is certainly a Sambal Ikan Bilis in that it is a chili paste with anchovy added, but it also includes several other flavorings as well. It may not be the absolute best representative of its class, but it is still a pretty decent product.


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Jack Hua Sour Shrimp Paste
Jack Hua Sour Shrimp Paste

Jack Hua Sour Shrimp Paste Review

If you are an afficionado of Thai food, you will almost certainly have enjoyed Tom Yum Soup a time or two as it is almost ubiquitous Thai restaurant menus. Making the necessary spice blend at home can be a little difficult for western cooks, though, given the range of ingredients, but this product from the Jack Hua Company in Thailand makes things very simple and convenient. The label on the jar does specifically identify this as being intended for Tom Yum soup (and even provides a simple little recipe), but the paste is extremely versatile and can be adapted to many other dishes as well.


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Huy Fong Sambal Oelek
Huy Fong Sambal Oelek

Huy Fong Sambal Oelek Review

A Sambal is an Indonesian and Malaysian culinary paste made with fresh Chili. The simplest, known as a Sambal Oelek (or Sambal Ulek), is based on nothing more than fresh red chili ground with salt. This basic preparation is the starting point for many, many more complex varieties featuring all sorts of ingredients like ginger, garlic, lime juice, or shrimp paste (to name just a few).

The Huy Fong Foods Company is already well known for its famous Sriracha Sauce which graces many restaurant tables worldwide. It is especially recognizable by the same ‘Cock’ Logo seen on the Sambal Oelek jar above. In many ways, Huy Fong’s Sambal Oelek is actually a better product than the Srircha Sauce as it has a much fresher taste. It also contains very little in the way of additional flavorings and is thus much more versatile and useful to the home cook.


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