This is one of the most versatile Chinese sauces that go well with almost any ingredients, and is also suitable for stir frying, baking, grilling, and steaming.
1. Unless you use very powerful chili peppers (such as Thai chili peppers), the sauce won’t become spicy. I only use this step to infuse more aroma to the sauce. I used Chinese dried chili peppers in this recipe, but Korean and Mexican dried chili peppers work too. If you do want a spicy sauce, consider blending in homemade chili oil to the cooked sauce, or add cayenne powder during cooking.
2. If you do not want alcohol in the sauce, you can skip this ingredient. I would not recommend using stock here because it shortens the shelf life. However, you can use 2 to 3 teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder if you want to add extra flavor to the sauce.
3. You can use a garlic press to mince garlic faster.
4. Ginger is not a must-have ingredient, but if you happen to have it on hand, definitely use it. It adds nice aroma to the sauce.