In Chinese cooking styles, ingredients for instance, spice and sauce are frequently and broadly used. However, in Cantonese cousin, sauce are more popularly used to enhance the primary flavor of the dishes. And the most favourite sauce used by the cantonese people is oyster sauce.
Oyster sauce was used in Guangdong province firstly and became well-known by the world. It is a condiment made by cooking the oysters, and it is the traditional ingredient used in Guangdong area. Oyster is a marine mollusks and can be found in a tropical waters in southern coastal area.
The invention of the oyster sauce was in 1888 by a man named Lee Kum Sheung who was burned in 1868 in Xinhui of Guangdong province. Lee’s father died in his young age so he was brought up by his mother Choi and became a normal farmer. Somehow, he was considered to be offended to the local bullies for helping out someone in the village, so he had to moved to somewhere else. That was the reason that he turned up in the city of Zhuhai nearby the sea and started a small tea stall where he sold some cooked oysters. One day, he was boiling the oysters as usual but forgot to turn off the gas. It was after few hours that he came to a notice, so Lee thought the oysters might be burnt and ruined. But when he open the wok, he found the oysters had turn into a thick and brownish sauce which tasted spuriously good with a strong aroma. Unintentionally, the oyster sauce was found by lee. So he decided to started a business with the name of Lee Kum Lee in 1888 and sell his new found sauce. It became quickly hit and loved by the locals.
Oyster sauce is delicious in taste and enhance the flavour to the meats and vegetables. It is commonly used in Chinese family cooking. Not only because the taste but also because it can enrich the colour of the food and add brightness.
The normal use of oyster sauce is to add to the food while stir frying meats for example, beef, chicken, pork and seafood or vegetables. Put the sauce when the food is nearly done in order to maintain the nutritive value. And it can always used to mix with the noodles to make it tasty or topping for dishes.
Here is a video about the story of Lee Kim Kee oyster sauce: