This recipe uses maple syrup so it’s more American than Chinese. Use proper maple syrup, the stuff that comes out of a tree, not the sugar substitute or if you haven’t got it use honey.
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Harissa paste is, according to Clifford A. Wright, an authority on Mediterranean food, one of the most important condiments in Tunisian cooking. At its most basic, it is a spicy paste mix of chilli and salt but harissa is a personal thing and you will find many recipes for it. Wright uses both coriander seeds and caraway seeds for example in his harissa recipe and he consulted everyone from Paula Wolfert to Kitty Morse to find out what is most authentic.