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Why is rock sugar used in Chinese cooking?

up vote 14 down vote favorite

Why do some Chinese dishes, namely braises and soups often call for rock sugar instead of regular sugar. Does rock sugar have any properties that would make it behave differently than regular granulated sugar?

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accept

According to this, it is less sweet than regular white sugar which can be used if rock sugar is not available.

Even if it can/ has a brown/golden-ish color, it is not brown sugar which has a more distinct flavor.

up vote 3 down vote

My answer is based on experience;I’m not sure of the underlying science. Rock sugar is not as sweet as granulated sugar. It has a broader, less intense sweetness which works well in savory dishes. It lacks a sweet “punch” which is more suited to desserts. I use the white kind, though I’m sure the yellow/brown sort has some additional flavor.


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Why is rock sugar used in Chinese cooking?

up vote 14 down vote

Why do some Chinese dishes, namely braises and soups often call for rock sugar instead of regular sugar. Does rock sugar have any properties that would make it behave differently than regular granulated sugar?


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up vote 9 down vote

According to this, it is less sweet than regular white sugar which can be used if rock sugar is not available.

Even if it can/ has a brown/golden-ish color, it is not brown sugar which has a more distinct flavor.

edit

That information is incorrect. White rock sugar is made of the same chemical compound as regular granulated sugar. - Sneftel Dec 29 '19 at 19:53

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