malt sugar, this syrup, which has been produced in China since the second century BC, is the Chinese equivalent of corn syrup or liquid glucose. The raw ingredient is cereal starch which is converted to sugar by the process of malting. The starch may be from wheat, rice, barley or other grains. It is very thick, sticky and difficult to spoon out, so use a sturdy metal spoon. Less sweet than sugar, it is traditionally used (diluted) to brush on the skin of Peking Duck before roasting. Also used to sweeten beverages, it is considered to have tonic properties.