How to Cook Asian Food?
Asia is the largest continent in the world and it has such an amazing diversity of cuisines that it just would not be possible to learn all of it in one lifetime. However, we can always make an effort and learn as much as we can: even if we have to do one dish at a time.
In this post on How to Cook Asian Food, we introduce you to the main cooking styles famous in Asia as well as certain basic ingredients, utensils, etc that you need to keep handy in your kitchen if you want to learn how to cook Asian food:
1) Chinese/Indian/Japanese/Thai Cooking Styles: Wok is a special kind of pot common to both Chinese and Japanese cooking styles. So you might consider buying one for your kitchen before we teach you how to cook Asian food. Common spices used in the Chinese cooking are soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and salt. White pepper is often used to garnish the dishes.
The main quality of the Chinese food is that it is supposed to be simple to cook and the ingredients are not overly cooked, which might be possible in case of Indian cooking, where most of the vegetables, meats, etc are first fried, sautéed etc before bringing in the spices or gravy. Japanese cooking results in slightly cooked vegetables and salads are a common feature of a Japanese meal.
Thai cooking is all about balancing the five flavors in the food. These five flavors are sweet, sour, bitter, salty and hot. The thai dishes also vary in colour with each other depending upon the use of spices as well as coconut milk.
2) Asian ingredients to keep in your Kitchen: Always keep short-grain rice, dry egg noodles handy because you will need lots of it in your Asian cooking. Also keep a range of sauces like the oyster, chili-garlic, black bean, tamari and soy sauces as well as rice vinegar or even plain will do. Stock your pantry with red or green curry pastes, coconut milk, cornstarch and fish sauce.
3) Tofu is a must: Don’t forget to keep a block of firm and fresh tofu in your pantry all the time. Besides being a good source of protein, tofu is also low on calories, making it an ideal substitute for cheese.
4) Keep wonton skins and egg roll wrappers: These are easily available in supermarkets and come in handy while cooking momos, spring rolls or wontons.
5) Different Oils: Asian cooking is versatile and it makes use of a variety of oils like mustard, coconut, sesame or even olive. So make sure you don’t run out of a particular kind of oil while making your favorite Asian dish.
6) Garlic is also a must: No Asian cooking can be complete without garlic. You need a whole lot of garlic cloves to go with anything remotely Asian. Therefore keep a good stock of garlic with you along with some ginger root, preferably fresh.
7) Not without tea: Asian meals, especially the Chinese and Japanese meals are incomplete without a cup of tea. Therefore, for a complete Asian culinary experience, keep different Asian teas like green, black and oolong in your pantry.
8) Wok and more: Apart from a wok (as mentioned earlier), other Asian utensils that are an integral part of Asian cooking are bamboo streamer, rice cooker and cleaver. (Photos: Googleimages.com