Presentation on theme: "Asian Cooking. Preparing Asian-style fare is easier than you might imagine when you rely on authentic sauces. Made according to traditional recipes, they’ll."— Presentation transcript:
Preparing Asian-style fare is easier than you might imagine when you rely on authentic sauces. Made according to traditional recipes, they’ll save you time in the kitchen while delivering the rich, complex flavors of Asian cuisine. The fundamental techniques used in Asian cooking, including stir-frying, deep- frying, steaming, braising and smoking, can all be done in a wok and are simple to learn.
To learn the basic techniques used in Asian cuisine, start with the wok. Best known in the United States for stir- frying, this universal cooking pot of Asia is exceptionally versatile. Its also ideal for deep-frying, steaming, braising and even smoking. Once you master the fundamentals, the wok will become an essential part of your repertoire for preparing quick weeknight meals as well as special dinners for guests.
Stir-Frying Stir-frying is a technique of rapidly frying small pieces of food in oil over high heat. A wok is well suited for stir-frying because it exposes the ingredients to the maximum cooking surface, while the gradually sloping sides help contain small pieces of food inside the pan as they are rapidly tossed and stirred. Deep-Frying Deep-frying is widely used in Asia for preparing savory dishes, such as tempura and spring rolls, as well as sweet dishes like banana fritters. To ensure that foods emerge with a crisp, tender crust and fully cooked interior, heat the oil to the temperature specified in the recipe and fry the food in small batches; otherwise, the temperature will drop and the food will absorb the oil. Always wait for the oil to return to frying temperature before adding the next batch. Vegetable and Shrimp Tempura Spicy Chicken and Basil Stir-Fry
Steaming Steaming is a popular way to cook a range of foods, particularly delicate ones, such as vegetables, fish and dumplings. To steam foods in a wok, fill the pan with 2 to 3 inches of water and place a bamboo steamer or a cake cooling rack inside. Bring the water to a boil, place the food on the steamer, cover and cook as directed in the recipe. Braising Braising involves cooking food slowly in a covered pot or wok. This technique works well for preparing everything from eggplant to chicken. First the ingredients are seared in oil, then liquid and other aromatics are added. The food simmers slowly in the covered wok, emerging moist and tender and bathed in a flavorful sauce. Sichuan-Style Braised Eggplant Steamed Pork and Shrimp Dumplings (Shao Mai)
Smoking An ancient cooking method in China, smoking is excellent for preparing duck, quail and fish. Tea leaves and other fragrant ingredients, such as citrus peel and whole spices, are commonly used to impart flavor. To convert a wok to a smoker, line the pan with aluminum foil and place tea leaves and other aromatics on the foil. Set a rack in the wok and place the food on the rack. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and smoke-cook the food as directed in the recipe. Smoked Peking Duck
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Napa Cabbage: Also known as Chinese cabbage, Napa has a mild, sweet flavor. It has an oblong head with tightly packed pale green to white, crinkled leaves. Napa has crispy, fibrous leaves, which is why it is often called "celery cabbage". Napa’s mild flavor is similar to a cross between cabbage, iceberg lettuce, and celery. It is a versatile cabbage, which can be eaten raw or cooked and is used in stir-fry and soups. It is also enjoyed pickled with salt and chiles to make Kim Chee.
The Chinese have been growing mung bean sprouts (nga choy or nga choi) for approximately 3,000 years. However, the popularity of bean sprouts in the west is a more recent phenomenon. Many of us first got turned on to sprouts during the health conscious seventies, when we began piling them onto green salads or in tofu burgers. And why not? Not only are bean sprouts high in protein, vitamin C and Folacin, but they are a dieter's dream. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one cup of bean sprouts contains a mere twenty-six calories. They are low in salicylate, a naturally occurring chemical in plants that some individuals have difficulty tolerating. (Aspirin is acetyl salicylic acid). In Chinese medicine bean sprouts are considered to be a yin or cooling food. Bean Sprouts
Aromatic, pungent and spicy, ginger adds a special flavor and zest to Asian stir fries and many fruit and vegetable dishes. Fresh ginger root is available year round in the produce section of your local market. Ginger is the underground rhizome of the ginger plant with a firm, striated texture. The flesh of the ginger rhizome can be yellow, white or red in color, depending upon the variety. It is covered with a brownish skin that may either be thick or thin, depending upon whether the plant was harvested when it was mature or young. Ginger root
Bamboo shoots are the edible shoots (new bamboo culms that come out of the ground) of bamboo species Bambusa vulgaris and Phyllostachys edulis. They are used in numerous Asian dishes and broths, and are available in supermarkets in various sliced forms, both fresh and canned versions.
Both the flat snow peas you mostly see in Chinese stir-fries and sweet sugar snap peas - which are actually a cross between green peas and snow peas - come into season in the spring. Both will add crunch and sweetness to raw and cooked dishes. Snap off the tips where the stems were and make sure to look for deep green color and firm feeling peas. Try slicing either into thin strips to add to salad. If either of them look limp, don't buy them - they should be bright green and feel like they'd have a snap.
Chinese noodles are an essential ingredient and staple in Chinese cuisine. There is a great variety of noodles, which vary according to their region of production, ingredients, shape or width, and manner of preparation. Chinese noodles are an important part of most regional cuisines within mainland China, as well as in Taiwan, Singapore, and other Southeast Asian nations with sizable overseas Chinese populations. Chinese noodles have also entered the cuisines of neighboring East Asian countries such as Korea and Japan (dangmyeon and ramen, for example, are both of Chinese origin), as well as Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.
Long a symbol of longevity in Asia because of their health- promoting properties, shiitake mushrooms have been used medicinally by the Chinese for more than 6,000 years. More recently, their rich, smoky flavor has endeared them to American taste buds and these exotic hearty mushrooms can now be found in supermarket shelves across the U.S. throughout the year. Like other mushrooms, these specialty mushrooms are as mysteriously unique as they are delicious. While often thought of as a vegetable and prepared like one, mushrooms are actually a fungus, a special type of living organism that has no roots, leaves, flowers or seeds. shiitake mushrooms
Water chestnuts - where would Chinese food be without them? The knobby vegetable with the papery brown skin is a staple in Chinese cooking. The water chestnut is actually not a nut at all, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes. (This is why the ones that you purchase in the store may have a muddy coating.) The name "water chestnut" comes from the fact that it resembles a chestnut in shape and coloring. Indigenous to Southeast Asia, it has been cultivated in China since ancient times.
Bean Sauce After soy sauce is brewed, the soybean pulp is removed from the vats and made into several types of condiments. The first is Bean Sauce, (sometimes called Brown Bean Sauce or Soybean Condiment). Use this rich condiment to replace soy sauce where a thicker gravy is desired. Especially good used as a marinade for roasted meats. Hoisin Sauce A rich brownish red Asian sauce made from soybean paste, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and spices. Constantly used in Egg Rolls, Cha Siu (barbecued pork) and other dishes. Oyster sauce A staple condiment of Chinese cooking, this rich brown sauce is made with oysters, soy sauce, salt, and spices. The fishy taste abates in the brewing process. Be aware that cheaper brands may have MSG and other additives.