Asian cuisine is one of the most varied and tasty cuisines in the world. From Chinese to Thai, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese, Asian gastronomy offers a wide variety of flavors, textures and aromas that can be challenging for beginners.
However, with a little practice and patience, anyone can learn to cook delicious Asian dishes at home. In this post, we are going to offer you some tips to get you started on cooking Asian cuisine based on three important aspects: Ingredients, utensils and simple recipes to make at home.
Essential ingredients in Asian cuisine
You’ll need to have some basic ingredients on hand to recreate the flavors of Asian food at home. Here is a list of the most important ingredients for Asian cuisine:
• Rice: rice is the staple of many Asian cuisines, and is used to accompany main dishes. An easy and delicious recipe to start experiencing Asian flavors (with a Latin touch) can be found at the following link: carolinarice.com/recipes/arroz-chaufa/
• Soy sauce: Soy sauce is an essential ingredient in Asian cuisine, and is used to season and flavor many dishes.
• Sesame oil: Sesame oil is an essential ingredient in Chinese and Japanese cuisine, and is used to flavor and aromatize many dishes.
• Noodles: Noodles are an important ingredient in Asian cuisine, and are used in dishes such as noodle soup and stir-fried noodles.
• Fresh herbs: Fresh herbs such as coriander, mint, basil and parsley are essential to give flavor and aroma to many Asian dishes.
• Seasonings: Seasonings such as ginger, garlic, onion, fish sauce, rice vinegar and sugar are essential to Asian cooking.
• Vegetables: Vegetables such as onion, bell pepper, broccoli, Bok Choy and mushrooms are common in many Asian dishes.
In addition to the basic ingredients, it is important that you have the right utensils to prepare your dishes. Here is a list of the most important utensils for Asian cooking:
• Wok: The wok is the most important utensil for cooking in Asian cuisine. It is a type of deep round pan used for cooking food at high temperatures, and is ideal for stir-frying and frying.
• Chef’s knife: A good chef’s knife is essential for cutting ingredients quickly and efficiently.
• Cutting board: You will need a large, sturdy cutting board for cutting ingredients such as meat, vegetables and fruits.
• Kitchen shears: Kitchen shears are very useful for cutting foods such as herbs, lettuce leaves, onions and garlic.
• Bamboo strainer: A bamboo strainer is used to drain noodles, vegetables and other foods.
• Spatula: A good spatula is essential for turning food in the wok or pan.
• Mortar: If you’re cooking Thai or Vietnamese food, you’ll need a mortar to crush ingredients such as garlic, onion, ginger and herbs.
Easy Asian Cooking Recipes for Beginners
For a beginner in Asian cooking, it’s important to start with simple recipes. Here are some easy recipes to get you started experimenting with Asian cooking at home:
1. Fried Rice: The most popular dish in Asian cuisine. To prepare it, you will need cooked rice, vegetables (such as carrots, peas, bell peppers and onions), egg and soy sauce. Sauté the vegetables and egg in a wok or frying pan, add the cooked rice and soy sauce and continue sautéing until everything is well mixed.
2. Stir-fried noodles: Noodles are another popular dish in Asian cuisine. You will need cooked noodles (can be rice or wheat noodles), vegetables (such as onion, bell bell pepper, carrot and bean sprouts) and soy sauce. Stir-fry the vegetables in a wok or frying pan, add the noodles and soy sauce and continue stir-frying until everything is well mixed.
3. Chicken curry: A reference in traditional Thai gastronomy. You will need chicken, curry powder, coconut milk, vegetables (such as bell bell pepper, onion and carrot) and cooked rice. Sauté the chicken and vegetables in a wok or frying pan, add the curry powder and coconut milk and simmer until everything is well mixed and the chicken is cooked.
4. Miso soup: This is a typical Japanese dish. You will need chicken or vegetable broth, miso paste, tofu and green onion. Heat the broth in a pot, add the miso paste and tofu and continue heating until the tofu is cooked. Add the green onion just before serving.
By acquiring the basic utensils and ingredients, it is only a matter of experimenting with flavors and techniques and in a short time you will be able to become a reference of Asian gastronomy in your circle of influence. Enjoy the experience!