Asian Ingredients - Everyday Delicious Kitchen

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Asian Ingredients

Bean Sprouts

Bean sprouts are found in kitchens all over Asia. They can be eaten raw or cooked. The water content of sprouts in general is high and therefore ideal for any diet. Bean sprouts can be substituted with other sprouts if not available.

Celery

Asian Celery is much thinner and somewhat milder in taste than the western varieties. Frequently used in salads, soups and various main dishes. Celery is generally high in water content, which makes it a perfect supplement to any diet.

Chilli Paste In Oil

Contains dried chillies, garlic and shallots, which are slowly simmered in vegetable oil. This chilli paste contributes its fragrant flavour to many South East Asian dishes.

Chilli Powder

Sun Dried Chilli Peppers are slow-roasted in a pan without the use of cooking oil. Constant stirring ensures that all chillies are evenly roasted. They are then blended into fine powder.

Chinese Mushroom

Also known as Shitake mushroom, it is found in various dishes of Asian origin. It has a crunchy texture and can be used in soups, salads or stir fried vegetable dishes.

Coriander

Both root and leaves are used to flavour a wide range of dishes. The leaves are usually sprinkled on salads, soups and a wide variety of main dishes. Its strong flavour is somewhat strange for many newcomers to Asian cuisine.

Coriander Seeds

Commonly found in most of the world’s kitchens. Asians use these seeds in the preparation of various curry pastes, particularly the green one.

Cornflour

It is a starch used to thicken sauces in Asian Cuisines.

Cumin Powder

Used in most Asian cuisine to prepare curry pastes. It is cultivated throughout the world and is used in many cuisines for its unique aromatic flavours. Has a slightly bitter but also piquant taste. 

Dried Shrimps

Available in most Asian shops, made from small shrimp tails. These shrimps are usually sun dried and can be stored for weeks in an airtight container. 

Fish Sauce

Fermented fish and salt is used to make this unique sauce. Renowned for its salty flavour and fishy smell, it is commonly used in kitchens throughout South East Asia.

Galangal

A member of the ginger family, Galangal tastes different to ginger and cannot be replaced by it. It’s used primarily in curries and soups. This root is very aromatic and contributes much to the distinctive flavour of Asian food.

Green & Red Chillies

Generally hot, however spiciness can be reduced by removing seeds before cooking. When cutting chillies in general, wear rubber gloves. Be sure you wash your hands after handling them.

Green Curry Paste

This curry is produced from green chillies pounded with various herbs and spices. Curry pastes vary in strength and spiciness, from mild to fiery hot. Always keep curry pastes in an airtight container. They can be kept under refrigeration for several weeks, however with age they will lose flavour.

Green Papaya

The unripe papaya fruit is used to prepare salad. Green Papaya is also known for its papain, which acts as a meat tenderizer. Papayas are commonly found throughout the world’s tropical regions.

Thai Basil Leaves

Hot basil leaves unfold sensational flavours when cooked. Renowned for their health benefits, they are high in beta-carotene, which is converted by the body into Vitamin A. The leaves are smaller than sweet basil and have a purple reddish tinge. The flavour is strong and aniseed like.

Kaffir Lime Leaves

The leaves of the kaffir lime are very aromatic. They are used in soups, curries and salads and are an essential ingredient in most Asian cuisine. By breaking or cutting the leaves it is ensured that flavour can unfold in the cooking process. 

Lemon Grass

Growing as big stalks, lemon grass is vital in South East Asian cooking. Remove the outer leaves and use only approximately 20 cm of the lower part of the stem. The lemon-scent is best obtained by slicing it finely.

Long Eggplant

This elongated vegetable is renowned for its usage in Asian cuisine and often referred to as Japanese eggplant. Its meaty texture makes it a perfect alternative for vegetarian diets. It is low in vitamins, and valued for its low content in fat and calories.

Oyster Sauce

Containing extract from Oysters, Soya Sauce, Sugar and Salt. This sauce is used in various Asian dishes, such as in fried vegetables. When selecting, choose a brand low in soy sauce and salt. Some brands easily overpower the fine oyster flavours.

Palm Sugar

Throughout Asia, palm sugar is used as a natural sweetening agent. It has a distinctive flavour which is reminiscent of caramel and available in the form of little cakes and also as a thick paste. If unavailable, substitute with brown sugar.

Pickled Turnip

Generally there are two kinds of pickled turnip available, one of them is salty and the other is sweet. Salted turnip needs to be rinsed before use to remove saltness.

Shrimp Paste

Used in the Asian kitchen to add flavour to curry pastes, dips, soups, meat and vegetable dishes. Storing whole baby shrimps in salt for several weeks produces shrimp paste with strong flavour.

Soy Sauce

An extracted from soybeans it contains the most protein of any vegetarian food. However, they are high in unsaturated fat. Besides the soy extract, the sauce also contains wheat flour, sugar cane, water and salt.

Spring Onions

Both white and green portions are used in cooking. Used in the preparation of Asian salads, and also as condiment for fried rice or noodles.  

Sticky Rice

Also referred to as glutinous rice, it’s used widely in all Asian recipes. It is very versatile and can be used for both savoury and sweet dishes. When used, it is generally soaked overnight in water and steamed rather than boiled.

Sweet Basil Leaves

Basil is sweet in taste with a distinctive lemon flavour. Commonly used in curries, but also eaten raw as a condiment for salads. If not available, this basil can be substituted with European basil which requires less quantity to obtain the same result.

Sweet Plum Sauce

Containing Salty Chinese Plums, which are boiled in a mixture of Sugar, Tamarind, Salt and Water. The thickness is obtained by the sugar, which reduces the liquid into syrup.

Tamarind

This pod shaped fruit tastes sour and finds its usage in many Asian kitchens. The pulp is simply soaked for approximately 15 minutes in warm water and squezed, which will loosen the meat off the seeds and fibre. The juice is strained off and used as indicated in the recipes. 

Thick Dark Soy Sauce

Containing Molasses and Soy Bean Extract, this sauce is used primarily as a flavouring agent but also to improve the visual appeal of certain dishes. Soybeans contain the most protein of any vegetarian food. However, they are high in unsaturated fat.

Tofu

Originally from China, tofu is used in kitchens throughout South East Asia. There are various kinds of tofu available ranging from firm to very soft, fried, fermented and flavoured. The firmer type is easier to stir-fry.

Tumeric Powder

Responsible for the colouring of many curries, especially those in the Indian cuisine.