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The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Will blanching vegetables and then reheating them cause many vitamins to be lost?

If you blanch and refresh the vegetables rapidly, and also reheat them very quickly, the vitamin loss will only be minimal. However, certain vitamins, such as vitamin C, are water-soluble and will leach out during any water-based cooking process, so it is wise to eat raw vegetables on a regular basis, as well as cooked ones.

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14:15:00 on 09/10/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Blanching vegetables to retain the color

Blanching and refreshing is a method of cooking vegetables for 1-2 minutes in boiling water and then cooling them rapidly in iced water. It is chiefly done to set the color before they are added to another dish, such as a terrine or salad. This method is particularly suitable for green vegetables, such as green beans, as their color survives and becomes very intense.

Blanching is also used to precook a large quantity of vegetables, as they can be boiled in advance until nearly tender, refreshed and chilled, and swiftly reheated when required.

The term comes from the French word for whiten and the technique was originally used to remove traces of blood from sweetbreads or brains, leaving them pale, or to boil off the brown skin of almonds.

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12:15:00 on 09/10/06 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Why do biscuits spread all over the tray even though they are only very small quantities of the mixture?

While some type of biscuits, such as brandy snaps, are meant to spread, others should hold their shape during baking. Be sure to measure the ingredients accurately. Fat and sugar melt during cooking, and using too much of either will cause the biscuits to spread and merge into one another. Leave a space between each portion, about 7.5 cm, to allow room for some widening. This allows each biscuit to keep its shape.

Check that you are using the type of fat that is recommended. If a recipe uses butter and you want to use margarine, choose a type that is suitable for cooking. Firm packet or block margarine is better for biscuit mixtures than a softer tub margarine meant for spreading.

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10:12:00 on 09/10/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -