Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Preparing and cooking squid

Squid is now often sold cleaned and prepared, fresh or frozen, and is one of the easiest seafood to tackle, as it has no readily identifiable innards. It is available in a range of size, from 10-25 cm. although any that measure more than 18 cm will be very rubbery. The Southern Calamari is the most tender species.

Medium-sized squid can be sliced for frying, either shaken in flour or in a light batter. Smaller ones can be served in seafood salads and stir-fries as they require scarcely more than blanching to cook. Larger ones are usually quite tough and chewy, but can be stuffed and baked.

** Asian Recipes **

13:34:09 on 10/28/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Delicious crispy spinach

Spinach intended for deep-frying should be very fresh and very dry. After washing, pick it over carefully, removing any coarse stems and discolored sections. Spin it in a salad dryer, then tip it onto a tea towel and toss it about gently until it is completely dry. Shred the spinach finely and fry a generous handful at a time in very hot oil over a medium to high heat for about a minute. Tip the spinach into a strainer placed over a bowl, and while the oil reheats for the next batch, tip the cooked spinach onto a double layer of paper towels and shake with flaky sea salt.

This makes a dazzling garnish for fish or poached poultry, or in a tangle on top of a salad. However, the spinach should be used on the day it is cooked, and do not deceive yourself into thinking that crisp equals light and fat-free. Like all deep-fried foods, it will absorb a great deal of oil during cooking.

** Asian Recipes **

01:03:37 on 10/24/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Using spinach in salads

Young, tender spinach leaves make splendid salads and mix particularly well with fruit; try them with grapefruit and orange segments or dried fruits. Spinach is good with dressings pungent with garlic or thickened with nuts and, since it can be cooked, is the perfect leaf for wilting with warm dressings. With added bacon, chicken liver and egg, poached or soft-boiled, these salads make lively substantial dishes to serve at lunch.

** Asian Recipes **

13:02:49 on 10/23/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Mixing spices to breadcrumbs for coating

Ground spices may be mixed with breadcrumbs (or sifted flour) for coating fried foods, or with butter and flour as a crumble topping for fruit desserts. For instance, try using a pinch of saffron, turmeric or curry powder mixed with flour for coating fish cakes, croquettes or potato cakes, and ginger or cinnamon mixed with the topping for an apple crumble. Add a large pinch of ground nutmeg to a creamy cheese sauce or mashed potatoes. And maced will perk up bread sauce, spinach puree or creamed onions.

** Asian Spices **

10:25:36 on 10/22/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Making Garam Masala

Garam masala is a mixture of aromatic spices which, unlike curry powder, does not need heating to mellow the flavor. It is usually added to dishes at the end of cooking or sprinkled on top just before serving to brighten the flavor. To make 100g of garam masala, simply dry-fry in a small pan 2 tablespoons of cilantro seeds, 1 tablespoon each of mace and black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon each of cloves and cardamom seeds and a 6 cm piece of cinnamon stick broken into pieces. When the spices smell rich and pungent, grind them together in a coffee grinder or pound finely in a mortar. Store the garam masala in an airtight jar, away from heat and light.

** Asian Recipes **

21:47:50 on 10/20/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Difference between allspice and mixed spice

Although they are near enough in flavor to stand in for each other sometimes, allspice is in fact one single spice, the berry of an evergreen tree growing wild in South America and the West Indies. It got its name because it resembles a mixture of four spices: cinnamon, cloves, mace and pepper. The term 'mixed' spice is a vague one which usually means a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sometimes cumin.

** Asian Spices **

21:02:28 on 10/19/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Difference between nutmeg and mace

Not a great deal in terms of flavor, though mace is more powerful and has traditionally been used in sweet and savory recipes. Both spices lie within the fruit of the nutmeg tree, as a peach's stone lies within its flesh; mace is the lacy covering that encloses the nutmeg.

** Asian Recipes **

06:19:50 on 10/18/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Thickening soup with egg

Adding egg to thicken a soup is a little tricky as it will curdle or scramble if overheated. Beat one or two egg yolks (or whole eggs) in a bowl and stir in a little of the hot soup. Then strain this into the pan and stir over a gentle heat until thickened; do not allow it to boil. This method can be used for a hot soup or one to be served cold (which will thicken further on cooling). For a richer soup, the eggs can be mixed with cream.

** Asian Recipes **

07:08:03 on 10/12/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Cooking with slow cookers

With an electric slow cooker, the heat is gentle so you can leave the food for long periods without ever having to stir it. Slow cookers are perfect for the tougher, cheaper cuts of meat. But meat with a high fat content should be trimmed and browned first, and then the fat drained off. Because the cooking temperature is so low, the cooking liquid must be brought to the boil before adding it to the slow cooker. As well as casseroles and stews, slow cookers can be used for fruits, chutneys, jams and porridge.

** Asian Recipes **

05:32:28 on 10/06/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -