Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Storing dried foods such as beans, herbs, spices and coffee

Dried pulses and beans should be bought from a shop with a rapid turnover to ensure fresh stocks. There is a great difference between beans dried last season and those from two or three years ago. Store dried pulses and beans in airtight containers in a dark place and try not to buy more than two months' supply at a time. Although stored beans will be safe to eat, they do go stale and their skins will toughen.

Dried herbs and spices also have a relatively short storage life and although they look attractive in glass jars on a spice rack, this is the worst way to store them. To ensure complete freshness, store them in a cupboard or a dark airtight container and use within two months.

Coffee, both beans and ready-ground, will go stale in a cupboard within days. Store it in the refrigerator or freezer and use it from frozen for a perfectly fresh cup.

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05:41:02 on 11/17/08 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Best way to store fresh food in the home

The modern methods of chilling, freezing, wrapping and transporting food should mean that we buy produce at its very best: fruit and vegetables brought to perfect ripeness, meat and fish at the peak of freshness. Sometimes, however, the freshness is an illusion created by packing and refrigeration technology, and when you get the food home, Spoilage will be rapid unless some of the professionals' techniques are employed.

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00:23:53 on 11/14/08 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Equipment to steam food for a healthy diet

It is probably quite possible to improvise a steamer by using your existing kitchen equipment, but if you are intending to do a lot of steaming, it is worth investing in a dedicated steamer of some sort. A variety of special equipment for steaming is available. Most common are oval or round steamers, which are rather similar to double boilers, except that the top layer has holes in its base. Steam from the boiling water in the lower pan rises through the holes to cook the food, while the lid on the upper pan keeps in the steam.

Another popular steaming device is a stainless-steel, plastic or aluminum basket that opens and folds shut, rather like a fan. This can be used with an ordinary lidded saucepan. The basket stands on its own short legs to keep it clear of the boiling; it fits inside most saucepans and is particularly suitable for quick-cooking foods as the water underneath the basket would have to be replaced often.

If you want to steam a large fish, a fish kettle is ideal: place the fish on the rack carefully and lower this onto upturned ramekin dishes to hold the rack out of the water. Small pieces of fish can be plate-steamed: put the fish on a lightly buttered plate, season and set the plate on a pan of simmering water or on a trivet inside a frying pan half full of water. Cover the pan and cook the fish for 8-10 minutes.

Chinese cooking also employs steaming. Fish, shellfish and tender cuts of meat, often wrapped in thin pastry or vegetable leaves, and dumplings, are steamed in rattan baskets stacked over a wok of boiling water.

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07:45:17 on 11/04/08 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -