Asian Recipes

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Thai Stir-Fry Sauce Recipe

There is no standard stir-fry sauce when it comes to Thai cuisines. Thai cooking has adapted the basic Chinese stir-fry sauces by adding chilies to give the flavor a little kick. The basic seasoning in Chinese stir0frying is soy-sauce. Thai cooks will generally use fish sauce which is also known as nam pla instead, which is basically soy sauce infused with fermented fish extracts taken from various fish. Nam pla tastes salty, very much like strong anchovy sauce, and can be found in Asian shops and some supermarkets.

Like the Chinese, Thai cooks use sesame oil, garlic and ginger to season their stir-fries. The recipe below is for an all-purpose sauce that you can use to give your usual stir-fry dishes a Thai taste:

Thai Stir-Fry Sauce Recipe
Makes: Enough to season
500g vegetables, fish or meat
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: none

1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili paste
1 teaspoon palm or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped green ginger
2 tablespoons fish sauce

Mix together the oil, chili paste, sugar, pepper, garlic and ginger. Add some cooking oil to the wok according to your usual recipe, then add the sesame oil mixture. When it comes to the boil, add the fish sauce, then your other stir-fry ingredients and cook in the usual way.

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13:43:04 on 09/11/10 by Webmaster - Recipes -

Cooking with Fresh Mushrooms

Mushrooms do double duty as both a seasoning and a vegetable in their own right. In fact, white button mushrooms contain umami, a natural flavor enhancer that boosts the flavor of any food that the mushrooms are cooked with. When choosing fresh mushrooms, look for those that are firm and slightly moist, with no signs of decay. They should be heavy for their size and smell like the woods. TO ensure freshness, check the gills on the underside of the mushroom. If they're tightly closed, the mushroom is young, mild-tasting, and will last longer; if they are open, the mushroom is more mature and will have a more concentrated flavor but will not last long once you get it home.

Use older mushrooms soon after purchase. If you can, choose so-called "wild" mushrooms, most of which are now cultivated. Though they're more expensive than other varieties, shiitakes, creminis, chanterelles, and other wild mushrooms have more intense, interesting flavors, and a little bit tends to go a long way.

For wild mushrooms, please note that only mushroom experts should pick or use fresh mushrooms from the wild. Identifying mushrooms in the wild can be very tricky, and some varieties are poisonous.

02:41:44 on 09/02/10 by Webmaster - Vegetables Guide -

Making Mushroom Powder

How to make mushroom powder
Another way to use dried mushrooms without soaking them is to grind them into a powder that can be added to a recipe as a seasoning. Don't worry about grit this way, because any grit in the mushrooms will be ground so finely that it will be unnoticeable. Dried mushroom powder can be sprinkled into a sauce, a stew, or a soup. It will swiftly season a breading for fried chicken as well as the gravy that is served with it. Dried mushroom powder can be added to salad dressing or pasta dough or sprinkled into simmering rice.

To make mushroom powder, coarsely chop a few dried mushrooms, place them in the well of a mini food processor or other small-size food processor, and process in pulses until finely chopped (you can also use a clean propeller-blade coffee grinder). Then, process continuously until the mushrooms turn into powder. Store in a tightly closed container indefinitely.

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01:12:00 on 09/01/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -