Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Cooking with Ketchup

The British learned to make ketchup condiments from the Chinese (who called it ke-tsiap), but it was Mr. Heinz who borrowed the idea from Great Britain, adding tomato to please American taste buds. Before that, ketchup was a runnier concoction, often made from mushrooms or walnuts.

Unopened bottles of ketchup will keep indefinitely if stored in a cool, dark place. Once opened, ketchup will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator. If the ketchup won't pour, hold the bottle on its side to loosen, so that air can get around the ketchup in the bottle, and shake the ketchup loose. If that fails, stick a table knife into it while holding the bottle on its side. Rotate the knife until the ketchup starts to pour

** Asian Cooking **

09:54:47 on 07/19/09 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Choosing a Proper Locations for Kitchen Counters

When choosing a location in the kitchen, ensure that you link all work areas with counters, if possible. Once you have found the best placement for major appliances, connect them with a system of level and continuous counters to make cleanup easy and to ensure that you have work surfaces and resting surfaces where you need them. Alternatively, you can plan for separate work stations. If linked counters aren't possible, plan a center island or place a freestanding roll cart where you'll need it most. Leave room to chop and prepare ingredients near the stove or sink.

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10:55:15 on 07/18/09 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Proper Kitchen Flow

The single most important element determining the speed and ease of cooking happens long before you chop a carrot or preheat an oven. It is the basic layout of your kitchen.

Setting up an efficient kitchen layout
Whether you're starting from scratch or working with an existing layout, arrange your kitchen for a smooth flow of work from storage areas to preparation areas to cooking areas to cleaning areas. Start with a plan on paper. Draw walls, doors and windows to scale on a piece of graph paper. Make paper or cardboard cutouts to scale of all appliances. Use the cutouts to determine the best arrangement of work areas in your space. Depending on room size and shape, choose a U-shape, L-shape, or open galley layout.

Forming a work triangle
Whatever shape you settle on, try to link the refrigerator, sink, and stove in a triangle, which minimizes walking and eliminates the need to cross one work area to get to another. If possible, keep the total distance between storage, cooking, and cleaning areas to no more than 23 feet. When planning a work triangle, consider how people will walk through the kitchen. Avoid planning a walking path that crosses through the triangle, especially the space between the stove and sink.

14:44:41 on 07/17/09 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

What is Julienne?

Long, narrow rectangular slices of food are known as julienne. Cut about 1/8 inch thick, or roughly the size of a matchstick, julienne slices expose a large surface area of the food for quick cooking, as in stir-fry. Julienne slices also make an attractive garnish for salads.

Cutting Julienne Strips
Peel the ingredient if necessary and cut a thin strip from one side so that it can lie flat on the work surface. Cut the ingredient crosswise into pieces 2 inches long. Cut each piece lengthwise into thin, vertical slabs. Stack the slabs and cut them lengthwise again into thin strips.

** Asian Cooking **

02:57:19 on 07/11/09 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Jerusalem Artichoke

These tasty tubers have crisp, sweet flesh with a flavor similar to globe artichokes. Jerusalem artichokes are not from the Middle East, nor are they botanical relatives of artichokes. They are the root of a perennial sunflower, which is why they are also called sunchokes.

Choosing Jerusalem Artichoke
Though available year-round, Jerusalem artichokes are at their best in fall and winter. Look for ones that are firm and smooth without too many hard-to-clean knobs protruding from them. Avoid any that are green or beginning to sprout.

Storing Jerusalem Artichoke
To store, wrap Jerusalem artichokes in plastic and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Preparing Jerusalem Artichoke
Scrub Jerusalem Artichoke well to remove loose skin. Don't worry if you don't get every last bit. Small pieces of the pale, papery peel will not be noticeable in a finished dish.

To Prevent Browning
Toss cut surfaces with lemon juice. Or dip into acidulated water (1/4 cup lemon juice mixed with 4 cups water).

How to use Jerusalem Artichoke
Shred or slice raw chokes for salads or crudites, or cook them in stir-fries or soups. Or boil or steam Jerusalem artichokes and then toss them with melted butter, lemon juice, salt, and pepper for a hot side dish. You can also serve baked whole Jerusalem artichokes as you would baked potatoes, or mash them right along with potatoes for a side dish.

** Asian Cooking **

14:43:38 on 07/10/09 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Cooking with Horseradish

Cooking with Horseradish

With its nubby brown skin, this fleshy white root belongs to the mustard family. It can grow up to 15" in length. It has virtually no aroma until you scratch its skin; then, it will emit a sharp, penetrating aroma, similar to mustard oil, causing your eyes to water. Horseradish enrages the tastebuds and nostrils with its highly volatile oils and hot, pungent flavor. It also clears the sinuses. It's a favorite for seasoning beef, smoked fish, and strong-flavored vegetables.

Choosing Horseradish
Look for clean, unbroken roots with firm (but not dry) flesh. When fresh horseradish is unavailable, use prepared horseradish, which has been grated and preserved in vinegar. Some makers of bottled prepared horseradish pack it with grated beet, which colors it purple-red and gives it a sweet flavor.

Storing Horseradish
Keep fresh horseradish tightly wrapped in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months. Or grate it and freeze it immediately by lining a plate with plastic wrap and dotting it with teaspoon-size mounds of horseradish. Freeze until the mounds are solid, then peel them from the plastic and place them in a zipper-lock freezer bag for up to 6 months. Return to room temperature before using. Use bottled prepared horseradish within 1 month of opening it; after that, it turns bitter.

Using Fresh Horseradish
Peel the root and remove the fibrous core before grating. Use or freeze grated horseradish immediately, as its flavor tends to fade quickly.

** Asian Recipes **

15:22:07 on 07/09/09 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

How to get the best flavor from fresh herbs

Getting the best flavor from fresh herbs
Add tender herbs such as basil, parsley, cilantro, and dill toward the end of cooking time. Or sprinkle on top of the finished dish. Cooking these tender herbs rapidly diffuses their flavor. Add strong-flavored hardy herbs such as thyme, marjoram, or rosemary earlier in the cooking process so that they have time to mellow. Add at the end, these hardy herbs may be too overpowering.

To get more flavor from dried herbs
Just before using, rub dried herbs between your fingers to release their flavor-carrying essential oils. Also, add dried herbs at the beginning of cooking time so that they have a chance to heat up and release more flavor.

Some simple herbs mixtures

FINES HERBES - Mix together 1 tablespoon each dried tarragon, dried marjoram, dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried mint, and dried parsley flakes. Use to season fish or vegetables. (Makes 6 tablespoons)

SOUP SEASONING - Mix together 1 tablespoon each dried thyme, dried parsley flakes, dried basil, dried marjoram, ground celery seeds, and dried dillweed, and 1.5 teaspoons each dried rubbed sage and dried rosemary. (Makes 7 tablespoons)

HERBAL SALT - Mix together 2 tablespoons onion salt, 1 tablespoon each garlic salt and dried parsley flakes, 1 teaspoon each dried basil and dried marjoram, and half teaspoon each ground black pepper, dried dillweed, and dried thyme. (Makes about 1/3 cup)

BEEF SEASONING - Mix together 1 tablespoon each dried parsley flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper. (Makes 1/4 cup)

PORK SEASONING - Mix together 2 tablespoons each dried rubbed sage and dried parsley flakes, 2 teaspoons each dried thyme and dried rosemary, and 1 teaspoon garlic salt. (Makes 6 tablespoons)

POULTRY SEASONING - Combine 1 tablespoon each dried marjoram, dried basil, dried dillweed, and dried parsley flakes and 1 teaspoon each dried thyme and store-bought dried lemon peel. (Makes about 1/4 cup)

LAMB SEASONING - Mix together 1 tablespoon each dried parsley, dried rosemary, and dried thyme. (Makes 3 tablespoons)

FISH SEASONING - Mix together 1 tablespoon each dried tarragon, dried basil, dried dillweed, dried marjoram, and dried parsley flakes. (Makes about 1/3 cup)

05:45:17 on 07/05/09 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -