Asian Recipes

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The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Miso, the Japanese fermented soybean paste

Miso is often used for seasoning soups and sauces. It is a salty-tasting Japanese fermented soybean paste. During the fermentation process, a dark liquid rises to the top. Known as tamari, this dark liquid is a strong-tasting form of soy sauce. Miso is ordinarily sold in vacuum-sealed pouches or tubs. There are darker, stronger,and chunkier misos, and dozens of variations in between. Experiment and find the ones that you like best.

When choosing and using miso, keep in mind that the darker the color, the stronger, saltier, richer, and more robust the flavor will be. There are four basic varieties of miso, each with a different color and flavor. Aka (red miso) is dark reddish-brown in color and has the most intense, salty flavor. Shiro (white miso) has a gold color, a fine texture, and a mild, mellow, slightly sweet, less salty taste. Hatcho (dark brown miso) has a rich, mellow flavor.

To store miso after opening, seal tightly (in a separate jar with a tight-fitting lid, if necessary) and refrigerate for up to 2 years. Miso keeps well due to a very high sodium content. When using miso in heated mixtures, dissolve it first in a small amount of the hot liquid in a separate bowl (using 2 parts liquid to 1 part miso), then stir back into the entire mixture.

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11:27:37 on 02/07/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

How to eliminate cold spots in a microwave oven?

Use a carousel, which will also speed cooking. Low-cost carousels or turntables are widely available; just make sure that the size fits the interior of your microwave oven. If you don't have one of these devices, turn the food twice during cooking. if you use your microwave oven often, it also helps to become familiar with how it distributes heat. Line the oven bottom with waxed paper, then cover the paper with pancake batter and cook on high power, stopping every 30 seconds to watch how and where the batter is and is not cooking. Use the hot spots and cold spots as a guide when arranging food in your microwave oven.

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02:35:41 on 02/05/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

How to microwave foods faster?

To microwave foods faster, cover the dishes tightly which will trap steam for better heat penetration. Use glass dish covers, microwavable plastic, or waxed paper, and try to keep plastic wrap an inch or more above the food. It also helps to use room-temperature foods because they cook faster than cold foods. To warm foods to room temperature safely, take them directly from the refrigerator to the microwave oven, and microwave on medium power in 1-minute intervals until the surface loses its chill.

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00:45:20 on 02/04/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

How to arrange foods when cooking with microwave oven?

To arrange foods for the most efficient cooking, arrange them in a circular or spoke pattern. Also, since microwave ovens cook hotter on the edges than in the center, arrange foods with the thicker or tougher portions toward the edges. Place the thickest ends of chicken breasts and drumsticks outward. For stalk vegetables such as broccoli, arrange them in a circular spoke pattern with the tougher stems pointing outward and the tender heads inward.

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05:48:17 on 02/03/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Using microwave oven to defrost food

To defrost food with a microwave oven, place the food in its wrapper on a microwaveable plate. If your microwave oven has a pre-programmed defrost cycle, use it. If not, defrost on medium power. Microwave in 5- to 8- minute intervals, turning the food between intervals, until the food is defrosted but still cold. When defrosting frozen blocks of smaller pieces, such as chicken parts, break them apart into individual pieces as soon as possible during the defrosting cycle to speed thawing.

** Asian Cooking **

05:52:48 on 02/02/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -