Asian Cuisine 101  

Asian cuisine is a colorful array, with a diversity of flavors and culinary techniques, as varied as the number of countries that make up this beautiful continent. Learning and mastering these exotic flavors is always a pending matter for any cooking enthusiast, and although mastering such an array of techniques and combinations is an arduous task, it is not an impossible project. It’s just a matter of knowing a few basic elements used in most Asian cuisines, from rice and noodles to spices and seasonings.

Basic ingredients  

Here is the basic list of ingredients you should have to start experimenting with different recipes:

  • Rice: rice is the staple ingredient in most Asian cuisines. It is used to make dishes such as fried rice, curry rice, sushi and many other dishes. Preparing different types of rice is important in Asian cuisine. You can try some recipes in the following link:
  • Noodles: Noodles are another basic ingredient in Asian cuisine. There are many types of noodles available, such as rice noodles, wheat noodles and soba noodles. They are used in dishes such as Vietnamese Pho, Japanese Ramen and Thai Pad Thai.
  • Vegetables: Vegetables are an essential component in Asian cuisine. Some of the most common vegetables include broccoli, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts and mushrooms.
  • Protein: Protein is an important part of the Asian diet. Some common choices include chicken, pork, fish, seafood and tofu.
  • Sauces: Sauces are a key element in Asian cuisine. Some of the most common sauces include soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, teriyaki sauce and oyster sauce.

Common spices and seasonings used in Asian gastronomy

These are the ones that give character and personality to your preparations and will leave their mark on the palate of your guests. Always get them as fresh and of the best quality as possible:

  1. Ginger: Ginger is a common spice in Asian cuisine. It is used in dishes such as ginger chicken and miso soup.
  2. Garlic: Garlic is another common spice in Asian cuisine. It is used in dishes such as fried rice, Pho and curry.
  3. Coriander: Coriander is an aromatic herb used in many Asian dishes. It is found in dishes such as Pho, curry and Pad Thai.
  4. Chili: Chili is used in many Asian cuisines to add flavor and a bit of heat to dishes. It is found in dishes such as Korean Kimchi, Thai curry and Japanese Ramen.
  5. Sesame oil: Sesame oil is commonly used in Asian cooking for flavor and aroma. It is found in dishes such as fried rice, ginger chicken and Pad thai.

Emblematic dishes of Asian cuisine  

Get to know them, look for different recipes and try them. Mastering these basics will take you on the road to progress and mastery of Asian food techniques.

  • Ramen: Japanese noodle dish made with pork or chicken bone broth, wheat noodles, meat, vegetables and egg. Is a very comforting dish spread all over the world.
  • Sushi: Sushi is a Japanese dish made with cooked rice seasoned with rice vinegar, raw fish or seafood and vegetables.
  • Pho: Vietnamese noodle soup dish that is made with beef bone broth, rice noodles, meat, herbs and spices.
  • Pad Thai: Is a noodle dish, typical of Thailand and neighboring countries, made with rice noodles, vegetables, protein (such as shrimp, chicken or tofu), eggs, peanuts and a sweet and sour sauce.
  • Bulgogi: Korean dish of marinated and grilled meat served with rice, vegetables and Kimchi. The meat is usually marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, garlic and sesame oil before grilling. It is a very popular dish in South Korea and in many Korean food restaurants around the world.
  • Curry: Dish of Indian origin that has spread throughout Asia. Curry is made with a mixture of spices such as turmeric, cumin and coriander, along with proteins and vegetables. Hay
  • Dimsum: A Cantonese style food served in small portions in bamboo baskets. Dimsum dishes include prawn patties, pork dumplings, spring rolls and glutinous rice dumplings stuffed with pork or bean paste.
  • Yakitori: This is a Japanese dish of grilled chicken skewers served with teriyaki sauce. The chicken is cut into small pieces and threaded onto skewers, which are grilled over charcoal coals

With these ingredients in your kitchen and with the willingness to practice these recipes, in no time the exotic flavors of Asian food will accompany you to your delight and that of your family and friends. Enjoy your meal!


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Written by Virily Editor

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