Are you looking to explore Eastern-style cooking? You may have the basics down, like the right way to prepare stir fry and use a wok, but what about how to include popular Asian spices, flavorings and other ingredients in your meals? These ingredients can be intimidating to use if you've never prepared Asian cuisine, but with a little preparation they will be easy to include in your next Asian dish.
We've gathered a few Asian cooking tips to help you make a delicious and flavorful meal for your next Asian Night. Don't forget the chopsticks!
6 Essential Ingredients for Asian-Inspired Cooking
Whether dark or light, this staple is a no-brainer for fans of Asian food. Add it to your stir fry or other dishes for a salty taste. You can also use it as a marinade or as a base for a homemade sauce.
This is a main ingredient in many types of Asian cuisine. Use it to spice up your dish, tenderize meat and get rid of fishy or gamey tastes. Peel ginger with a spoon or knife and chop, grate or mince it before adding to your dish.
With a mildly sweet, smoky flavor, hoisin sauce tastes great when added to meat dishes, or combined with other ingredients to flavor a stir fry or noodle dish.
Put down the minute rice! Traditional, long-stemmed rice prepared in a rice cooker tastes so much better and is just as easy to prepare. Choose either white or brown rice depending on how nutty you want your meal to taste. For those without a rice cooker, it's also simple to cook rice on your stove.
Sometimes your food just needs a little zing. Want to add some attitude to your next Asian dish? That's where chili sauces such as sriracha come in. Use them to add a little (or a lot) of heat, depending on your preference.
Toasted sesame oil
Use this oil to drizzle on your meal just before serving for a fragrant, flavorful last touch. Be sure you purchase one hundred percent sesame oil, as some cheaper brands combine it with vegetable oil.
Once you begin to cook with these ingredients, you'll become more comfortable including them and creating bolder, more authentic Asian dishes.