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Oriental Cuisine

Oriental Cuisine

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Published by: Julien Narjinary on Mar 26, 2012
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ORIENTAL CUISINE

Oriental cuisine styles can be broken down into several tiny regional styles that have roots in the peoples and cultures of those regions. The major types can be roughly defined as East Asian with its origins in Imperial China and now encompassing modern Japan and the Korean peninsula; Southeast Asian which encompasses Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Viet Nam, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines; South Asian states that are made up of India, Burma, Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well as several other countries in this region of the continent Central Asian and Middle Eastern.

Terminology
In the United Kingdom, "Asian cuisine" most often refers to South Asian cuisine, while in the United States and Australia it usually refers to East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) and Southeast Asian cuisine, in addition to South Asian cuisine. In much of Asia, the term does not include the country's native cuisines. For example, in Hong Kong and mainland China, Asian cuisine is a general umbrella term for Japanese cuisine, Korean cuisine, Filipino cuisine, Thai cuisine, Vietnamese cuisine, Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine and Indonesian cuisine; but Chinese cuisine and Indian cuisine are excluded. The term Asian cuisine might also used to address the eating establishments that offer wide array of Asian dishes without rigid cuisine boundaries; such as selling satay, gyoza or lumpia for appetizer, som tam, rojak or gado-gado for salad, offering chicken teriyaki, nasi goreng or beef rendang as main course, tom yam and laksa as soup, and cendol or ogura ice for dessert. In modern fusion cuisine, the term Asian cuisine might refer to the culinary exploration of cross-cultural Asian cuisine traditions. For example combining the culinary elements of Vietnam and Japanese, Thai and Malay, or Indonesian and Chinese.

By region

Uzbek Palov

a national food of China Japanese sushi platter Tibetan momos served in a tomato-based broth South Indian dosa Chicken tikka. popular in India .Peking Duck.

Hoppers from Sri Lanka Ponorogo chicken satay from Indonesia. satay also popular across Southeast Asia Tom yum soup from Thailand Lebanese-style Hummus .

In the South East. In the South West. South Western cuisines include a variety of leavened and unleavend breads and South East and North East cuisines include rice and eggnoodles. the South East substitutes fish sauce. the major oil used in frying is ghee.İskender kebap from Turkey The Three Cuisine Areas of Asia The South West . Cuisines of the South East The original cuisine of the South East is probably the peasant cuisine of Thailand. Laos. Korea. Archaeology has recently discovered that the metal workingcultures of the central plain of Thailand date back to at least 3000 BC. Sri Lanka.easily in the same class as the ancient cultures of China and India.Malaysia. Singapore. Garlic and ginger are used in all three cuisine areas. Japan The South East . Pakistan. whereas the curries of the South Eastand North East are generally based on coconut milk. In the South East and North East. Indonesia . Cambodia. Burma The North East . Brunei Curries are very important to the cuisines of the South East and SouthWest. there is no equivalent in South Western cooking. although chilies are much more common in the South Westand South East. less so in the cuisine of the North East.China. the major oils are vegetable oils.India. In addition to rice.galangal and lemon grass. The peasant cuisine . as are chilipeppers. Rice is a staple starch in all three cuisines areas.Thailand. or clarified butter. there are two additional flavorings that are not used in the other cuisines . The North Eastern cuisines use soy sauce in nearly everything. Vietnam. South Western curries are generally based on yogurt.

This cuisine did not develop in isolation. and the stir fry technique using vegetable oils came to the area from the China. of course. Most recently. Cambodia and Vietnam. indeed all peppers. so. Chili peppers. Thai basil. Rice is the staple grain of the North East and South East and is only slightly less important in the South West. Indonesia was a Dutch colony. sweet basil and mint being the commonest. coriander and star anise from China. Some Italians may object if you claim that Marco Polo brought spaghetti back from China. Malaysia was a British Colony. and south down the Malayan peninsula and the island arc of Indonesia. it was influenced by ideas coming from the North East and South West. cardamom and cumin from India. and were widespread by 1600. Vietnam. Fish sauce is probably a local invention. but less common in Vietnam where the Chinese influence is strong. but there is little doubt tha tnoodles came to this region from China. as such it spread across the region before regional cuisines began to evolve.associated with these early metal workers spread east across the mountains into Laos. cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka. The concept probably came from India and spread east. This means they could not have arrived before about 1520. cloves. are native to the Americas and arrived in the region with European explorers/exploiters. nutmeg and mace are native. while the idea of using them in cooking may have . so it is possible the idea was imported. Curries are a very common across the region. of course. the cuisines of Europe have influenced the native ones. It is the original crop that caused the conversion from hunter-gatherer to subsistence farmer inthis area. (Maybe that's where the lost legion ended up) There are many spices used in the region. and influenced them in return. Thailand was a rarity in that it successfully resisted European colonisation. Laos and Cambodia were French colonies. These herbs grow almost everywhere across tropical and subtropical Eurasia. Several herbs are common in the region. The cooking utensil called the wok. Garlic and ginger are common all across Eurasia and probably arrived in the area at almost the same time as rice. but the Romans had a similar concoction (liquamen). As it spread. The arrival of chili peppers in the area can be placed with relative accuracy. but the people of the South East modified the original by substituting coconut milk for yogurt as the basis for the sauce.

but certainly not least. a flat bottomed wok is best. Repeat the oiling. A properly conditioned iron wok is at least as non-stick as any teflon coating ever made. They are the two flavors which I have chosen to define the scope of this page. In an electic kitchen. especially lime. with its purple stems and licorice flavor. aluminum. If you plan to do much of this region's cooking you should invest in a good wok. depending onthe design of the stove. Not just the juice and pulp are used. are lemon grass and galangal. for they are used nowhere else in the world. which is native to the islands of Indonesia and Malaysia. Cool and wipe with paper towels to remove the dark film. cooling and wiping procedure until the paper towels come away clean.been imported. and dry. The most traditional is hand beaten of mild steel with a round bottom and two handles. thin stamped stainless steel or aluminum just don't hold enough heat. it should be cleaned with plain water only using a wok brush. A cast iron fry pan will serve in a pinch. They are undoubtedly of local origin. Last. on. both for stability and for heat transfer. These two flavors are the flavors which make the cuisines of the region unique. Place the wok over low heat. A new wok must be seasoned before use. mild steel. There are many type of woks available .handled and two-handled. the round bottomed wok might fit the burners. Scrub it well with soap and water to remove any coating applied to protect it during shipping. it may be placed on a wok ring. Once a wok has been seasoned. Notes on Recipes Equipment The Wok The wok is the most important piece of cooking equipment in SouthEast Asia and China. rinse well. stainless steel. wipe lightly with vegetable oil and let stand on the heat for 10 minutes.round. and cast aluminum takes to long to heat upand cool down. Mild steel is preferred for its heat transfer properties. but also the zest and leaves. which can be important in stir frying. Citrus flavors are important to the region's cuisines. . In a modern kitchen equipped with agas stove. heating. and teflon coated. the actual herbs used are native varieties. but the rounded bottom of the wok provides a range of cooking temperatures in one pan. If the wok does not fit the burners. never with soap or abrasive cleaners.bottomed and flat-bottomed. This is especially true of Thai basil. The traditional round bottom is designed to sit in theround hole of a charcoal burner.

a bamboo whisk brush for cleaning. Other wok tools include. Clay Pot Clay pots ."hot pots".it performs all the functions of the various knives of western kitchens. Light cleavers are used for general chopping.and like woks. These are designed to be used in a wok over boiling water. Place rice and water in the cooker. plug it in and press the button. a rice cooker is worth the investment . Steamers Large dedicated steamers with multiple stacking are available instainless steel or aluminum. clean with steel wool or fine sand paper and re-season. A good set of kitchen knives can be substituted. They are available in a range of sizes. If the metal ever rusts. with either one handle or two. a ladle. thicker cleavers are used for chopping bones. but more common are the stackable bamboo steamers. a strainer with a bamboo basket fo rremoving foods from boiling water or stock. a strainer with a brass or steel basket to remove foods from hot oil. Cleavers The oriental cleaver is a very verstile instrument . Rice Cooker If you are cooking rice often. used to transfer liquids to and from the wok. slicing and carving. Hand Held Blender or Small Food Processor Most South East Asian dishes require considerable fine chopping .then dried and oiled before storing. Perfect rice very time. Wok Tools The most important wok tool is the long handled shovel-shaved scoop used to stir fry.a hand held blender with a mincer/chopper attachment or a small food processor will cut your preparation time in half. a rack which sits on the side of the wok for draining fried foods. and are often used as serving dishes. Ingredients . heavier. glazed on the inside but unglazed on the outside are used for baking or stewing.

use canned coconut milk with no dilution. Use the proportions given in the recipe of onion. Relishes and Spices for the appropriate country. I would recommend that you buy fresh whole spices and grind them yourself in a spice or coffee grinder rather than buy pre-ground spices. This is the recommended process if you are cooking curries daily. but the pastes have a limited shelf life. should be refrigerated after preparation. Stored in an air-tight container in a dry place. If you can't. Coconut Milk When coconut milk is specified in the recipe. Alternately. When making curry. the first part of most recipes calls for you to put about 1/2 cup of coconut milk in a pan and heat it up. lemon grass. If you are only cooking them from time to time it is more convenient to make up curry powders in advance and add the fresh ingredients at cooking time. shallots. of course. garlic. refer to a recipe for a red curry of pork or chicken in the Thai recipe section. curry powders will keep for a couple of months before their flavors start to decline. Open the can and skim the top cream off and . Chili Paste The chili paste referred to in the recipes can be made at home by grinding fresh chilies in a mortar and pestle or food processor. recipes for which are given in the section on Sauces. galangal. coriander leaves and curry powder to make your paste. but be sure it contains only chilies (with a little salt and vinegar as above). the color of the finished product may not live up to the name of the recipe. They will keep for a week or two. to make Thai red curry paste. Obviously the color of the paste will depend on the color of the chilies used to make it. If you would prefer to make pastes. refer to a recipe for the appropriate curry in my Thai sauce pages . It is VERY important that you not shake the can first.for instance. A little salt and vinegar may be added to thin the mixture slightly. chili paste. Use red chili paste in a red curry and green chili paste in a green curry if you can.Curry Pastes and Powders Southeast Asian curries are normally based on curry pastes which are made from a variety of fresh and dried ingredients ground together in a mortar and pestle. you may buy a prepared chili paste. Pastes. don't worry.ginger. All the recipes given here are based on curry powders. but the taste will be pretty much the same.

METHOD OF COOKING ASIAN COOKING METHODS Stir-frying The most common acknowledged cooking method in the Far East involving quick cooking of small cuts over high heat. She takes the seed covered with the flesh and covers it with a mixture of sugar and dried red pepper. and soak in 1/2 cupwarm water for 10 minutes. If your recipe doesn't specify. One of my favorites. There are a few types of Tamarind available. Tamarind Liquid The Tamarind Liquid referred to in the recipes can be made as follows. sweet tamarind. you can cut it with a little salt or fish sauce. If the recipe is too sweet. If you have access to fresh. but the concentrate tends to be very dark in color. Then add the curry paste/powder. which can adversely affect the color ofthe dish. Knead and rub with your fingers until the pulp dissolves. Some recipes call for sweet tamarind and others call for the bitter types. Take 3 tablespoons of tamarind pulp.heat it until you see the oils starting to separate. My wife prefers the bitter type. it can be eated by breaking open the shell and eating the soft flesh. Tamarind liquid may also be made from concentrate by soaking 1tablespoon of concentrate in 1/2 cup warm water. use the sweet type. Generally little oil is necessary and it can be . Strain the liquid to remove the seeds and fibers.

The goods are then coated with flour and deep-fried until cooked. sauces and seasonings have to be in reach since the cooking time is greatly reduced. It is however more dangerous than using a commercially available electric fryer. The sauce is then prepared and poured over the meat just before serving. Deep-frying This cooking method is not only used for frying spring rolls or crackers but in some dishes also to give meats and seafood a outer crunchy coat. . When it starts right away to generate bubbles it is time to cook.totally eliminated when using non stick woks or pans. Preparation is the key in preparing Asian stirfries. The beauty of this cooking method is that most vitamins and minerals but also textures will stay intact. The result will be identical whatever way of cooking you prefer. If not enough oil is used the temperature will drop and will result in a soggy and oily product. Common woks are designed to be used with an open flame only. When cooking on electric ovens it is important that the base of the pan has a suitable contact surface to distribute the heat evenly and economically. If you follow the chefs you might want to deep-fry in a wok. All ingredients. Test the temperature by simply dipping a wooden spoon inside the oil. Deep-frying is done “swimming” which means that the food must be able to float in the oil while cooking.

While there are very useful and decorative baskets available in Asian markets.If large pieces of food are to be cooked. Steaming Another healthy way of preparing Asian food is the use of Steam. Some curries in Asia are calling for meats with more connective tissue such as the shank of beef or chicken legs. It is very interesting to see what attractive food is produced by creative chefs that way. Other Asian cuisines make also use of this nutritional valuable cooking method. They used to be simmered in earthen pots over low heat charcoal flames but in our days your kitchen will do just fine. the temperature of the oil should be lower. In Asia. steaming can be done in almost any large pot. seafood and vegetarian delights. Therefore it is worthwhile the wait until it has reached the point of tenderness. Stewing Some meat cuts require longer cooking times than others. When simmered for longer periods of time the liquid in which it is cooked gains richness and flavour. This calls sometimes for stewing meats. Dim Sum is served and contains all kind of meats. . A popular variety of steamed food can be found in Chinese restaurants during lunch. chefs prepare generally every part of an animal into food.

. Blanching This method describes pre-cooking of items before they can be used as ingredient in recipes. In a large saucepan bring water to the boil.Roasting Classical examples of roasting food in Asian kitchens is the preparation of Indian dishes such as Tandoori Chicken or the Chinese Peking Duck. Dip food into boiling water for a few seconds and remove immediately. This ensures nit only a fast cooking time but also a juicy centre and crisp outside. Vegetables are then generally placed directly into ice water to preserve their natural colours. If you cook Asian food do not add any seasoning while in Western cooking salt can be added. Generally the ovens used are large and generate a high temperature.

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