Asian cuisine is famous for its fresh ingredients, exotic flavors, and many cooking styles. One of the most important things to remember when cooking Asian dishes is that there are several different types of Asian cuisine, so it’s essential to be knowledgeable about which type you are preparing. Here are four great ingredients to have on hand!
Ginger and Garlic
Ginger and garlic are two of the most versatile ingredients used in Asian cuisine. Ginger is a root with long, thin stems with small leaves at the top. While it’s best known for its medicinal properties, ginger can also be served as an appetizer or side dish to many types of meals like in this khao soi recipe. Garlic is similar to ginger – it’s also very flavorful but isn’t typically eaten alone like ginger because it overwhelms other flavors when combined. Of course, both ingredients should always be fresh!
- Garlic: Adds flavor to meat dishes such as chicken stir fry, fried rice, and beef lo mein; vegetables include green beans & carrots; use raw garlic if you want more taste (i.e., raw garlic for salads).
- Ginger: Usually served as an appetizer or side dish. It can be used in stir fry, fried rice, and soup; vegetables include green beans & carrots. Use either fresh ginger (for taste) or cooked ginger (for fragrance).
Dark Soy Sauce
Dark soy sauce is used for marinating meats, adding color to dishes, and making sauces. You can also substitute it with regular soy sauce if you don’t have dark! Marinate meat in a mixture of salt, sugar, pepper & dark soy sauce before stir-frying or pan-frying; vegetables include green beans & carrots. Take note that the darker the color of your dish will determine how much dark soy sauce should be added since some are more potent than others. If possible, buy low sodium to control the amount being consumed – people often associate salt intake as necessary. Still, they forget other ingredients like MSG, which can sometimes cause illnesses/reactions when consumed too much (i.e., headaches).
Noodles are usually used in stir-fries, fried rice, and soup. They can be made from different ingredients such as wheat flour (ramen), buckwheat (soba), and even green tea powder! There’s no right or wrong answer for noodles, but make sure they aren’t overcooked since this would cause them to lose their firm texture, which is the best part about cooking with noodles.
- Ramen: Cheap noodles that maintain their shape and will crunchy, if not cooked through; vegetables include bok choy & carrots. Just cook according to package instructions, then add oil before serving for added flavor/texture!
- Buckwheat Noodles: Also known as soba, the texture is chewy and firm; vegetables include bok choy & carrots. Just cook according to package instructions, then add oil before serving for added flavor/texture!
- Green Tea Noodles: These noodles are usually cooked with soy sauce, ginger and garlic, so they turn out sweet rather than bland like other noodles; vegetables include green beans & carrots. Just cook according to package instructions, then add oil before serving for added flavor/texture!
Sesame oil is used for adding fragrance to dishes. It adds a nutty flavor that’s very flavorful and goes great on any type of Asian dish – even noodles! Sesame oil can be made of different kinds of sesame seeds, so it varies in taste/smell depending on your purchase brand. Sesame oil can be used on stir-fries, fried rice, and noodles! It adds a great flavor and will transform your Asian dishes into mouth watering feasts for friends and family.
Cooking Asian-style dishes should be easy if you follow these four essentials. If possible, I recommend that you use fresh ginger and garlic then serve with either noodles or rice!