We all need the opportunity to shake things up in the kitchen. Whether you are looking to make a great meal at home without relying on your usual recipes or you want to expand your palate somewhat, oriental cooking is one of the best ways to spice things up and add a wide array of flavours. But getting into oriental and Asian cooking is not just about getting a wok out of the cupboard. What are the best ways to acquire a taste for this wonderful flavour?
Appreciate The Art
Sushi chefs train for years, and while this doesn’t mean you have to set aside a couple of decades, you’ve got to truly get under the skin of the creators of this fine food. Getting into the character of Cambodian cuisine, Thai cuisine, and any approach from the Far East can mean going traditional or expanding your palate. You could get yourself a collection of Japanese kitchen knives and utensils to get into the character but this is only half the battle. Learning to appreciate the culture behind the cookery is just as important. You can start by going to many different food blogs. There are some fantastic Japanese food blogs out there to get you started.
Look At The Larder
When you start to get into what makes Asian cuisine what it is, it boils down to a handful of the usual suspects. We’re talking about things like ginger and chilli. But it’s also important to remember your larder needs oyster sauce and soy sauce. When you start to look at the key components of what Asian cuisine is, it’s never too complicated. It usually is a handful of spices, vegetables, your meat of choice and, of course, noodles. The great thing about putting an Asian meal together is that it doesn’t necessarily take long. Get experimenting with it!
Put The Flavours Together In Harmony
Many cultures focus on an overriding flavour such as salty or sweet. Asian flavours tend to balance all of these in harmony. When you start to get rid of your preconceptions of what an overriding flavour should be, this can put you on an incredible journey with your palate. Think about a strong base, especially when you’re making noodle dishes. The strong flavour from the broth, which you can throw pretty much anything into, will take your taste buds on a journey. Once we start to get rid of our ideas of westernised and standard cuisine this means we can get a better feel for the food.
As with any culture, oriental or Asian cooking is such a diverse beast. The best thing you can do to get yourself started is to slowly accumulate a handful of recipes. Get yourself out to your local restaurants and take the opportunity to appreciate not just the food but the approach behind it. Arguably, it’s one of the most diverse areas of cooking in the entire world and if you want to start putting more oriental flavours into your cooking it will change your life.