For starters, Asian cuisine is composed of some of the most complex dishes in the world. There are many international chefs who have studied extensively on it. Asian-fusion dishes are now a fad. In fact, it has been so popular, you can see Asian-Fusion restaurants wherever you go. These dishes are not just, sweet, salty, savory and a little bit of everything, they are also very delicious and nutritious.
If you consider yourself a home cook trying to get into the Asian-Fusion madness, experimentation is at the tip of your fingers. By experimenting simple ingredients from your own kitchen, you can definitely make a staple of your own. Here are some of the basic yet healthy ingredients that you can use.
Ginger is a root with a pungent heat to it. It has a certain fragrance and a distinctive flavor. It is highly used in soups, dipping sauces and stir fried noodles and rice. You can even use ginger to make one-of-a-kind dessert!
Ginger does not only boast its unique flavor and smell; it is also a topic of many research papers today. Ginger is known to fight off cancer. It is also used to regulate your cholesterol and blood pressure. When it comes to relieving morning sickness and nausea, ginger is the number one home remedy of many pregnant women.
Turmeric also belongs to the ginger family. Turmeric is something you have most likely seen in your kitchen. It is from light to medium brown and when you break or slice it open, you will see a very concentrated and rich dark yellow to orange color. This adds color and flavor to soups and curries. This spice has a very subtle and earthy flavor. Many countries from Southeast Asia use this spice in their dishes. Many local healers use them too. It is known to treat many illnesses including treating indigestion.
It is also used as anti-inflammatory agents by both traditional and modern medicine. The chemical ingredient inside turmeric is called curcumin. You can even purchase curcumin capsules in stores, and they have potent medicinal properties.
Fresh lemongrass is tricky to find in most western supermarkets. What we usually have is a minced-paste version. Lemongrass in most Asian countries is either sold in its original stalk, thinly sliced or finely minced. But if you want to really get the benefits of lemongrass in your dishes, nothing beats the fresh stalks. Aside from it adding some flavor and fragrance on the dish, lemon grass is also used to aid digestive problems.
In fact, lemongrass is a really powerful cleanser against harmful toxins. If you really want to intensify its flavor on the dish, make sure that you peel the outer layers of the stalk and pound it using the back of your knife. When you break it open this way, you will definitely get the best of it.
In Southeast Asia, fish sauce is typically used as one of the most popular condiments in many restaurants. Fish sauce is actually fermented anchovies laid in huge wooden crates. Fish sauce does not necessarily mean they are all fish. Many manufacturers mix it up by adding certain blends such as shrimps and crabs.
Fish sauce is very popular due to its distinctive yet pungent flavor profile. This ingredient is an everyday ingredient to most homes in Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.