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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Some Staples I Use For SE Asian Cooking

easy recipe saucesOne of the things that excites me about cooking is to find new ingredients and try to use them creatively. I try to find a good recipe from a good source and note down the ingredients and shop for it at the local Specialty Foods store. I try to read the label (if there is an English translation) and bring home a bunch of them and start experimenting.

I rarely follow a recipe exactly - i try to adjust to my taste... so, my SE Asian cooking is not quite authentic as I don't use fish paste, shrimp paste, oyster sauce and a few other ingredients i have not yet found appealing - just a quirk of mine - makes cooking that much more challenging for me :-)

While it does help to try authentic foods at good restaurants first to get a feel for what the dish should turn out like, i find having a good recipe source helps me just as much. I borrow books from my public library which have nice pictures of not just the finished product, but, pictures at various stages of preparation, and a good description of all the ingredients and what they do in that recipe etc.

here are some of the ingredients i find i cannot cook SE Asian foods without:
  1. tamarind concentrate
  2. sushi vinegar
  3. plain white vinegar
  4. mirin (not pictured)
  5. miso (not pictured)
  6. kecap manis
  7. soy sauce (not pictured)
  8. vegetarian mushroom and oyster sauce
  9. black bean and garlic sauce
  10. sambla oelek(not pictured)
  11. worcestershire sauce (not pictured)
  12. Hoisin sauce (not pictured)
Some of the above ingredients can be made from combining others in the list, but, I find it handy to have these ready to go :-)

More on ingredients for Indian foods later...


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