Asian Food Essentials

Asian Sauces
These are the sauces that I have recently used in all my Asian dishes. The combination of these flavors make your dish taste oriental and makes your kitchen smell like a Chinese restaurant. I add about 1 tbsp of soy sauce and equal parts of the rest (1-2 tsp) to beef, pork, or chicken, it doesn’t matter. I have no brand preference. Shown are sesame oil, soy sauce (I prefer low sodium), Worcestershire (not very Asian but I like the smokiness), Hoisin (an Asian BBQ sauce), and rice vinegar.

One of the next essentials is either rice or noodles. Or both.

Here you can see how to cook rice without an automatic rice cooker.

Step 1: Whether it’s a small pot or large one, make sure the dry rice is only 1/3 of the way up or less. When cooked, it expands like crazy.

Step 2: Rinse the rice and pour out the cloudy water a couple times while the rice stays at the bottom. The more you do this, the more starches wash away and causes the rice to be softer and fluffier.

Rice

Step 3: Add enough water to cover over the rice about an inch up or so. The method my mom taught me was to place my index finger tip at the top of the rice. The water level should come to the first line up on your finger (sounds crazy, it really is just about an inch, but that’s what the Asian lady did). Supposedly, it doesn’t matter if you’re cooking 3 or 10 servings, this form of measurement works.

Step 4: Bring the water up to a light boil. Then turn it down to a simmer. If you don’t have a lid, you can just place aluminum foil to cover. Doesn’t have to be too tight.

Rice

Step 5: Check on the rice after about 15 minutes. I carefully fluff it with a fork to see how cooked the bottom is compared to the top. If it seems soggy towards the bottom, leave the cover off and leave on low. If the whole thing seems dry, add a tiny bit more water, cover, and continue to cook on low. This seems tedious, but without an automatic cooker, different stove tops and burners changes everything.

Rice

The next essential is meat of choice. I’ve tried these sauces with beef, pork, and chicken. All equally delicious when you sauté it with garlic, onions, and vegetables. Probably also great with fish. In this case, I finely sliced beef and chose to side it with sautéed spinach and garlic.

Stir fry beefBeef rice and spinach

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