Cooking authentic asian food at home

Discussion in 'Food & Wine' started by bennylava, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. HaShev
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    HaShev Gold Member

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    It hard to replicate, because most people don't have the proper condiments and spices. Like Chinese 5 spice, which has to be used liberally. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, Cooking Sherry is often used like in making lo mein. Sesame oil, peanut oil, Oyster sauce, Hoison sauce are also needed in your arsenal not just soy.
    Sugar glazing the searing of the meat to offset the salty soy sauce.
    I make my own sweet and sour or orange sauce instead of jared brands.
    red wine Vinegar-sugar-corn syrup, maybe a drop of red food dye, 1/8-half teaspoon orange extract if making an orange sweet sauce. You can buy tempura battered chicken bits if you donct want to make them from scratch. A good sweet & sour chicken has 'onion, green peppers' (frozen medley ), pineapple chunks, chunks of sweet pickle or even kosher pickle is fine, and I've even seen chunks of tomato to add tang and more texture depth.

    Peanut sauces are easy to make, recipes online. Mainly little soy sauce and peanut butter a sprinkle of ginger powder.
    Tastes great on cold noodles with scallions.

    If you are wondering why you can't get that restaurant taste, perhaps use reused filtered oil from your fryer that has that french fry taste in the oil and fry up your meats and veggies or base your sauces with that.

    *note hopefully by now the 2008 poster has gotten the hang of it....this is for others who still need to know the tricks.
    Chinese food used to be my one obstacle too. The one thing I rarely got right until I realized the things they used (like cooking sherry)that I had no idea were used in making these dishes. Once you incorporate these missing ingredients you'll notice the missing ingredient was the key to that flavor resemblance to your favorite buffet or take out food.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  2. koshergrl
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    koshergrl Diamond Member

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    spices, oils and woks.

    you have to know what they use and where they get it. For example I tried to make fried rice, it was never right...until I figured out they use ginger and chili powder in there (among other things). Made a huge diff.
     
  3. iamwhatiseem
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    iamwhatiseem Gold Member

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    While concurring with HaShev, it depends on what you are calling "good Asian food".
    Most Asian restaurants in America cook Asian dishes much-much different than actual Asian cuisine. Primarily, they take a recipe then add sugar, then add sugar and top it off with sugar.
    Americans love their sugar.
    But like HaShev notes, your pantry has to have Asian spices/oils/vinegars. Hoisin sauce (sweet bean sauce) is irreplaceable with substitutes. You will never get good twice cooked pork without it
     
  4. HaShev
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    HaShev Gold Member

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    I forgot carrots in my sweet and sour dish.
    I like throwing everything in.
    Some of the Cheap Take Outs don't give you anything but the fried battered chicken and sweet and sour sauce, so I have to add stuff like pickles and carrots and pineapple to spruce it up a notch. You should see me at a buffet going tray to tray to add the proper ingredients. I'm always throwing pineapples from the dessert bar and green peppers and onions from other dishes onto my sweet & sour and my sesame chicken or orange chicken.
     
  5. iamwhatiseem
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    iamwhatiseem Gold Member

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    Vegetables? Fruits?? You dare! :D
    Again gotta knock American Chinese buffets...Asians primarily cook/eat vegetables and flavor it with meat...of course here we primarily cook/eat meat and flavor it with rice and pasta. So accordingly that is what they do at the buffets. But I completely agree with you - anything battered in buffets...it is a giant glob of batter...somewhere in there is meat...drowned in some sugary sauce.
    Ugh.
    I'll keep making stir fry at home.
     

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