Sushi, curry, pad thai and dumplings are some of the most recognized dishes of oriental gastronomy
Delving into oriental gastronomy is a reminder of how culture permeates all corners of a continent, from its customs and habits to its beliefs and food. The most subtle gestures of a Japanese tea ceremony are reflected in the delicate beauty of sushi, just as ancient Chinese medicine resembles the comforting sensation of its most typical soups Restaurant.
Asian food has a range of possibilities and flavors from various countries: Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, China and India, among others. However, their proximity has allowed their culinary traditions to share similar ingredients and flavors.
We know how complex it can be to learn about such a broad culinary history, but we are up to the challenge of compacting its main characteristics to give you a general spectrum of oriental gastronomy.
Read on to learn the basics of Asian food, its most traditional recipes, and the foray into its signature flavor: umami, also called the fifth flavor, discovered in Asia.
INGREDIENTS, SPICES AND MOST USED SAUCES
If we wanted to go back to the origin of Asian food, we would have to go back over two millennia of history. That is not our goal, but it is sufficiently revealing data to calculate the complexity of their cuisine and the great evolution they have coined from traditional and, at the same time, advanced techniques.
To begin with, it is a kitchen that is friendly to the harmony of flavors: a crispy skin is accompanied with a creamy sauce and a spicy garnish is bathed in a sweet sauce.
Oriental food owes a large part of its dishes to its fishing and agricultural culture, with a diet based on fish and boiled and fermented vegetables. It is not by chance that rice, seaweed and spices are some of the main elements of Asian cuisine. Here we tell you some of the main ingredients of its gastronomy:
Ginger: perhaps the best-known ingredient on the list, but one of the most important when it comes to Asian food. Its refreshing and spicy notes provide a unique contrast to soups and creams.
Turmeric: the orange and yellow inside this plant is the reason behind the color of curries. It is very similar to ginger root, but its pulp is fresher and moister. It is also essential for the preparation of the famous golden milk of India.
Wasabi: remember that green and spicy dough that they serve next to the sushi? In addition to accompanying the beloved rice rolls, it is also used to marinate raw and steamed fish.
Shitake: these mushrooms can be found in a decaying oak trunk and that is the reason for their name in Japanese: “shi” for tree and “take” for mushroom.
Sesame oil: similar to olive oil, it has hints of hazelnut and its aroma resembles that of a dried fruit. It is common to find it in raw recipes, as a salad vinaigrette or to bathe a fish.
Soy sauce: oily, dark and used as an additive that can replace salt. Soy sauce is one of the most recognized ingredients in Japanese and Chinese food. To prepare it you only need soy, wheat, water and salt.
Black vinegar: it is made from the fermentation of rice. It is generally used in noodle dishes, stir-fried vegetables, and traditional foods such as dumplings.