As you may have noticed, at Let’s Dish! we try to maintain a variety of different cuisines that hold a broad family appeal. Today, I’d like to introduce you to one of our favorites: Asian cuisine.
Asian Food at a Glance (and a side dish recipe for you!):
- Asian food, particularly Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean foods are all about balance. Balancing spicy, sweet, sour, salty and bitter are fundamentals of Asian cooking. You will find lots of unique spices and flavors in Asian cuisines. Some of our favorites here at Let’s Dish in the mid-Atlantic are ginger, lime, chilies, peanuts, and sesame. We try to balance the flavors and influences of Asian cooking, but make it family friendly.
- Asians commonly have a family dinner in which they all share from a main course. Everyone at the table has their own plate with rice or noodles, but the main course is placed in the center of the table for everyone to take what they would like. It is uncommon for plates to be filled with food then given to diners.
- If you have tried our Thai Style Shrimp and Noodles dish (a regular on our monthly menu) you already know that this meal has all of the flavors of great “take out,” while maintaining appeal to adults and kids alike. Adults love that it is healthy and from their own kitchen! Kids love the peanut-y sauce that coats the noodles that are tossed with shrimp and crisp veggies. (As an aside, you will hardly ever find “mushy” veggies in Asian cuisine!)
- A term that you may or may not be familiar with is “Stir Frying.” This is the preferred method of cooking in Asian cultures. Into a hot pan, veggies are tossed and kept moving with a spatula or chopsticks. The veggies are cooked enough just to make hot, while the texture remains crisp, and all vitamins are retained. Sauce is usually added just before the veggies are removed from the pan.
If you are feeling adventurous and would like to give Asian cuisine and Stir Frying a whirl, try this easy side dish. It would go perfectly with the Basil Chicken with Lime or Asian BBQ Pork Wraps from March’s menu!
Â½ pound of carrots
2 TBSP Sesame Oil
1 TBSP Sesame seeds
Slice carrots thin into coins on the diagonal. Heat a large skillet (or wok) over high heat, about 4-5 minutes. Mix carrots with Sesame oil. Toss carrots into hot pan. Keep carrots moving around in pan with a spatula or tongs. Continue to cook about 2-3 minutes, or until carrots begin to soften just around the edges. Remove carrots from pan onto plate or bowl. Squeeze lime juice over top of carrots, and shower with sesame seeds. Toss carrots and serve immediately.
Chef’s Tip: As you are enjoying the carrots, note the sweetness and crunch of the carrots, the bite of the sesame and the tang of the lime.
I hope that you have enjoyed this bit of insight to the Asian family table.