One of the secrets to Asian cooking, outside of Asia, is that the freshest, most authentic Japanese ingredients are used to make the best meals possible. Thai foods are known worldwide for their diversity of ingredients, complex flavours, delicate and intricate spiciness and fabulous fragrance. In this regard, there are plenty of similarities between Thai and Japanese cuisines and many Thai and Japanese restaurants get business based on their food’s aroma alone.
In cities such as New York, London, and Frankfurt, Asian food is incredibly popular and is only growing. Weekend workshops in all major cities in the western world are available to those who want to learn how to make the most popular Asian foods. What most of these workshops lack is high quality, authentic ingredients!
Thai and Japanese foods, while distinctly different, do share many of the same fresh herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables that simply aren’t grown in the western world, and to find these ingredients isn’t easy. The ‘international foods’ aisles in most supermarkets will stock the basics, but can’t possibly stock all the specialty items found in an Asian shop or Asian supermarket. After all, it isn’t economically feasible for major supermarket chains to supply many of the ingredients, when so few cooks know how to use them, but they are essential to true Thai and Japanese cuisine. To please your guests use the best.
The Thai ingredients most difficult to find in supermarket aisles are Betel nut and leaf, Acacia leaf, Galangal, Kaffir lime leaves, Chinese chives, Thai grown basil, turmeric, garlic, and lemongrass to name just a few. To make foods like Pad Thai, an incredibly flavourful and popular dish, dried shrimp, rice sticks, authentic herbs and spices and sauces are necessary. Substituting real Asian ingredients will leave the chef with subpar results.
To impress dinner guests with your abilities and knowledge of international cuisine, use some authentic Asian ingredients found in a Japanese supermarket, local Asian food shop or order your ingredients online. The best ingredients can be found easily, along with recipes for dishes like Pad Thai, fried rice, green curry and more by shopping online.
Setting up a nice Japanese or Thai dinner party takes some effort. After creating a relaxing ambience with candles, soft Japanese music and a few simple touches of Asian décor, impress guests with your skills in the kitchen. Better yet, get them involved in the cooking process by teaching them about authentic Asian cuisine. Use sushi mats and your own homemade ingredients to help guests make their own sushi rolls. Be sure to set out dishes of fish sauce and other genuine Asian sauces and condiments. Guests are sure to have a memorable evening and their newly learned skills can be used for years to come.
Be sure to follow the links throughout this blog to restock your cupboards with the authentic flavours of Asia.