Grab hold of your chopsticks, because this week at Feaston we have a spectacular line up of Asian-inspired dishes.
What makes these dishes so special? Well, unlike trying to break into some other cuisines, Asian dishes can usually be made with what’s already in your kitchen. Rice, noodles, eggs … it’s all in there, right? You don’t really need super-fancy herbs or expensive tools. Just a few tricks up your sleeve and a good recipe.
That said, it occurred to us that you might be interested in stocking an Asian pantry — sort of the boxed spaghetti and jarred tomato sauce of the Orient. Well, beyond the basics mentioned above, we figure this is what you need:
- Vegetable or stir fry oil — pretty much anything that’s not olive oil. I know — sacrilege! But stir fries and other dishes have to cook at a really high heat to get done fast, and olive oil just can’t stand up to the pressure. It’s okay, though. Even our kitchen favorites need a night off now and then. Vegetable oil is probably the cheapest option, but peanut oil gives off a distinctive taste. Grapeseed oil and canola oil are your best bet if you’re looking for similar health benefits to olive oil.
- Sriracha — even if you don’t think you like hot sauce or spicy food, this bottle has some amazing flavor. It’s made from sun-ripened chiles, so it’s not jalapeno hot. Seriously. Get some and try it — even if only a little bit. You will thank us later.
- Ground ginger — hit a piece of fish with a little ginger, and you’re halfway to a super Asian-inspired meal. Also good on beef and chicken — it’s a fantastic little spice that really makes a meal.
- Sesame seeds — while you’re already in the spice aisle, pick these guys up too. They’re good as a topping on fish and chicken, and can be sprinkled throughout a dish to give it a little something something.
- Apple cider vinegar — alright, so we have a thing about vinegars here. But they are cheap (seriously – $1!) and can dramatically impact the flavor of your food. We like apple cider for Asian fare, because it has that sorta sweet and really sour thing going for it. Try it in place of rice wine vinegar in any recipe — you won’t be sorry!
- Soy sauce — duh. Get the reduced sodium. Your heart will thank you.
So now you know what we’re cooking with — but what are we cooking? I’m so glad you asked.
This week at Feaston:
Vegetable Fried Rice is so easy to make, you might never call for takeout again
Shrimp Pad Thai is exotic and earthy, yet uses some really familiar ingredients
and Brown Sugar and Ginger Salmon with Asian broccoli slaw is a meal so flavorful and pretty, you’ll want to serve it on special occasions. But it’s so easy to make, you’ll put it into your steady rotation.
And of course, what’s a little Asian fare without a bottle of sake? Now available at your local liquor store.