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INTRODUCTION TO

ASIAN CUISINE
By

Bea Caedo

The Evolution of Asian Cuisine


Cooking is of the oldest human
activity and a basic human
survival.
Cooking equipment consists of a
few sticks for skewering meat and
vegetables, leaves for wrapping
and baking, maybe a hot flat rock.

The Evolution of Asian Cuisine


At the next level of society,
subsistence farming, cooking is a
little more complex.
It is in subsistence farming
societies that the regional cuisine
begins to take shape, usually
referred to as a peasant cuisine.

Subsistence Farming

Peasant Cooking

The Evolution of Asian Cuisine


At the next stage of development
of a society, central authority
and trade begin to emerge.
Central authority implies castles
and palaces, a ruling class who
like to indulge their whims and
show off for their neighbors and
subjects.

The Evolution of Asian Cuisine


Trade implies towns and cities,
specialization of labor ,exotic
foodstuffs from far away, and
processed food products.
Taverns appear in the market
place, and food is served,
creating the first restaurant.

Ma Yu Chings Bucket Chicken House, China


Oldest restaurant in the world

The Evolution of Asian Cuisine


Trade implies towns and cities,
specialization of labor ,exotic
foodstuffs from far away, and
processed food products.

The Evolution of Asian Cuisine

The Three Cuisine Areas of Asia


The South West India,
Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma
The North East China, Korea,
Japan
The South East Thailand,
Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore,
Brunei

Presence of Curry

Curries are very important to the cuisines


of the South East and SouthWest, less so
in the cuisine of the North East.

Yogurt based Curry

South Western curries are generally based


on yogurt

Coconut based Curry

South East and North East curries are


generally based on coconut milk

Rice as staple starch in Asia

Jasmine Rice

A long- to medium-grain rice originally from


Southeast Asia (most commonly Thailand, but
also Vietnam and Cambodia).

Basmati Rice

Basmati grows in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India


and Pakistan. Grains stay separate and firm when cooked.
Dehra Dun from India is the most prized of the basmati varieties
and is available at well-stocked South Asian markets.

Japanese/Sushi Rice

A short- to medium-grain rice, the raw grains of sushi rice are


slightly glassy and translucent. Although the grains still separate
when cooked, this rice has a stickier texture in comparison to
long-grain rice. Thats why its often called sticky rice.

Haiga Mai Rice

Haiga is the Japanese word for germ, and this germ rice undergoes a special
milling process that preserves the nutritious germ. Easier to digest than brown
rice and just as flavorful as white, haigamai is a wonderful compromise for those
who want a more nutritious rice but dont like the chewy texture of brown rice.
Haigamai cooks just like white rice.

Bhutanese Red Rice

Bhutanese red rice is a medium-grain rice that is slightly milled so the red of the
outer bran layer is still on the rice in patches. The cooked rice is pale pink with a
soft and slightly clingy texture. Other countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, and
India (Kerala red rice is needle-thin and long like basmati), also produce similar
red rices. Because it is semi-milled, it cooks in about 20 minutes.

Chinese Black Rice

In ancient China, black rice was considered the finest grain, reserved for the Emperor.
Hence its trademarked name of Forbidden Rice (Lotus Foods). Rich in anthocyanins and
antioxidants, this medium-size heirloom rice has a dark purple color and also contains
more vitamin B, niacin, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc than white rice.
Grown in northern China, black rice is traditionally made into congee, but its roasted
nutty taste is delicious in salads and fried rice, too. A whole grain, black rice has a white
kernel underneath the black-colored bran layer. Cook it as you would brown rice.

White Long-Grained Glutinous Rice

At the Asian market, this rice is often sold in bags labeled malagkit, its Tagalog name,
even though the rice most likely comes from Thailand. In the Philippines, malagkit is cooked
in coconut milk, then wrapped in banana leaves. Also a staple in northern Thailand and
Laos, it is served with curries and grilled meats, and in the dessert sticky rice with mango .
Before cooking (steaming is the ideal method), wash the raw rice well and soak it overnight.

Short-Grained Glutinous Rice

Most often sold as Japanese sweet rice (mochi gome), this rice is pounded into flour
for making mochi, the traditional rice cakes eaten at New Year, and an array of
Japanese sweets and confections. When raw, white glutinous rice is opaque and
white. It turns translucent and clumps together after cooking and is slightly nutty
and sweet. Brown sweet rice is also available.

The Evolution of Asian Cuisine


In addition to rice, South
Western cuisines include a
variety of leavened and
unleavened breads

Leavened Bread: Naan / Nan.


Origin: IRAN

Unleavened Bread: Chapati/Roti


Origin: INDIA and PAKISTAN

The Evolution of Asian Cuisine

South East and North East cuisines include rice and egg
noodles.

How to call your noodles


China:
mein, min, mian
Philippines:
pancit
Indonesia:
mi, mei
Japan:
menrui
Korea:
myun
Malaysia: mee
Vietnamese: mi

Chinese Vermicelli/Cellophane Noodle


Origin: CHINA

(also known as Chinese vermicelli, bean threads, bean thread


noodles, crystal noodles, or glass noodles) are a type of transparent
noodle made from starch (mung bean, yam, potato, cassava) and water

Japchae

Korean dish made from sweet potato noodles called


dangmyeon, stir fried in sesame oil and vegetables

Yaw Wun Sen

Thai glass noodle (made of mung bean) salad

Pho Xao

Pho xao is a wok fried flat noodle served with crunchy greens and
a choice of three toppings - tender beef, prawn and chicken or
tofu and mushroom. All are topped with roasted peanuts and fresh
beanshoots. Vietnamese version of Pad Thai.

Udon

Udon is a type of thick wheat flour noodle of Japanese cuisine. Udon is often
served hot as a noodle soup in its simplest form, as kake udon, in a mildly
flavoured broth called kakejiru, which is made of dashi, soy sauce, and
mirin.

In the South West, the


major oil used in frying is
ghee, or clarified butter. In
the South East and North
East, the major oils are
vegetable oils.

Ghee

Oils used in Asia

Oils used in Asia

Spices used in Asian Cuisine


Garlic and ginger are used
in all three cuisine areas,
as are chili peppers,
although chilies are much
more common in the South
West and South East.

Common spices used in Asian Cuisine

Common spices used in Asian Cuisine

Chili in Asia
India is the world's largest
producer, consumer and
exporter of chili peppers.

Hottest Chili in India: Naja Jolokia

The Naja Jolokia has been confirmed by the Guinness World


Records as the most potent pepper on earth. It has a rating of
between 800,000 and 1,000,000 SR. Also called as Ghost Pepper.

This tongue-burner,
also known as the
Naga Morich, Ghost
Pepper, Ghost Chili,
and Bhut Jolokia, is
found mostly in
Northeastern India,
and a few regions in
Bangladesh and Sri
Lanka. Equally as
lethal as its red flesh
are its seeds, which
when ingested can
literally leave one
incapacitated for up
to thirty minutes.

Hottest Chili in SE Asia:


Birds Eye Chili

Has a Scoville index of 50,000-100,000 SR, all you need to do to try this
scorcher is take a short trip to your local Thai restaurant and order any
dish with the word "Prik" in its name.

Flavorings in Asian Cuisine


The North Eastern cuisines
use soy sauce in nearly
everything; the South East
substitutes fish sauce;
there is no equivalent in
South Western cooking.

Flavorings in Asian Cuisine

Flavorings in Asian Cuisine

Flavorings in Asian Cuisine

Flavorings in Asian Cuisine


In the South East, there
are two additional
flavorings that are not
used in the other cuisines
galangal and lemon
grass.

Flavorings in Asian Cuisine

Southeast Asian Cuisine


The original
cuisine of the
South East is
probably the
peasant
cuisine of
Thailand.

Southeast Asian Cuisine


Archaeology has recently
discovered that the metal
working cultures of the central
plain of Thailand date back to
at least 3000 BC, easily in the
same class as the ancient
cultures of China and India.

Southeast Asian Cuisine

The peasant cuisine associated with these early


metal workers spread east across the mountains into
Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and south down the
Malayan peninsula and the island arc of Indonesia.

Southeast Asian Cuisine


As it spread, it was influenced
by ideas coming from the
North East and South West,
and influenced them in return.
Most recently, of course, the
cuisines of Europe have
influenced the native ones.

Southeast Asian Cuisine


Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
were French colonies, Malaysia
was a British Colony, Indonesia
was a Dutch colony. Thailand
was a rarity in that it
successfully resisted European
colonization.

Vietnamese Dishes influenced by French

Malaysian Dish influenced by British

Indonesian Culinary influenced by Dutch

A large meal to be shared amongst a group, rijsttafel (rice table) is


said to be Dutch invention. It consists of rice with many small
dishes of spiced vegetables and meats. Rijsttafel is commonly
seen on the menu of Indonesian restaurants

Spekkoek

The pretty spiced layer cake known as spekkoek is a Dutch-Indonesian


invention. Some believe that this tasty treat is related to the Dutch speculaas
cookies with their similar clove, cinnamon, and ginger flavor. Spekkoek is very
labor intensive to prepare, and therefore is priced quite high in many stores.

Southeast Asian Cuisine


Rice is the staple grain of the
North East and South East
and is only slightly less
important in the South West.

Southeast Asian Cuisine


Curries are a very common
across the region, but less
common in Vietnam where the
Chinese influence is strong.

Southeast Asian Cuisine


The concept probably came
from India and spread east, but
the people of the South East
modified the original by
substituting coconut milk for
yogurt as the basis for the
sauce.

Southeast Asian Cuisine

The cooking utensil called the wok, and the stir fry technique
using vegetable oils came to the area from the China.

Southeast Asian Cuisine


Garlic and ginger are
common all across Eurasia
and probably arrived in
the area at almost the
same time as rice.

Southeast Asian Cuisine


The arrival of chili peppers in
the area can be placed with
relative accuracy. Chili peppers,
indeed all peppers, are native to
the Americas and arrived in the
region with European explorers

Southeast Asian Cuisine


Fish sauce is
probably a local
invention, but the
Romans had a
similar concoction
(liquamen), so it is
possible the idea
was imported.

Southeast Asian Cuisine Spices


There are many spices used in
the region; cinnamon comes
from Sri Lanka, cardamom and
cumin from India, coriander and
star anise from China, cloves,
nutmeg and mace are native.

Southeast Asian Cuisine Spices

Southeast Asian Cuisine Spices

Southeast Asian Cuisine Spices

Southeast Asian Cuisine Herbs


Several herbs are common
in the region, Thai basil,
sweet basil and mint being
the most common.

Southeast Asian Cuisine Herbs

Southeast Asian Cuisine Herbs

Southeast Asian Cuisine Herbs


These herbs grow
almost everywhere
across tropical and
subtropical Eurasia, so,
while the idea of using
them in cooking may
have been imported, the
actual herbs used are
native varieties. This is
especially true of Thai
basil, with its purple
stems and licorice flavor.

Use of citrus fruits in


Southeast Asian Cuisine
Citrus flavors are important to the
regions cuisines, especially lime,
which is native to the islands of
Indonesia and Malaysia. Not just
the juice and pulp are used, but
also the zest and leaves.

Use of citrus fruits in


Southeast Asian Cuisine

Kaffir Lime.
Origin: Indonesia, Malaysia

Use of citrus fruits in


Southeast Asian Cuisine

Kumquat
Origin: China

Use of citrus fruits in


Southeast Asian Cuisine

Pomelo
Origin: Southeast Asia

Use of spices in
Southeast Asian Cuisine
Lemon grass and galangal. These
two flavors are the flavors which
make the cuisines of the region
unique. They are undoubtedly of
local origin, for they are used
nowhere else in the world.

Use of LEMONGRASS in
Southeast Asian Cuisine

Use of GALANGAL in
Southeast Asian Cuisine

Cooking equipment used in


Southeast Asian Cuisine

The wok is the most important piece of cooking equipment in SouthEast


Asia and China

Cooking equipment used in


Southeast Asian Cuisine

Steamers used in SE Asia

Cooking equipment used in


Southeast Asian Cuisine

Claypots used in SE Asia

Cooking equipment used in


Southeast Asian Cuisine

Cleaver used in SE Asia

Cooking equipment used in


Southeast Asian Cuisine

Cleaver used in SE Asia

Cooking equipment used in


Southeast Asian Cuisine

Rice cookers are dominant in SE Asian Cooking

Cooking equipment used in


Southeast Asian Cuisine

Hand Held Blenders or Small Food Processor

Southeast Asian Cuisine


Southeast Asian curries are normally
based on curry pastes which are
made from a variety of fresh and
dried ingredients ground together in
a mortar and pestle. This is the
recommended process if you are
cooking curries daily, but the pastes
have a limited shelf life.

Curry in
Southeast Asian Cuisine

Southeast Asian Cuisine


The chili paste referred to in the
recipes can be made at home by
grinding fresh chilies in a mortar
and pestle or food processor. A
little salt and vinegar may be
added to thin the mixture slightly.

Chili Paste in
Southeast Asian Cuisine

Coconut Milk in
Southeast Asian Cuisine

Tamarind Juice in
Southeast Asian Cuisine

THANK YOU.
THE END.