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Module 6: Basic Techniques & Modern Conveniences Introduction

This topic discusses the top Asian cooking methods and what diners are looking for in terms of dish types. The data collected from a Unilever Food Solutions study across Southeast Asia shows that these are the top 5 Asian cooking methods, ranked in order of popularity:

  1. Wok/Stir frying
  2. Deep frying
  3. Grilling
  4. Simmering
  5. Braising
1. Wok/Stir frying

1. Wok/Stir frying

This is also known as cha’o and it means to quickly fry the ingredients over a higher heat than what is used in sautéing. Using enough oil to swirl around the hot wok or pan, it can prepare dishes such as stir-fry noodles with vegetables and seafood from Vietnam.

2. Deep frying

2. Deep frying

In Asian cooking, this method is used for frying spring rolls, crackers, and to give meats and seafood a crunchy exterior. Asian chefs deep fry in a wok because there is less mess as the wok’s edges flare out to catch oil droplets. It’s easy to manoeuvre so that the food is moved around and exposed to fresh hot oil. This keeps the oil clean as food particles can be removed from it.

3. Grilling

3. Grilling

Southeast Asian grilling involves cooking food above or below a heat source. The quality of grilled food depends on the amount of fat and size of the cut. In Thailand and some other countries, food is either wrapped in leaves or aluminium foil before grilling. An example of a grilled Asian dish is satay from Malaysia.

4. Simmering

4. Simmering

This is done through placing ingredients in low heat with liquid so that the liquid will develop richness and flavour while the meat becomes tender. An example is sinigang from the Philippines, a meat or seafood soup with vegetables and tamarind.

5. Braising

5. Braising

This is done through a slow-cooking method where the food is first browned in fat then cooked in a small amount of liquid. An example is Chinese-style braised trotters in sweetened vinegar.

Congratulations, you’ve completed the Top Asian Cooking Methods topic!

Continue on to the next topic, pick a related topic from the Basic Techniques & Modern Conveniences module, or go back to the Chefmanship Academy modules page.

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