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April 2017 Archive

Japanese Curry Rice and Indian Curry Rice - What's The Difference?

Japanese Curry Rice and Indian Curry Rice - What's The Difference? Image Source: revealnews.org


The great debate - what is the difference between Japanese Curry Rice and Indian Curry Rice, or is there even a difference at all? The answer is yes, there is quite a big difference between the two, both complimenting the styles of cooking and palates of their cuisines. Let's find out exactly what the difference is between these two types of rice on our supermarket shelves and how we should use them.


Japanese Curry Rice

To start things off, when we say Japanese Curry Rice, we are typically referring to Japonica Rice, which can be found at most supermarkets. This type of rice is classically used in most Asian based meals and belongs in the short grain variety of rice. Japonica rice grains are rounder, thicker and harder compared to rice used in Indian dishes. Japonica rice is also a lot stickier due to the higher content of amylopectin (one of the components of starch). It is recommended that Japonica rice is soaked in water for 30 minutes prior to cooking. Have a look at our Japanese product range to enjoy your own Japanese Curry Rice.

 

Indian Curry Rice

The most traditional type of rice used in Indian curries and dishes is Basmati rice, which is also found in all supermarkets. Basmati rice is typically grown in Northern India and Pakistan, however the U.S also grows some varieties of the rice; however, nothing beats Basmati rice grown in its traditional countries.  When cooking Basmati rice, it is recommended that the rice is soaked for 30 minutes prior to cooking, to ensure that the rice cooks evenly without breaking. Basmati rice goes really well with Indian curries and dishes from our Indian product range.


When it comes down to the main difference between Japanese Curry Rice and Indian Curry Rice, it's all about taste and texture. Basmati is known to be less fragrant than Japonica, and therefore Basmati is usually cooked in combination with aromatic Indian spices and flavours. Whilst Japonica rice is sticky and perfect for Japanese dishes like Sushi or Inari.   

The Art of Rice Paper Rolls

The Art of Rice Paper Rolls Image credit: yuppiechef.com

Rice paper rolls (traditionally known as Gỏi cuốn) are a Vietnamese dish that usually consist of chicken, pork, vegetables and other ingredients wrapped up in rice paper. These Vietnamese rolls are healthy, simple and fun to make and pair beautiful with our dipping sauces.

The best thing about making rice paper rolls, is that the ingredients that go into the roll are completely up to you. To give you a little bit of inspiration, here are a few of our personal favourite combinations when making the rolls:

Chicken: Shredded chicken, shredded cabbage, beansprouts, fresh mint leaves, red capsicum and fresh coriander leaves.

Tuna: Drained tuna, cucumber cut into matchsticks, fresh mint leaves, grated carrot, beansprouts, avocado and vermicelli noodles.

Vegetarian: Shredded iceberg lettuce, beansprouts, grated carrot, cucumber and avocado cut into strips.

We are just getting started with these combinations, so feel free to get creative with it! They also make for the perfect go-to meal when there isn't much left in the fridge - as long as you have some meat or vegetables lying around (and rice paper of course), you're good to go. 


How to Roll

 

The actual rolling of the rice paper rolls is obviously a vital part of the process. The key, is to make sure that they are rolled round and tight, to ensure that the ingredients don't fall out while you're eating them. Follow our four steps for rolling your rice paper roll and you'll be a pro in no time!

Step 1: Fill a bowl with warm water and dip your rice paper into the water for about 3-4 seconds, or until the rice paper becomes moistened with the water. Lay the wet rice paper down and wait for 30 seconds to allow the water to soak up - rolling very wet rice paper will make things a bit difficult!

Step 2: Layer your filling ingredients on the edge of the rice paper closest to you

Step 3: Carefully wrap the edge of the paper closest to you over your ingredients and slowly start to roll away from you, making sure you "tuck" underneath the filling to keep the roll tight

Step 4: After you've rolled your little creation, you can choose to cut it into mini bites, in half, or keep it whole!

Rice paper rolls are even better when you have something to dip them into. Try sweet chilli sauce with lime juice, soy sauce or you can experiment by creating your own Asian dipping sauce. Make sure to check out our Vietnamese range for more of this delicious cuisine.

 


Enjoy! 

The Asian Herb Which Brings Flavour & Health Benefits

The Asian Herb Which Brings Flavour & Health Benefits

Lemongrass is an herb which is packed with many health benefits and endless cooking possibilities. It is a type of grass grown and used in Asian cuisines like Thai and Vietnamese. Like its name suggests, it has a mild citrus flavour and fragrance. It is used in cooking to add flavour in curries, soups and curry pastes. Lemongrass tea is also a popular drink, known for its delicate and citrus flavour which can sooth sore throats and aid digestion.

Nutrition

Lemongrass has many important nutrients and contains a high source of antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties, as well as a strong source of iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Health benefits

Apart from the added depth of flavour lemongrass comes with many health benefits when you include lemongrass in your cooking, some of them include:

  •  Headache relief
  • Calming down the nervous system
  •  Detoxifying the body, especially your liver, pancreas and kidneys
  •  Preventing pimples and acne from developing
  •  Reducing your cholesterol level
  •  Improving your digestive system
How to cook with lemongrass:

It's best to remove all the outer layers of the stalk when cooking with lemongrass, so that you are left with the tender white inner stalk. Some recipes suggest that the lemongrass be bruised to release its flavour. This can be done by lightly crushing the lemongrass stalk with a pestle, meat mallet, or the side of a large knife.

Combine lemongrass with our Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ga Cari) spice paste to create a fresh and creamy curry. If you're in the mood for some heat and lemon infusion, add fresh lemongrass to our Thai Green Curry (Kaang Kiew Wan) or Thai Tom Yum Soup spice pastes.

Storing lemongrass:

You can store fresh lemongrass in a few ways:

  • Fridge: Wrap the lemongrass in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag in the fridge. It can last for 10-14 days. 
  • Freezer: Wash, trim and chop the lemongrass and dry thoroughly before placing it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. It can last between 4-6 months.
  • Pantry: Freeze-dried whole lemongrass can be stored in a cool, dark place if kept wrapped up.

Sauces That Add A Little Heat

Sauces That Add A Little Heat

Image: simplyrecipes


If you love a bowl of fiery soup, or you're the type of person to eat fresh chillies without breaking a sweat, this guide is for you! Here's a list of the best dishes to give your tastebuds a kick.


Indian Vindaloo

Vindaloo curry originated from the Portuguese of Goa who would often have 'Vinha De Alhos' which is meat infused with wine or garlic. Indians eventually adapted this dish by swapping the wine with vinegar and adding a variety of chillies, garlic and spices. Many people enjoy the dish when potatoes are added as well.

To make this dish, simply sauté the Asian Home Gourmet Vindaloo spice paste with onions and add your choice of meat. It is best served with beef but is also excellent with lamb. Spice lovers can amp up the heat by adding 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the paste. Alternatively, you can offset the intensity by adding a spoonful of yogurt alongside the finished meal.

Fun fact: Vindaloo tastes much better the next day. This is because there's more time for the flavours to infuse into the meat.


Thai Green Curry

Curry is a staple dish in Thailand, and is eaten daily in most homes. Green curry is amongst one of the most famous Thai dishes and can be served with chicken or beef over rice. Vegetarians can also enjoy this Thai classic, by replacing the chicken with zucchini, eggplant or tofu.

Our Thai curry paste is made with fresh chillies, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, cilantro root and shrimp paste. The fresh green chilies give our green curry spice paste its vibrant green colour as well as a kick of spice to the palette. Green curry also has a complexity in flavour offering a sweetness which is often not found in red curries, this comes from the addition of palm sugar to balance the flavours.


Szechuan Chilli Ginger Garlic

If you're a fan of Kung Pao chicken, you've got to try our Szechuan Kung Pao Stir Fry! Made with red pepper flakes and dried chillies, it certainly packs a punch! The Szechuan cuisine, originates from the southwestern province of China and is known for its liberal use of garlic and chillies, particularly the Szechuan variety. The traditional combination of chilli, ginger & garlic gives this stir fry spice paste the mark of a true Szechuan base.  

This sauce can be cooked in a variety of dishes which are popular to the region including; Shredded pork, Spicy deep-fried chicken, kung pao chicken and Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry. Whichever you choose, you'll be guaranteed to turn the heat up with our range of Asian inspired cuisines! 

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Recently:

Japanese Curry Rice and Indian Curry Rice - What's The Difference?

Japanese Curry Rice and Indian Curry Rice - What's The Difference?

The great debate - what is the difference between Japanese Curry Rice and Indian Curry Rice, or is there even a difference at all? The answer is yes, there is quite a big difference between the two, both complimenting the styles of cooking and palates of their cuisines. Let's find out exactly what the difference is between these two types of rice on our supermarket shelves and how we should use them.

» Read more

The Art of Rice Paper Rolls

The Art of Rice Paper Rolls

Image credit: yuppiechef.comRice paper rolls (traditionally known as Gỏi cuốn) are a Vietnamese dish that usually consist of chicken, pork, vegetables and other ingredients wrapped up in rice paper. These Vietnamese rolls are healthy, simple and fun to make and...

» Read more

The Asian Herb Which Brings Flavour & Health Benefits

The Asian Herb Which Brings Flavour & Health Benefits

Lemongrass is an herb which is packed with many health benefits and endless cooking possibilities. It is a type of grass grown and used in Asian cuisines like Thai and Vietnamese. Like its name suggests, it has a mild citrus...

» Read more

Sauces That Add A Little Heat

Sauces That Add A Little Heat

Image: simplyrecipesIf you love a bowl of fiery soup, or you're the type of person to eat fresh chillies without breaking a sweat, this guide is for you! Here's a list of the best dishes to give your tastebuds a...

» Read more