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December 2017 Archive

Types of Indonesian Rendang

Types of Indonesian Rendang

Voted #1 on CNN's list of the World's 50 Best Foods, there's no doubt that the Indonesian Rendang, with its blend of rich coconut cream and tangy spices, is a must on every foodie's bucket list. This hot and drier-style curry originated from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia, and is now commonly served across the country, particularly as a celebratory meal.  There are many ways to cook rendang, with dozens of unique flavouring and spice combinations. Here are two of our favourite variations!

 

Rendang Daging

From its humble beginnings, the Rendang Daging is now a classic. Beef is slowly simmered with coconut milk and an aromatic mixture of lemongrass, garlic, ginger, turmeric, galangal and chillies, then left to stew for a few hours. Although beef is what the Rendang Daging is traditionally served with, you can also substitute it with other meat - including chicken, mutton, lamb or even water buffalo.

 

Given that it is a very rich curry, the best way to serve this rendang is with a simpler addition - such as plain steamed-rice. 

 

Rendang Tok

Unlike many other varieties, where chunks of beef are stewed in a rich and spicy sauce, the Rendang Tok from Perak is much drier. The gravy is greatly reduced from prolonged simmering (three to four hours), and the result of this are mouth-watering chunks of meat encased in a flavoursome coat of concentrated spices and condiments.

 

In Rendang Tok, the chillies must be fried before they are blended, and all ingredients should be in a paste form before they are mixed in a big wok. It takes a lot of skill to be able to balance the spices - you can't have too much of a certain ingredient!

 

But don't worry if you can't cook it perfectly the first time around. Easily achieve an authentic taste at home with our spice paste for Indonesian Rendang Curry

Christmas Around Asia

Christmas Around Asia

Source: SBS

It's that time of the year again. Love it or hate it, brace yourself for the dazzling street-lights, the unfaltering proclamations about 'Frosty the Snowman - a jolly happy soul,' and most importantly - the mouth-watering abundance of food. As one of the most celebrated universal holidays, Christmas traditions vary from country to country, and they can be distinguished in unexpected ways. To satisfy your curiosity, we've put together a list of a few different ways Asian countries celebrate the festive season, starting with China.

China

Although Christmas Day is not a public holiday in China, Christmas celebrations are gradually becoming more widespread - particularly in urban areas. Take a stroll through the streets, and you'll find plenty of cellophane-wrapped Christmas apples, and the usual harmonies of Christmas music stemming from commercial shopping malls capitalising on the buzz.

But for most, Christmas is viewed as a 'warm up round' for the all-important, family-oriented Chinese New Year, which usually falls within five weeks of this festive day. As in western culture, it's a day to spend with the family - and a hearty serving of food for lunch or dinner. Instead of roast turkey, you're more likely to see plates of roast barbecued pork and Peking duck. Invited to a Chinese Christmas dinner? Pull your share of a potluck with our spice paste for Cantonese Stir-Fried Rice - an ideal dish to cook in large quantities for an incredible meal!

Vietnam

Vietnam is always looking for a party, and Christmas is the perfect excuse. Head downtown on Christmas Eve with the rest of the locals and prepare yourself for celebratory confetti, magical lights, and super-packed fun. Most sidewalk cafes and restaurants are open for families and friends to enjoy a festive dinner. Influenced by its colonial French past, the Bûche de Noël, a log-shaped chocolate cake, is a popular dessert enjoyed by many.

South Korea

There are more Christians in South Korea than in other Asian countries, and in conjunction with a public holiday, Christmas is a pretty big deal. Santa Harabujee (Grandpa Santa) is popular with the children - except he's often found dressed in blue. Restaurants are busy on Christmas with families and couples reserving tables well in advance.

In Seoul, Christmas buffets are popular - and it's possible to find everything from traditional roasted turkey to sushi and crab legs. Keen to try cooking Korean? We know how difficult is following the instructions on the bottles of products found in most Korean grocers, which is why we've created an easier way! Try some Marinade for Korean BBQ Meat (A spicy dish often referred to as fire meat) or perhaps some Spice Paste for Kimchi Soup to spice up your Christmas dinner.

Japan

Add a Japanese touch to your own Christmas delicacies with our Japanese Tempura Batter Mix which works well with sliced vegetables, and seafood - particularly prawns. Make your own fried tempura chicken, tempura sliced vegetables, tempura seafood, and much more. What's next on the menu? Check out our entire Asian Home Gourmet range for more ideas when it comes to the festive season. 

Hidden Treasures - Japanese Curry

Hidden Treasures - Japanese Curry

Image Credit: Just One Cookbook

While Indian and Thai curries often reign supreme, Japanese curry is more of a discrete national treasure. Japanese curry often differs from its other counterparts - amongst other traits, it's thicker and has a more of a milder flavour. It ranges from mild to hot, and is often cooked alongside potatoes, carrot, onion and various types of meat, which gives the dish its unique flavour which is traditionally sweet.

Often referred to as Curry Rice, this is the perfect go-to meal which doesn't require any pre-planning, and tastes even better the next day!

Curry was first introduced to Japan in the late 1800's, and was originally made as a stew and mixed with curry powder for extra flavour. The dish then evolved and adapted curry to the traditional Japanese version - Kare Raisu, which is the curry we know and love today. Japanese Curry is usually served with rice, and is less spicier than Indian curries which make it more suitable for younger children.

Make Japanese Curry Rice at home with the Asian Home Gourmet Japanese Curry Paste, and you can have this popular dish ready in just minutes! Swap the rice in favour of bread or noodles and add some vegetables to put your own twist on this authentic Japanese dish. 

A Taste of Thailand

A Taste of Thailand

Image Credit: Azmee

Thai cuisine has become a global phenomenon, with restaurants in almost every major city using a complex range of sauces, pastes, rice, vegetables, noodles, and herbs to create a blend of harmonious, distinct and innovative range of dishes. Thai food is unique for its aromatic variety and one-of-a-kind contrast of sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavours which can be seen in its most popular, hearty dishes. Note sure where to start? Keep reading to find out just some of our favourite Thai dishes.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of Thailand's most famous exports - it is a timeless, staple dish which has countless variations and is a perfect example of the flavoursome innovation and variety of Thai cooking. It is a culturally significant dish which is typically created using dried rice noodles, tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic, lime wedges, peanuts and red chilli peppers. It commonly features ingredients such as bean sprouts, garlic chives, shrimp, chicken, crab, squid, and fresh vegetables for a crunch accompaniment. To cook a flavoursome Pad Thai dinner quickly without sacrificing the Thai quality and authenticity, try making yours with our Spice Paste for Thai Pad Thai Noodles.


Pad Thai.jpg

Image Credit: Buddha Original

Som Tam

Som Tam is a spicy green salad made from shredded papaya, and is one of Thailand's best known culinary contribution. The salad has a diverse range of flavours, including saltiness, sour lime, hot chili, savory fish sauce, and sweetness from palm sugar.

In Thailand Som Tam is created by pounding the ingredients with a mortar and pestle to combine the ingredients. This salad has countless variations, sometimes involving a mild sweet and sour dressing, and other times using fermented fish sauce and crab and occasionally even involving freshwater snails!

 

Som Tam.jpg

Image Credit: Zekchia

Gai Pad Med Moung

Gai Pad Med Moung is a highly popular stir fry chicken and cashew nut dish, typically served with roasted cashew nuts, chilli, garlic, soy sauce and honey. This dish can be found in almost any Thai restaurant, and is extremely easy to cook at home when you are short on time but are craving something wholesome.


Gau Med ma moung.jpg

Image Credit: Crazy Dark 1

Khao Pad

Khao Pad, also known as Thai fried rice, is an iconic cuisine which can be served alongside any main dish for extra flavour! Unlike Chinese fried rice which is made with long grain rice, it is made with jasmine rice and usually seasoned with soy, chilli or fish sauce. There are endless variations of Khao Pad, including coconut fried rice, shrimp paste fried rice and pineapple fried rice.


Kao Pad.jpg

Image Credit: Ban Thai Mar Bella


To recreate Thai dishes at home, browse through the selection of flavoursome spice pastes in our Thai range.



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Types of Indonesian Rendang

Types of Indonesian Rendang

Voted #1 on CNN's list of the World's 50 Best Foods, there's no doubt that the Indonesian Rendang, with its blend of rich coconut cream and tangy spices, is a must on every foodie's bucket list. This hot and drier-style...

» Read more

Christmas Around Asia

Christmas Around Asia

Source: SBS It's that time of the year again. Love it or hate it, brace yourself for the dazzling street-lights, the unfaltering proclamations about 'Frosty the Snowman - a jolly happy soul,' and most importantly - the mouth-watering abundance of...

» Read more

Hidden Treasures - Japanese Curry

Hidden Treasures - Japanese Curry

Image Credit: Just One Cookbook While Indian and Thai curries often reign supreme, Japanese curry is more of a discrete national treasure. Japanese curry often differs from its other counterparts - amongst other traits, it's thicker and has a more...

» Read more

A Taste of Thailand

A Taste of Thailand

Image Credit: Azmee Thai cuisine has become a global phenomenon, with restaurants in almost every major city using a complex range of sauces, pastes, rice, vegetables, noodles, and herbs to create a blend of harmonious, distinct and innovative range of...

» Read more