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Can't get the knack of South East Asian cooking, please help!

(16 Posts)
Destinysdaughter Sat 15-Apr-17 20:01:28

I love Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese and Korean food, but whenever I've tried to make them myself at home they've not really worked. I appreciate this is a huge geographical area and each country's cuisine is vastly different, but wondered if anyone had some foolproof recipes or techniques they'd be willing to share with me please?

BiggerBoatNeeded Sat 15-Apr-17 20:06:44

Place marking because my efforts at SE Asian food are also a bit lacklustre despite me loving the flavours etc.

picklemepopcorn Sat 15-Apr-17 20:20:22

I think you must be fussier than me! I make all sorts of stir fry/curry type meals with ginger, garlic, peanut butter, coconut milk, chillis, lemon grass and coriander. It's always delicious. I'm not too worried about authenticity. Fish sauce, lemon/lime juice, soy sauce all add a certain something.

I keep all those in, apart from coriander and lemon grass.
It's an easy quick supper with whatever salad I can find- spring onions, bean sprouts, celery, carrot, spinach even, and rice noodles.

But I'm not fussy about authenticity, sorry! Tasty though!

Destinysdaughter Sat 15-Apr-17 21:12:52

I was in Thailand a few years ago and did a half day cookery course there. The teacher took us to the market to buy the ingredients we made phad Thai, green chicken curry, spring rolls, egg fried rice, it was all delicious but never been able to replicate it at home!

picklemepopcorn Sat 15-Apr-17 22:09:41

Aw, my mouth is watering...
I miss laksa and pandan leaves which you can't get here. Sometimes I think the fresh ingredients just don't travel, the humidity isn't the same, it never tastes as good. I miss satay beef and rojak as well. Can't replicate the satay beef...

ShotsFired Sat 15-Apr-17 22:23:54

Cook on a hot fast gas flame and use a massive wok made of steel or other NOT non-stick (and use metal implements to toss it). Also more oil than you think you should.

Day old, cold basmati rice too, for fried rice.

picklemepopcorn Sun 16-Apr-17 06:25:56

Coconut oil is good!

Wormulonian Sun 16-Apr-17 08:19:07

I would second a big steel wok and really heat up the oil before adding ingredients - use the biggest ring for stir frying. Have all the ingredients chopped and ready before you start to cook and laid out in order of when they go in the wok (can put them on a big round plate clockwise). Buy authentic sauces from an Asian store - not Bart's or Thai Taste etc from the supermarket - they do not taste right.

SuperVeggie Mon 17-Apr-17 14:25:44

Can you really not get pandan leaf in the UK?! I'm currently living in SE Asia and have learnt a fair few dishes while out here, particularly Sri Lankan things, and loads of them have pandan leaf which is in every shop and costs about 5p. I was obviously expecting it to be more expensive back in the uk but didn't realise you couldn't get it anywhere! I might have to rethink my meal plans when I move back...

Try to make curry pastes from scratch if you can as they are loads better, and make your own stock for stuff like pho or laksa. I wouldn't agree with getting sauces from Asian store, I think you need to make everything for it to taste 'proper'. Only sauces would be soy/Tamari/fish sauce etc. Also a friend showed me how to make fried rice and the Thai style actually doesn't use much oil, only a bit to get it started, and then after that if it sticks then add a splash of water or stock rather than more oil. Otherwise it goes heavy and... well, oily.

Destinysdaughter Mon 17-Apr-17 14:27:13

Does anyone have any foolproof recipes?

SuperVeggie Mon 17-Apr-17 14:29:42

Sorry I can't link to it, but the rick stein recipe for pineapple curry is amazing and really easy once you have the ingredients. I'll try to post a picture if it's not online.

hellokittymania Mon 17-Apr-17 14:44:55

I really want to make pho or bun bo but I still don't know how. A lot of the Vietnamese disses seem to be mixing water and oil, not a safe idea to try on my own with a visual impairment. Nui xao bo and bun thit nuong seemed to be made like this. Also is there a very easy recipe for spring rolls? Could I cook the meat before hand? Also I am very hesitant to use very hot oil. What is the safest oil to use?

picklemepopcorn Mon 17-Apr-17 14:45:14

I've not seen it, or laksa leaf. It may be available in big city ethnic stores, but not mainstream at all. I'd guess it's expensive, too. You can't get mangosteen either.

Or durian, luckily!

ShotsFired Tue 18-Apr-17 08:28:05

@hellokittymania Also is there a very easy recipe for spring rolls? Could I cook the meat before hand? Also I am very hesitant to use very hot oil. What is the safest oil to use?

There are about as many recipes as there are spring rolls in this world; but to touch on your concern regarding the hot oil, you can steam spring rolls, rather than fry. I know them as "Popiah" but I think there are variations on that. Very tasty!

hellokittymania Tue 18-Apr-17 10:48:39

Thank you fired. I have a slow cooker that also has a steamer. So I could try those.

MintTpls Tue 18-Apr-17 22:51:23

You need to visit a large Chinese cash n carry type place. Pandan leaves, durian etc all available, sometimes fresh, sometimes frozen.

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