KNOWN ACROSS EVERY PART OF THE WORLD FOR ITS BALANCED USE OF FRESH, SEASONAL INGREDIENTS PREPARED WITH EASE, CHINESE COOKING PRODUCES NUTRITIOUS, FLAVOURFUL AND VERY IMPORTANTLY, BEAUTIFUL MEALS.
Though there are so many more methods used, these are some of the most common cooking techniques, each of which highlight the diversity of flavours from fresh ingredients.
STIR-FRYING - IT’S FRY TIME!
Stir-Fry is the ultimate classic Chinese cooking technique and is the most frequently used. It’s quick and easy and infuses all of the delicious flavours. Chinese stir-fry is usually made up of a mix of vegetables, meat and seafood and is then served with rice or noodles. Stir-frying uses a high heat for a short period of time to cook prepared ingredients. It’s important to finely cut your ingredients to ensure they can cook properly.
All it takes to get your stir fry going is a stove top, a wok or pan and a wok spatula, then just follow these simple steps:
• Prepare ingredients – Finely slice or shred ingredients with a sharp knife, ensure they’re all around the same size.
• Heat wok then add a small amount of oil.
• Add meat and/or seafood to the hot wok and stir until seared and semi-cooked then remove from wok and put to the side.
• Add oil if necessary then vegetables and/or tofu to wok and stir through quickly before adding meat and/or seafood back halfway through.
• Season with your favourite LKK sauces or Ready Sauces, stir and serve!
For more on stir fry -click through here to see our blog post – 5 Tips to Master your Next Stir-Fry!
Do you like it crispy? Deep frying requires a lot more oil than a shallow-fry, pan-fry or stir-fry, because the ingredients must be fully submerged. Deep-fried food is usually used to cook raw ingredients, though is sometimes it’s used on partially cooked ingredients when they’re too large to cook all the way through in the deep-frying process.
All you need is a deep saucepan or a deep-fryer, a Chinese scoop strainer and long chopsticks. Super simple! Most deep-fried dishes have small to medium sized ingredients that are seasoned and often coated in corn starch for extra crisp, then cooked in hot oil on a high heat. When the food is cooked, lift and strain it with the scoop strainer and use the chopsticks to serve.
Most Chinese cooking techniques are used in different cuisines all over the world, often with some variation. Chinese braising, however, is uniquely Chinese. Chinese braising, also known as red braising or red stewing and refers to a slow braising technique that produces a meal with a red colour and is most commonly used for tougher cuts of meat.
Chinese braising is characterized by the use of soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, cherry or shoaxing wine and rock sugar, simmered down with a range of spices, often a five-spice powder in water or broth. A quick and simple way is to use Lee Kum Kee Chinese Braising Sauce for a readily perfect blended red stew flavour. This cooking process is done slowly on a low heat and may take up to several hours to fully tenderize the meat. Chinese braising meals are served in their rich red sauce and served hot or cold.
All you need for red cooking is a pot or a slow cooker, patience and time. Most slow cooked Chinese stews use a Chinese braising technique.
Stewing is a tenderizing cooking technique that is chock full of flavour. It’s used to cook larger ingredients including tough cuts of meat that are often cut into cubes or diamonds. Stewing is essentially cooking in a small amount of liquid made up of seasoning and water or broth, then simmering all of the ingredients at a high heat to start, then low simmer for a long time. Even though it’s time consuming, braising is so worth it for the melt-in-your-mouth results.
These three steps will help ease your stewed dishes:
• Browning – Sear the meat on the pan to rend out fat and texturize each mouthful.
• Deglazing – Remove the meat from the pan and add a liquid (broth, water), scrape and stir in the browned bits of food stuck to the pan.
• Stewing – Add meat and vegies to the pan and start braising with the LKK seasonings of your choice.
Steaming food is considered to be one of the healthiest ways to cook and maintains the natural texture and colour of ingredients. Because steaming is a minimal cooking technique, it is used on small or bite sized ingredients (e.g. dumplings) or ingredients that are safe to eat while partially raw (vegetables & fish). Steaming food doesn’t infuse new flavours into the ingredients rather, it retains and enhances the original flavour. Subtlety is what it’s all about.
In Chinese cooking we use often a bamboo steamer over a pot of boiling water. You can stack multiple steamers on top of the others to cook multiple things at a time, placing dishes that require the most cooking on the bottom, and those that need the least on top.
Boiling is certainly the easiest cooking method and it too preserves nutrients and colour in ingredients. It’s mostly used for small and soft ingredients like leafy greens or most vegetables used in soups. Similar to steaming, boiling alone will not infuse your ingredients with other flavours and instead is characterized by it’s brightly coloured freshness.
To boil your ingredients simply wash and cut them and place them in a pot of boiling water or broth till their done. Simple.
Try this method with our Boiled Pork with Garlic and Oyster Sauce
Roasting is a dry cooking method used for many different Chinese meals where food is cooked over an open flame or in an oven. Roasting is used in Chinese cooking mainly for mean like chicken, duck, even whole sheep and whole pig! Of course it’s also great for root and bulb vegetables.
It’s important to season your ingredients before roasting and because roasting removes moisture, so it’s also important to keep basting throughout the roasting process. Don’t forget to sear roasted meat, so the skin is crispy.
Feel like cooking a set and forget kind of meal? Try out Roasted Chicken with XO Saucerecipe:https://au-nz.lkk.com/en/recipes/roasted-chicken-with-xo-sauce
DID YOU KNOW?
While many Chinese dishes use a combination of cooking techniques, we wanted to share a little about one of our favourite combos that’s super easy to achieve and produces outstanding results. Say hello to steam fried dumplings! Simply fry your dumplings in a pan with a table spoon of oil until they’re golden brown on the bottom then pour roughly a cup of water into the pan, cover and cook on low until all the water has evaporated.
Try this with one of our top picks!
Fried Chinese Meat Dumplings
Discover more Lee Kum Kee recipes here!