Caroline Trickey shares what you need to create the flavours of Asian cooking at home.
Asian cuisines often delight because they balance five tastes in one meal — sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savoury). Here’s how …
- Sweet comes from sugar, mirin, honey, even coconut cream — and helps control heat or spiciness.
- Sour flavours derive from acidic foods like lemon and lime juice, rice vinegar and tamarind. Their sharpness cuts through fattiness.
- Salty sauces such as fish and soy sauces, and shrimp paste add flavour in combination with a salty taste. Use sparingly!
- Bitter flavours provide a pungent taste when balanced with sweetness, sourness and saltiness. Bitter ingredients include grapefruit, citrus zest, dark greens, garlic, mustard powder, star anise, and arugula.
- Umami balances and ties together the other four, providing deliciousness.
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