9 Asian Flavours Spicing Up Kitchens Worldwide
Two-thirds of consumers eat a wider variety of ethnic cuisines now versus five years ago (National Restaurant Association, 2015), in particular foods and ingredients from Asia—everything from sushi, matcha tea to gochujang, fish sauce and ghee. In the November issue of Food Technology Magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), senior associate editor Karen Nachay writes about how Asian flavours are becoming more mainstream and infiltrating restaurants, consumers' kitchens and food products.
- Filipino food
Filipino food which has been influenced by Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian and Spanish is gaining traction. Flavours that are fermented and funky with offerings like banana ketchup, adobo, lumpia and halo-halo (CCD 2015).
Gochujang, fermented chilli paste used in Korean cuisine “hits all the right flavour notes of spicy and savoury,” according to Chris Warsow, the corporate executive chef at Bell Flavors & Fragrances.
- Korean BBQ
Korean BBQ is a method of grilling meat growing in popularity uses a tabletop grill to cook meats served along with garlic, vegetables, and flavorful sauces.
- Asian citrus flavours
Asian citrus flavours such as calamansi lime, a hybrid of mandarin orange and kumquat give the meat a sharp and citrus flavour and can also be used in dressings and sauces.
- Fish sauce
Fish sauce, a popular Asian condiment made with fermented anchovies and salt lends an umami flavour in many different foods such as soups and sauces.
- Region-specific chilli peppers
Region-specific chilli peppers with specific heal levels and flavours add distinction to many dishes. For example, the devour chilli grown in southeast India has a medium heat level and earthy and nutty flavours.
Broths are the base for several Asian dishes like pho, a time intensive dish that involves the cooking of bones, meat and fat along with aromatics.
Ramen, long considered the food of poor college students is now becoming the main entrée at hip ramen shops across the country boasting a variety of broths with noodles.
- Soy sauce
Soy sauce has sweet and smoky components that can be used for curing bacon and other cured meats. It also adds complexity to cookies and cakes, enhances dairy, sweet and cocoa notes in chocolate syrup, helps moderate yeast activity in bread, and can even be used as a topping on vanilla ice cream (Kikkoman).
(Source: Institute of Food Technologists)