Basic Chinese Pantry. Cornflour and Curry Paste

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curry_paste_2cBy the article "Basic Chinese Pantry. Bean Curd" we began a series of articles about Chinese Pantry. Here is the next text on this topic. It's about such products as Cornflour (can help make quick sauces that are light and which barely coat the food) and Curry Paste (Chinese like to use them more in the French style, achieving the fragrant aroma of curry but avoiding the overwhelming pungent spiciness which the Indians and Thais prefer).


Cornflour

In China and Asia many different flours and types of starch, such as water chestnut powder, taro starch and arrowroot, are used to bind cornflour_cand thicken sauces and to make batter. Traditional cooks used a bean flour because it thickened faster and held longer. Cornflour can help make quick sauces that are light and which barely coat the food so that it is never swimming in thick sauce. Added to a marinade, cornflour helps it to coat the food properly and gives the finished dish a velvety texture. It also protects food during deep-frying by helping to seal in the juices and produces a crisper coating than flour. It is used as a binder for minced stuffings too. When using cornflour in a sauce, first blend it with cold water until it forms a smooth paste and add it to the sauce at the last moment. It will look milky at first, but as the sauce cooks and thickens it turns clear and shiny.

Curry paste

Curry flavours have been widely adopted by Chinese cooks. However, the Chinese like to use them more in the French style, achieving curry_paste_cthe fragrant aroma of curry but avoiding the overwhelming pungent spiciness which the Indians and Thais prefer. The most frequently used curry flavouring takes the form of prepared paste in which spices are mixed with oil and chillies. It has a better taste than the powdered variety. Be sure to get the Indian curry paste, often labelled 'Madras', which is generally the best. You can find it at some supermarkets and at many Chinese grocers'. If stored in the refrigerator after opening, curry paste keeps indefinitely.



Read also:

Basic Chinese Pantry. Black Beans and Chinese White Cabbage

Basic Chinese Pantry. Bean Curd

Basic Chinese Pantry. Chillies

Basic Chinese Pantry. Coconut Milk and Coriander, Chinese Parsley or Cilantro

Basic Chinese Pantry. Five-spice Powder and Garlic

Basic Chinese Pantry. Ginger and Mange-tout

Basic Chinese Pantry. Chinese Dried Mushrooms

Basic Chinese Pantry. Noodles/Pasta

Basic Chinese Pantry. Oils

Basic Chinese Pantry. Oyster Sauce and Rice

Basic Chinese Pantry. Chinese Rice Wine and Thick Sauces and Pastes

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