Why is Vietnamese food so dirty

Ingenious list: if you have a few simple products, you will never eat Asian again

With Asian cuisine, we combine exotic ingredients and a taste explosion of spices. Elaborate preparation and cooking utensils that are not used in European cuisine. But with a few basic ingredients you can conjure up many Asian delicacies.

Stefan Leistner, food blogger, cookbook author and specialist in authentic Asian cuisine knows: "Asian cuisine is not as complicated as many think." Together with his wife Heike he runs the food and travel blog asiastreetfood.com.

His most important tip: "Anyone who wants to conjure up authentic Asian dishes on the table, dishes that ideally taste the same as on vacation in Thailand or Vietnam, should value the right ingredients." Finding them is pretty easy.

There is now even a well-stocked Asian market in small towns and, in case of doubt, the Internet offers everything that a fan of Asian cuisine needs. For little money you can put together a small Asian "pantry" here. The good thing is that most ingredients can be stored for months if stored correctly.

12 must-haves for the Asian pantry:

1. Soy sauce

In no case should a light soy sauce be missing. These are needed for most dishes in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisine. There is also a dark soy sauce, with which you can add color to meat and vegetable dishes, but also add depth to their taste.

For those who prefer to cook more Chinese and Southeast Asian, we recommend the sauces from the Lee Kum Kee brand. Kikkoman sauces are a very good choice for Japanese and Korean cuisine.

Here you can find Lee Kum Kee's Soy Sauce on Amazon

You can find soy sauce from Kikkoman on Amazon here

2. Fish sauce

A must! Especially for the Vietnamese cuisine. Don't let the smell put you off. As soon as the sauce is mixed with sugar, garlic, chillies or lime juice for a "nuoc cham", for example, you get a wonderfully aromatic dip. Highly recommended for Vietnamese summer rolls.

3. Oyster sauce

This sauce is made from fresh oysters, which are boiled down together with other ingredients. It is mainly used in Chinese cuisine - especially for marinating meat and vegetable dishes. With the premium oyster sauce from the market leader Lee Kum Kee you are always right here.

Here you can find oyster sauce from Lee Kum Kee on Amazon

4. Miso paste

Made from fermented soybeans, miso paste belongs to the large families of bean pastes used in China, Korea and Japan. With their strong salty umami taste, they give soups, vegetable and meat dishes a great depth of flavor. Excellent products are light miso paste from Miyako from Japan and Doenjang paste from Sempio from Korea.

Here you can find miso paste from Miyako at Bringmeister

Here you can find Doenjang Paste from Sempio on Amazon

5. White rice vinegar

When choosing a white rice vinegar, you should always choose one from Japan. It is used primarily for salads and sweet and sour dishes. We swear by Mizkan sushi rice vinegar.

Here you can find Mizkan sushi rice vinegar on Amazon

6. Chili sauce

A chilli sauce gives many dishes the final kick. But it is also often used for dipping - for those who like it spicier.

The Thai chili sauce "Sriracha" - from the city of the same name on the Gulf of Thailand - is one of the best-selling. Recognizable by the rooster or the flying goose in the logo.

For Korean cuisine, you need gochujang, a red chili paste with sticky rice and fermented soybeans. We recommend Sempio's chili paste.

You can find Sriracha sauces on Amazon here

Here you can find chili paste from Sempio on Amazon

7. Coconut milk

There is hardly any Asian kitchen that works without coconut milk. It is indispensable for Thai curries, but desserts are also often prepared with it. Have you ever eaten the sweet and fruity sticky rice with mango? Unthinkable without coconut milk. It is important for many dishes to use milk without an emulsifier - you can tell by this that the solid components in the can settle on top. After many attempts, we decided in favor of DrGoerg products. A German company based in the Philippines.

Here you can find coconut milk from DrGoerg on Amazon

8. Curry paste

Of course you can also make a curry paste yourself, but it is faster with ready-made pastes. As a basis for a creamy curry, these are fried in thick coconut milk and then poured over with a thinner one. The best known and best are the pastes from the Cock Brand brand. They are available as green, red and yellow curry.

Here you can find curry pastes from Cock on Amazon

9. Toasted sesame oil

Many recipes use sesame oil. But sesame oil is not just sesame oil. There is the light sesame oil, which is largely tasteless, and there is the dark sesame oil. The latter is made from toasted sesame seeds. A few drops of it, given over wok dishes shortly before serving, give the dish a wonderfully strong, nutty taste. The brands Diamond or Yeo "s are highly recommended.

Here you can find sesame oil from Diamond on Amazon

Here you can find sesame oil from Yeo's on Amazon

10. Shaoxing rice wine

Shaoxing rice wine is very often used in Chinese cuisine to marinate meat before frying it. It is made from fermented rice and is characterized by a soft, round taste. It is also recommended, for example, to simply rinse raw meat with Shaoxing rice wine before preparation. That improves the taste. When buying, it is best to rely on the recommendation in the Asian market.

11. Jasmine rice

If you want to cook authentically Asian, you can use jasmine rice. You can buy it anywhere. Nevertheless, one should also pay attention to the brand here. The brands Q Rice and Tilda are highly recommended. But you can also ask for the best rice in the Asia market you trust.

Organic quality is available online at Reishunger. This provider specializes in rice and offers a wide range of rice varieties. You can also order sticky rice for desserts or the Laotian cuisine and very good Basmati rice, which with its long grain is mainly used in Indian and Oriental cuisine. Rice in a cooking bag? Unfortunately not possible!

Here you can find jasmine rice from Q Rice on Amazon

Here you can find jasmine rice from Tilda on Amazon

12. Noodles

In addition to rice, noodles are an important source of carbohydrates in Asian cuisine. The selection is huge and sometimes confusing. To start with, a pack of Banh Pho rice noodles in size M, glass noodles, Chinese egg noodles (e.g. Long Life Brand) and, for Japanese cuisine, soba noodles made from buckwheat and the thick udon noodles made from wheat are sufficient.

Now the greengrocer around the corner - many exotic vegetables can be replaced by local ones - a butcher or fishmonger and off you go. More delicious, authentic Asian dishes can be found at Asiastreetfood.com.

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