Cooking is an art and a labour of love. The final product is the outcome of the
painstaking efforts put in by the chef – ungrudgingly, passionately and sincerely.
Mastery of cooking techniques is mandatory. Without the knowledge of these
essentials, it is simply impossible to be a culinary expert, especially in Asian
cooking. The best ingredients prepared in a state-of-the-art-kitchen will not
result in good food if the chef did not use the best cooking practices.
Asian cooking is a complex art as it involves techniques from the Middle-East
to the Far East, each one unique. But Asian or otherwise, the taste of a dish
largely depends on how well the techniques are executed. A firm grounding in
cooking techniques and basic fundamentals is important for every cook, whether
kitchen novices or professional chefs.
Across the world and particularly in Asia, there are similarities between the
techniques used in the various culinary traditions. It is safe to assume that
techniques mastered in a particular cuisine should, by and large, be applicable
to others as well. One merely needs to fine-tune and modify the methods to suit
individual palates and taste buds. Barbecuing, for instance, is a cooking method
that is practically universal. It is popular across Asia, from Mongolia and Japan
to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in Southeast Asia. The difference is only in
the ingredients used.
In this book, I have put together the most common cooking techniques and
recipes in Asia for budding chefs and cooking enthusiasts. I hope you will find
the information useful and enjoy trying out all the recipes in these pages.