Asian cui­sine in­spires chefs

Aussies get ad­ven­tur­ous with stir-fried ve­g­ies in the wok

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE -

The most pop­u­lar cook­ing tech­nique for Aus­tralians look­ing to use veg­eta­bles in Asian cui­sine is still the stir-fry ...

THE flavours of some of our near­est neigh­bours are con­tin­u­ing to in­spire Aus­tralian home chefs, with Chi­nese, Thai and In­dian cuisines among the most pop­u­lar op­tions for con­sumers look­ing to ex­pand their cook­ing reper­toire this year. The find­ings of new fresh veg­etable con­sumer re­search from Project Har­vest, com­mis­sioned by Hor­ti­cul­ture In­no­va­tion Aus­tralia, re­flect an on­go­ing ea­ger­ness among a broad cross-sec­tion of Aus­tralians to move be­yond their tra­di­tional cook­ing styles to­wards dishes and flavours that were once deemed “niche” or “ex­otic” by many con­sumers. “Both cur­rently and in terms of fu­ture cook­ing in­tent, the ex­cit­ing flavours and tex­tures of in­ter­na­tional cuisines are re­ally ap­peal­ing to veg­etable con­sumers,” said AUSVEG spokesman Shaun Lindhe. Ac­cord­ing to the re­search, 62% of Aus­tralians plan on cook­ing more Asian cuisines in the next 12 months, com­pared to 35% for Euro­pean cuisines and 17% for Mid­dle East­ern. When shoppers were asked which Asian cuisines they planned to cook, the most com­mon re­sponses were Chi­nese, Thai, In­dian, Viet­namese and Malaysian cuisines. “The most pop­u­lar cook­ing tech­nique for Aus­tralians look­ing to use veg­eta­bles in Asian cui­sine is still the stir-fry – the quick ex­po­sure to in­tense heat helps to un­lock the nat­u­ral flavours of ve­g­ies while still keep­ing their char­ac­ter­is­tic tex­tures,” Mr Lindhe said. “Stir-fry­ing also gives you the full ben­e­fit of the vi­brant colours of fresh pro­duce, which is a big fac­tor for many con­sumers – for ex­am­ple, when you ask shoppers why they buy cap­sicums, the most com­mon re­sponse is ‘to add colour to a meal’.”

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

WOK WON­DERS: Stir-fry­ing’s quick ex­po­sure to in­tense heat helps to un­lock the nat­u­ral flavours of veg­eta­bles, mak­ing it a pop­u­lar cook­ing tech­nique.

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