this post is sponsored by P'Nut Street Noodles.
One of the things I always struggle with is cooking Asian food. My stirfries are so "aussie" that basically I feel like they aren't even close to a stirfry. For this reason we eat a lot of Asian food out. Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Malaysian food just defeat me every single time. Working with P'Nut Street Noodles this year I have had the opportunity to work out what I'm doing wrong and get some tips for making my cooking of Asian food better at home.
I checked in with Chef Nut from P'Nut to get some hot tips!
What are the key things to do to make Asian food taste amazing at home?
The secret to creating authentic and flavoursome Asian dishes is using fresh ingredients and Asian herbs. Galangal, ginger, garlic and kaffir lime are my favourite herbs to use to really elevate Asian cooking. At P'Nut we pride ourselves in cooking with sauces that are made from scratch using real Thai spices and fresh produce. Ready-made sauces are not as yummy!
You can get most Asian ingredients from the organic section of supermarket but some of the more unusual ingredients may need to be sourced from a Asian supermarket or Chinatown or Thaitown.
Another important element is cooking with high-heat and cooking quickly to seal all the flavours.
What cooking utensils/equipment do you need?
Important tools for Asian cooking include a wok and high-pressure, high-heat flame. I prefer using the wok for noodle dishes. It's a traditional piece of equipment and you can finish almost anything in a wok - you can even steam things in a steam in wok if you place a basket inside it over water. You also need a mortal and pestle. It makes those curry pastes so much more authentic and releases the juices of those spices. Besides, it is good exercise.
What ingredients are essential for an authentic stir fry?
First of all one needs the essentials of garlic, ginger and all the fresh ingredients to season the wok and release all those aromatics. For me, Oyster sauce without MSG is also a key ingredient for an authentic stir fry, as well as Asian soy sauce, which is Asia’s salt.
At P'Nut there's no wastage as we cook everything to order - fresh ingredients are cooked on high-heat in the wok and then served up to our guests.
What is the best way to make Asian dishes full of flavour at home? And what are the best noodles for strifrying?
The best way to make Asian dishes full of flavour is to use fresh ingredients and herbs, check out your local Asian market for traditional Asian herbs, or come and visit us at P'Nut to try the real deal!
Cook your ingredients fast on a high flame or loses flavour. The veg should still have a bit of crunch to them.
In terms of best noodles for stir-frying, it's all up to personal taste and preference! Rice noodles like in the ones you find in Pad Thai are my favourite - firm texture and easy to cook they go well with most dishes. The best ones are the fresh ones from Chanthaburi in Thailand.
When serving Asian dishes, everything should be placed on table at the same time with rice in the centre - entrees and mains to be enjoyed at the same time. Very efficient! It's also nice to eat together as a family.
So. I took all of Chef Nuts suggestions on board and stole his secret satay stirfry recipe and got cooking! If you want even more authentic Asian food, cooked fresh and amazingly delicious (with a great kids menu!) you should head to P'Nut Street Noodles and try out their range!
P'Nut satay stirfry
- 6-8 long dried red chilies seeded and soaked in warm water
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 shallots
- 2 lemongrass sticks white parts only
- 1 inch galangal
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ tablespoon cumin powder
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 cup dry roasted peanuts unsalted
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp soaked in ¼ cup water for 15 minutes, squeeze the tamarind pulp for juice and discard the pulp
- 1 cup coconut milk
Satay stir Fry:
- 1 kg chicken breast fillets cut into strips preferably free range or protein of choice
- 1 tbs oil
- 1 red capsicum medium cut into chunks
- 2 cup broccoli
- 1 carrot
- ½ cup brown onion
- P’Nut satay sauce
- Crush the peanuts coarsely with mortar and pestle or mini food processor and set aside.
- Chop the spice paste ingredients and blend until fine.
- Heat oil and fry the spice paste until aromatic and spices have released colour.
- Add the peanuts, tamarind juice and water.
- Add brown sugar and coconut milk and stir thoroughly.
- Simmer in low heat while continue stirring for about 3-5 minutes until the peanut sauce turns smooth.
- Heat oil in wok at medium heat.
- Add choice of meat along with vegetables and cook for 3-5 minutes
- Once the protein is cooked, add peanut sauce with some water or stock. Toss for another minute
- Serve with Jasmine rice and sprinkle some crushed peanuts