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论老子

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Stir-fried Garlic, Onions and dried Prawn (GOP)  

2014-05-14 17:14:36|  分类: Fusion Cooking |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Background: In Chinese (and Asean) cooking, the first step is to stir-fried garlic and onions/shallots to produce a strong aroma and then use it enhance the flavor of the main dish. In South-east Asian, the Chinese people add in dried prawns to give it an additional rich aroma of dried prawn. The Malays and Indonesians (of late, the overseas Asean Chinese) love to add belachan (a formed of salty, semi-fermented prawns, whether added while in paste form or dried over low heat) to give it a much stronger aroma.

Challenges: Though garlic, shallots (or small purplish Rose onion) and dried prawns are often fried in cooking oil to produce a strong aroma of garlic, shallots and dried prawns. However, few people realized there are two pit-falls of using cooking oil to achieve the above purpose.

1) Frying at temperature near to 180 degrees Celsius for several minutes will burn the garlic, onions/shallots and dried prawns. Often, we can tell the blackish color of any fried food stuff as burnt, which in turn often tastes awful.

2) Frying garlic, onions/shallot and dried prawn sufficiently and not over-fried is not an easy process. Should the temperature of the cooking oil is near to 180 degrees Celsius the aroma of these ingredients is totally lost in the air, evaporated as vapor. A good example is the frying of belachan (half-fermented, dried prawns) where the neighbors would complain of the stinky smell of belachan swarming over to the neighbor’s home.

My brilliant idea (as a result of careful experimentations):

1) Do not use belachan because of its foul smell. Use dried prawns instead.

2) Roast the dried prawns and grind them into powder for two reasons. One, in powder form, it is quick and easy to achieve the desired aroma of dried prawns, say, one minutes (powder form) instead of ten minutes (whole dried prawn). Two, most economical; consume 1/5 less dried prawns.       

3) Retain as much of the essences of aroma produced by the oil-fried garlic, shallot and dried prawn powder by way of using low heat, thereby, ensuring no or little lost through evaporation. However, it would take much longer to stir-fry in order to compensate for the lower temperature.      

4) The cooking oil must cover the minced garlic and onions/shallot in order to provide a nice blanket to prevent the aroma of the contents from evaporating off into the air.

5) If you notice the garlic or onion is blackish in color, it means the ingredients are completely burnt, which means, there is no moisture left. Important note: If there is no moisture all the good aroma would be lost.

Ingredients: Garlic (250 grams), onions/shallots (250 grams), dried prawn powder (50 grams) and dried shrimp powder (50 grams). Note: Indian Rose small onion is much better than shallots.

Procedure:

Section one: Stir-fry garlic, onions and dried prawn powder

Step 1)      Minced both garlic and shallots. Note: It is alright to use the electric chopper. 

Aroma-enriched base-stock paste - 行天之道 - 论老子

Step 2) Pour the above mixture into the frying pot. Add in about 500 cc of cooking oil. Ensure there is sufficient level of cooking oil to ensure all the minced garlic and shallots are submerged in oil. Note:  This is to ensure the aroma produced later shall not evaporate into the air. By the way, the excess cooking oil can be re-used later for other cooking without worrying it is not safe because low heat is used throughout the cooking process.

Aroma-enriched base-stock paste - 行天之道 - 论老子 

step 3: When the garlic and shallots had turned (very) light brown in color, add in the dried prawn powder. Please refer to Roast dried prawn and grind into powder.

Aroma-enriched base-stock paste - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Step 4) Use a wooden spatula to mix the ingredients, thoroughly. Continue frying for another five to ten minutes.  

Step 5)  The preparation of the aroma-enriched GOP base-stock is completed. Switch off the power supply. Scoop up the excess cooking oil.

Aroma-enriched base-stock paste - 行天之道 - 论老子  

Finished product:           

As above. Ignore the excess oil.

Applications:

Example 1) Add oil into the frying pan and then add a dozen grains of salt. Scoop up a tea-spoon full of the above GOP paste and stir-mix it with the oil in the frying pan. Switch on the frying pan to heat up the oil. Note: Medium-high heat is preferred. At higher temperature, the aroma of the GOP paste would be lost.

Example 2) Use it as a base-stock in the making of XO chili sauce. Please refer to XO chili sauce – New creative fusion style

GOP base-stock (stir-fried Garlic, Onions and dried Prawn) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 

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