Herbs and spices are the crux of every Asian meal. If you’re looking to explore Asian cuisine, you better stock your pantry with spices and herbs, so you always have the ingredients to create complex flavors.
Here are some of the most common herbs and spices used in Asian cooking.
Ginger is an essential ingredient in most Chinese dishes. Whether you’re stir-frying vegetables, making a sauce to go with your protein or a soup for a cold winter evening, you’ve got to have ginger in your pot.
Ginger isn’t necessarily spicy but does pack a punch. Adding ginger powder to your sauces or chopped ginger to the wok before your stir-fry your vegetables is the easiest way to infuse flavor into your Chinese dish.
Ginger is the most common Chinese herb for seasoning. It is usually used along with garlic in stir-fried dishes, soups, and sauces.
Not only does ginger help add flavor to your food, but it also has medicinal properties.
Cloves are one of the famous Chinese Five Spice Powder. They are used to add flavor to steamed rice and sauces that are poured onto the beef and chicken.
Like most of the spices used in Asian cuisines, cloves also have numerous medicinal properties. Cloves can help manage diabetes, enhance the immune system, support digestion, even fight cancer.
Cloves also have anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Star Anise
Star anise is another one of the Chinese Five Spice Powder; it’s mostly used in a powdered form.
Star anise may rarely be used in Western cuisine, but it’s a must-have ingredient for Asian cuisines. It has a subtle smoky licorice taste. It’s used to infuse flavor into sauces and soups.
Star anise can be overpowering, so it should be used sparingly.
4. Chinese Cinnamon
Chinese cinnamon comes from the trunks of Cassia trees. It’s a very common ingredient in Asian dishes. It tastes similar to the cinnamon used in the West.
Chinese cinnamon isn’t just used for desserts, teas, and candy, but it’s also used as an ingredient for marinades to add flavor to protein.
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