Asian Techniques: Cooking In Sauce

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All cuisines have their versions of the stew or casserole, or ingredients cooked in a sauce. In the UK, the most well-known Asian stews are Indian curries. Curries hides the wide variety of types of Indian cookery, differing from region to region where spices are subtly used and adjusted for different ingredients.

In Chine, this is characterised by "red cooking", cooking in a gravy of which soya sauce is an essential ingredient. Red cooking is a unique technique of China. It is a variation on braising, characterised by soy sauce. This gives it a delicious umami based flavour, plus its distinctive rich red colouration. Red cooking is mainly used for cooking larger cuts of meat and whole chicken or duck, but red cooking can also be used for cubed beef, which benefits from the tenderising effect of longer cooking, or oily fish with strong flavours, e.g. mackerel.