Benjamin Tan has revealed the secrets to cooking Asian food
Having a well-stocked pantry is the secret to making impressive Asian-inspired dishes at home, according to one of Australia’s top chefs.
In fact, Benjamin Tan, who is the executive chef of Rumblea restaurant at The Star inspired by Southeast Asian cuisine, he always has chili, lemon, lime, palm sugar and ginger on hand.
This is because the key to Asian cooking is balance. He said Seven most dishes incorporate a combination of spicy, salty, sweet or sour flavors.
These flavors are balanced by taste, rather than typical measurements, he explained, so a well-defined palate is a big plus.
“There is no such thing as a completely perfect Asian dish, as there will always be room for a little more, a little more spiciness, salty, sweet or sour,” he said.
Lemon or lime is the best ‘sour’ flavor for spicy food, he said, while palm sugar is the favorite ingredient of Malians when sweetness is needed.
He says that good Asian food is all about balancing sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavors well.
Ginger is a non-negotiable, according to the chef, and should be in every kitchen, as it adds flavor and is also great for the immune system.
Everything is served with chili at Tan’s house, so he and his family can add as much extra spice as they like with an effortless twist.
The chef also discussed other “flavor-boosting” ingredients he likes to use in the kitchen, which are perfect for foodies trying to recreate meals at home.
‘I use mushrooms as a natural booster. Especially dried shitake mushrooms, as they can be ground into a powder to add a natural umami seasoning to a dish,” she said.
Tan has become known for his ability to combine traditional Asian cooking techniques and flavors with contemporary ideas.
‘Rumble is all about mixing the familiar with the strange; taking traditional dishes and breaking them down using fresh local produce to create new flavors,” she said on Instagram.
“I’m so excited to share some of the incredible multicultural dishes I grew up with in a way that I hope will surprise and delight.”
What are Benjamin Tan’s favorite ingredients?