Back to Basics: Asian Cuisine
Bee Yinn Low is the author of RasaMalaysia.com, a food blog dedicated to all things Asian cuisine, with more than 400 recipes. Like the country it represents in its name, it features a diverse set of cuisines, from Chinese to Japanese, Indian to Thai, and of course, Malaysian. Low is also the author of Easy Chinese Recipes, currently the number one Chinese cookbook on Amazon. Low recently had the chance to take time out of her busy schedule to sit down with us; here's what she had to say.
What inspired you to create a blog about Asian cuisine?
I love Asian cuisine, from Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian to Japanese and Thai. Every country is so different and its cuisine and taste structure is iconic and distinct only to that country. I wanted to share my passion and love for Asian cuisines with my readers.
Do you have a favorite dish that you like to cook, and why?
My favorite dish to cook at the moment is shrimp fried rice. It’s so easy to make, delicious, and filling. I make it for lunch during busy weekdays.
How do you see Asian cuisine affecting mainstream American home cooking in the next 10 years?
Asian cuisine is going to affect mainstream American home cooking in a big way, as more and more Americans discover delicious and colorful Asian cuisine through media, traveling, or just by dining out. Celebrity chefs are embracing Asian cooking techniques and ingredients more than ever, grocery stores are eagerly stocking up their Asian ingredient aisles, major food companies are now rolling out Asian product lines — some clear indications that this country is going through an Asian cooking boom. I am personally very excited about it as more and more Americans will learn Asian cooking.
For someone who is trying out Asian cooking for the first time, what are some pantry staples that you would recommend having on hand?
Soy sauce is a must. It’s used in all major Asian cuisines: Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, as well as southeast Asian cuisines such as Malaysian, Thai, and Indonesian. You can’t go wrong with a good soy sauce. It’s so versatile. Rice is another must-have; you can’t have an Asian meal without rice. I would also have a good chile sauce in the pantry — favorites such as Sriracha or for extra zest, Malaysian Lingham hot sauce. (Photo courtesy of Veer/Kia Cheng Boon)