5 Food Techniques You Need To Learn This Year

Wow everyone this year!

IMAGE Miguel Nacianceno

This new year, make it a goal to do more than just cook in the kitchen. You may already know how to cook a few dishes so it's always a good thing to level up your cooking game. Try these other cooking techniques so that the next time you see a recipe that calls for it, you already know what to do:

Photo by Riell Santos

1 Searing

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You probably already do this, but didn't know it! Searing is the process of quickly browning meat over high heat. This is what you usually do when cooking pork chops. However, if you find that you're cooking dry meats when you attempt to "sear" meats, there is one thing you should know to truly master this technique.

Searing isn't about cooking the meat at all. The purpose of searing is to develop that beautiful golden brown crust on the outside of your food. That golden brown color is the result of a process that creates flavor, so what you're really doing is developing flavor when you sear meats. You can do this with almost every dish that requires you cooking an ingredient in oil. 

Once you've gotten the desired color, you can continue cooking at a lower heat so that you can finally fully cook it through or, in the case of beef, take it off the heat and have the best tasting steak you've ever had. 

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Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

2 Stir Frying

To learn the art of stir-frying, you need to remember three things: size matters, use high heat, and keep stirring. You'll notice all the ingredients in a stir-fry recipe are usually cut in similar sizes so that when it's time to cook, each ingredient as its added cooks at relatively the same time.

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Stir-fried dishes are known to be fast-cooking recipes. That's why high heat is needed but more than that, stir-fried dishes develop a delicious charred flavor as it's cooked and that's exactly what you want.

Since stir frying usually means cooking on high heat, the small sizes of the ingredients means it will burn before you can turn each and every piece. That's why it's called stir-frying, since you'll be stirring almost constantly as the ingredients are added to the wok. Use two cooking utensils as necessary but keeping the food moving as it chars in the wok is the best way to achieve the delicious flavor that you can only get from stir-fried dishes.

 

Photo by Majoy Siason

3 Poaching

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Poaching is the method of cooking where simmering liquid, usually water, is used to cook the food. It can be as complicated as simmering balls of seasoned and pureed chicken in a court bouillon, fish simmering in a flavorful broth, or as simple as a single poached egg.

Poaching an egg is easier than you can think. Take a turn at cooking an egg using the poaching method, with a few tips and tricks to help you through it, and poaching an egg will be easy. The most important thing to remember when poaching eggs is that the fresher the egg, the easier it is to poach it. That's because the egg whites are still attached to the yolk. When it's poached, these whites cling to the yolks, resulting in the perfect sphere of a gently cooked egg white and egg yolk to add on top of your toast.

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Photo by Patrick Martires

4 Steaming

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Another cooking technique you're probably already doing, the steaming method of cooking isn't just for leche flan or vegetables. Steaming is the cooking method of letting hot water vapor, either boiling or simmering water, cook your food.

It's actually the gentler cooking method of all of these techniques. It can result in some of the most delicious dishes you'll ever taste because it's been gently cooked. Delicate fish fillets are best cooked steamed in an aromatic and light sauce to complement its flavor.

 

 

Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

5 Roasting

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The most basic of oven techniques is the roast. You've probably seen it done before but if you've never done it, it's a really easy technique despite how intimidating it may sound.

Two keys to a great roast are dryness and temperature. Dryness refers to the food you're roasting. Whether it's vegetables or a whole chicken or pork loin, blotting off as much moisture as possible from the surface will better guarantee the crispness of the roast. The oven temperature that you'll be roasting is also very important. Many recipes will state a roasting temperature but some will instruct another approach, of preheating the oven to as high a temperature it can reach for the first 30 minutes or so before lowering the temperature to the standard roasting temperature, usually around 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). 

Do these two things and a perfect roast is just an hour away from being on your table.  

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Know other food techniques? Let us know what other cooking and baking techniques you haven't tried yet and are curious to learn about. 

 

 

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