8 Unique Cooking Methods Only True Foodies Will Know
Salt, fat, acid and heat are the basic elements when it comes to food preparation. But it is how you use these elements to bring out the best flavours that is a true artform. We’ve compiled a list of unique cooking methods that are gamechangers in the culinary world.
P.S. Only a true food connoisseur will know all these cooking methods.
Sous-vide, which translates to ‘under vacuum’ in French, is a term that has recently surfaced in the culinary world. It is a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch and cooked in a water bath at a regulated temperature, to ensure that the food item is cooked evenly. When done correctly, the dish will be properly cooked on the inside without overcooking the outside and still maintains the perfect moisture level.
Enjoy these egg-cellent eggs at just $7.
This is exactly what Joe & Dough has done with their 63° sous vide truffled eggs. Indulge in their perfectly soft and silky eggs in umami-rich dashi stock with lumpfish roe, sakura ebi and a dash of truffle oil. Savour every last drop and sop up all that flavoured goodness with multigrain bread that’s toasted with thyme-garlic butter.
2. Air & Foam
Molecular gastronomy is a culinary term that has been cropping up in recent years. One of the more popular techniques of molecular gastronomy is to incorporate the use of air and foam to change up the composition of a dish in order to create new flavours and a unique mouthfeel. Preludio does a fantastic job at this with these two dishes – Elude and Allude.
From left, Elude and Allude. Though similar-looking, these two dishes taste completely different, giving customers a sense of déjà vu.
Elude is a dish with roasted beetroot, burrata cheese and walnut crumble, covered with yoghurt foam and finished with Sturia Primeur Caviar. Allude, on the other hand, is a dish made with fermented mushroom, roasted bone marrow and preserved lemon, covered in potato and mushroom foam, and topped with Oscietra Caviar.
This technique gives the dishes a specific texture that’s creamy but not too rich. Try these two fantastic dishes from Preludio’s dinner menu.
3. Dry Aging
Treat your tastebuds to tender, mouthwatering beef that bursts with umami-rich juices when you try dry-aged beef. This highly precise technique is used by chefs worldwide to kick the flavour profile of their steaks up several notches.
Raw beef is left to mature in a room between 0 and 3°C with a humidity level of around 85% for a period of 14 to 28 days. During this time period, natural enzymes in the meat break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates to produce amino acids such as glutamate, which gives it that umami flavour.
Confit has its origins from an ancient method of preserving meat in which it’s salted and slowly cooked in its own fat. The three key elements of confit include the salt cure, the fat and slow cooking.
Duck is one of the most common meats prepared using this technique.
Now this might sound like deep-fat frying. But the main difference is in the temperature. Deep-fat frying takes place at around 160 to 230°C whereas confit takes place at around 90°C or even lower. This allows the meat to cook without losing moisture or flavour. Each bite is guaranteed to be crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside!
When you think of Indian food, the tandoor comes to mind. This traditional charcoal oven gives your favourite naan and tandoori its distinct flavour. Temperatures in the tandoor can reach up to 480°C so not just anyone can cook with one. It requires a specialised skill set to operate this unique oven.
This delectable spread is perfect for sharing.
Luckily for us, we still get to savour delicious food that’s cooked in a tandoor with the tandoori platter from Prata Wala. Have your freshly baked naan with pudina tikka, malai tikka and chicken tikka that has just the right amount of char marks thanks to the tandoor. Check out their delicious spread and sweet offers on their Facebook
6. Double Roasting
Coffee snobs, you know that the way coffee beans are roasted goes a long way in determining the flavour profile of your coffee. Toast Box takes the art of coffee seriously and uses both traditional and modern roasting methods to unlock the rich aroma and flavour in every single one of their quality beans.
Start your day right with a delightful cup of coffee!
The beans are then freshly ground in-store and brewed the traditional way using a cloth coffee sock. Watch as their Kopi Masters pull the coffee from a long-spouted pot. Enjoy a delightfully fragrant brew in every cup of Nanyang coffee.
7. Citric Acid
Did you know, you can use citric acid to ‘cook’ raw fish?
If you define cooking as requiring the use of heat, then this is technically not a method of cooking. But citric acid can be used to ‘cook’ raw fish.
Ceviche, a popular Peruvian dish, uses this unique cooking method. The citric acid in a citrus fruit is able to change the proteins in the fish, just like when heat is applied. This gives the fish a firm and opaque exterior while maintaining a raw, sashimi-like interior. Make sure that only the freshest ingredients are used if you wish to try out this cooking method.
While this may not be the most unique cooking method, it is one of the most essential cooking techniques and is a game changer when it comes to food preparation. When simmering, food is cooked in hot liquids that are just below the boiling point of water. This is gentler than boiling and prevents the food from toughening up and/or breaking up.
The secret to fall-off-the-bone pork ribs is to simmer it for 8-10 hours!
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh understands this, which is why they painstakingly simmer their pork ribs for 8-10 hours to achieve that tender, fall-off-the-bone meat that everyone loves. Not only that, the pork ribs are simmered with Sarawak White Pepper and garlic, bringing out the best flavour from all the ingredients.
There you have it! 8 unique cooking methods that’ll bring your dishes to the next level. Try some of these techniques for yourself and be a true food connoisseur.