Understanding oils

Oil is a cook’s best friend. It carries flavour, adds moisture, stops food from sticking, gives colour and texture when cooked and much more.

Whether you’re shallow frying, deep frying, baking, marinating, barbequing, saucing or dressing a salad, oil is almost certain to appear in the recipe.

Every oil is unique, not just in flavour and nutritional value, but cooking properties. …

RECIPE: Sake-glazed Salmon

To the Japanese, sake is not only a traditional drink (the earliest known references to it stretching back to the 3rd century), but a national icon. Its production is governed by strict regulations and its consumption by a wide range of traditions.

While sake is a perfect accompaniment to any Japanese meal, it can also be used …

RECIPE: Yosuke Furukawa & Dallas Cuddy’s Char grilled quails with Szechuan pepper

Dallas Cuddy’s menu at Verge reflects his love of Japanese food, as does that of chef Yosuke Furukawa from Izakaya Den. Like all Izakaya dishes, this exquisite sashimi is best enjoyed with a drink or as a simple starter for an elaborate dinner.
Yosuke and Dallas’ ‘Izakaya Offerings’ class at The Essential Ingredient …

Recipe: Alvin Quah’s Ma Po Tofu, with black pig

This recipe, by Masterchef Top 5 finalist Alvin Quah, from his recent Essential Ingredient Cooking School (Rozelle) class, includes ‘minced black pig’. Black pig, also known as ‘heritage’ breeds, is a more densely marbled pork with a richer flavour. It is most commonly available directly from the producers, but try asking your local butcher. If you have no luck, substitute regular minced pork (though the flavour won’t be as complex).