Chef's Blog

September 30, 2016

Simple Solutions for Complex Asian Flavors

from Chef Kevin Wassler

Regular visits with customers grants me extraordinary access into a wide spectrum of operations—and the ability to experience the diversity of foods and cooking styles they offer. Be it the complexity of a commissary kitchen, the wonderful smells that seep out of a BBQ wood smoker, or the madness of small kitchens.

I recently had the opportunity to work with a salesperson and some of the restaurants in the Asian market that she calls upon. While my education and hands-on knowledge of their cooking heritage is somewhat limited, I took advantage of each Chef’s expertise. We spoke to each customer about their restaurant, menus, and clientele. The abundance of fresh ingredients used in each restaurant proved to be vitally important to the flavor and presentation of their dishes.

We tried a variety of dim sum, hand-pulled noodle dishes, and some wok specialties. Each dish had its own complex flavors, textures, and presentation. What a great way to try an assortment of menu items and taste how the different ingredients blend so well together.

My introduction to some of the more exotic flavors inspired me to bring the same experience back to my own customers. During an ideation session for new broth ideas, I utilized Nestle Professional’s International Soup Action Station recipes to replicate many of the same complex flavors with the addition of simple, fresh ingredients. Take for example pho broth, which can be made with Minor’s beef or chicken base as the foundation. The complexity of pho broth comes from the use of fresh basil, mint and cilantro. Jalapeño, lime, lemongrass and ginger round out the broth as it simmers for about an hour. Offer a choice of fresh vegetables, proteins and noodles to complete this on-trend dish. Simple, fresh ingredients makes for one very an appetizing noodle bowl.

Looking for other Asian inspired ideas? The Action Stations website has hundreds of recipes and menu concepts for noodle bowls, stir fries, street food fare, and a host of other trending concepts. Each includes detailed prep & order guides, promotional signage, and other turn-key tools. Explore it on your own, or contact your Minor’s Chef or broker to get started.

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