It has been found many times that two apparently different world cuisines blend together in harmony thanks to a basic food that can be used in many preparations. This is a perfectly balanced mix that guarantees a delicious aroma, exciting flavors and rich textures that undoubtedly surprise any palate.
The perfect combination
Asian cuisine, which includes foods from China, Japan, India and Thailand, has several features that make it different from others, but certainly apt to combine with them.
Asian cuisine stands out for preparations with fish and vegetables, mostly boiled and fermented, and for the use of rice as well, being it the main ingredient of many dishes and the complement of others.
Similarly, Asian food focuses on the presentation of dishes, and their healthy and balanced preparations.
Far away from Eastern Asia, one particular staple food widely used in the Middle East that can be combined with different Asian dishes is couscous. It is made from durum wheat semolina and, although it is pasta, happens to be very similar to rice so it is an excellent substitute in Asian food. Couscous has a great popularity in the world’s gastronomy thanks to its ability to absorb the flavor of other ingredients, thus creating an incredible gastronomic experience to the palate. More on couscous here: https://riceselect.com/product/riceselect-pearl-couscous.
Besides, it provides essential nutrients for the body, such as high levels of carbohydrates that increase energy, essential for proper body function and vitamins such as B9, B3, B4 and K. On the other hand, cholesterol content is low; which makes it a healthy food for those people who take care of their cardiovascular system. Moreover, since it is low in sodium, couscous brings good benefits for people suffering from hypertension or with very high blood cholesterol levels.
Best of both worlds
A good way to take advantage of this blend of traditional Middle Eastern food with Asian cuisine is to prepare a couscous of grilled Asian vegetables. It is an easy recipe that does not take too long, so it is perfect to enjoy at home.
- Five tablespoons of mirin, a Japanese sweet wine to cook rice.
- Five tablespoons of light soy sauce.
- Two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Two teaspoons of sugar.
- A teaspoon of fresh ginger, peeled and grated.
- Half a teaspoon of sea salt.
- A clove of chopped garlic.
- Two cups of sweet Chinese broccoli.
- Six of these.
- Four leaves of cabbage.
- Four onions.
- A Japanese eggplant cut into long, thin strips.
- A red pepper chopped into quarters.
- A cup of dried couscous.
- Cup and a half of vegetable broth.
- A spoonful of toasted sesame oil.
- Lemon juice.
- A bunch of chopped cilantro.
- Sea salt and black pepper.
- To make the glaze, mix the mirin together with light soy, olive oil, ginger, sugar, salt and garlic in a small bowl. Once dissolved, it’ll be ready.
- For vegetables, preheat the grill or skillet over medium-high heat. Vegetables must be cooked on the grill, turning frequently, and smearing the frosting while cooking.
- After 2 – 3 minutes, once the vegetables turn tender and crispy, remove from the grill and let stand for a while.
- Chop the vegetables into small pieces.
- Use a large bowl to put the couscous fully covered with hot stock and stir gently to mix. Then cover the bowl with clear film and let it sit for about five minutes, long enough to absorb the liquid.
- In the meantime, mix the olive oil, the light soy and the lemon juice in a small bowl. Open the couscous and pour two tablespoons of the mixture and sponge with a fork.
- Then place half of the cilantro and stir gently.
- Serve the couscous in a bowl adding the vegetables over and around. Sprinkle the soy mixture on the vegetables and sprinkle salt with black pepper. Then serve.
Indeed couscous is a food that fits perfectly with Asian dishes, so adding it to preparations as a substitute for rice is the best way to enjoy delicious and healthy preparations. Do not be afraid of the large number of ingredients this recipe needs, actually this dish is very easy to prepare.