Friday, August 26, 2011

Asian Spice Mixes

Finishing our tour of homemade, regional herb and spice mixes, we find ourselves traveling through Asia. The flavors are exciting, spicy, and will make your taste bugs tingle.

Even though all the spice mixes in this series are regionally inspired, that doesn’t mean they won’t work well in dishes from other countries. The following Shanghai blend, for example, works equally well to kick up Mexican dishes.

As with the previous flavor stops in Europe, the Mediterranean, and Northern Africa, to make these you’ll want a quality coffee/spice mill and spice jars.

Shanghai Coastal Mix
2 Tbl crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground anise

Grind to a fine powder.

One of hottest spice mixes in this series, it’s an excellent choice for adding kicking up the heat in any dish. I especially like it on eggs.

Indian Spice Mix
3 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dry mustard
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tsp dill seed
1 tsp cardamon
1 tsp fenugreek seed

Grind to a fine powder.

Fenugreek is sometimes hard to find in my town. If you have trouble finding it, just leave it out. I enjoy using this blend in rice dishes, or any time I want to get a hint of curry without the curry.

Bali Spice Mix
2 bay leaves, crushed
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Grind to a fine powder

This blend provides a nice alternative in stir fries, satays, fish and tofu dishes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our tour of the flavors of the world through these spice mix blends. To some, mixing your own spice blends has probably seemed odd, while other may consider it being lazy. It’s neither. Instead, they provide a quick and easy way to add variety and excitement any meal.

Photo by abcdz2000 via sxc.

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