Thai Something New for Summer: Preparing Asian-Inspired Foods on the Grill
You may not have smelled the mouthwatering scent of grilled meats wafting through your neighborhood just yet, but rest assured that they’re on the way as more people dive headfirst into barbecue season. Whether you’re planning to grill chicken, steaks, fish or vegetables, Asian-inspired flavors are an ideal choice because the grill enhances these notes and builds all sorts of complex tastes. Whether you’re cooking on a gas grill or a charcoal one, use a few of these grilling secrets to incorporate Asian flavors into your dishes this season.
Stick to Bold Flavors: Cooking food on the grill adds layers of flavors that can overpower more subtle ones, so stick to bold and classic Asian flavors—at least at first. This probably isn’t the right time to try out a delicate miso or lemongrass glaze, which will just get lost during the grilling process. Instead, use bold marinades that incorporate ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, garlic and peppers. When you marinate meats and vegetables before grilling, these flavors are sure to leave their mark on your food. Bear in mind that some recipes might require you to plan ahead and marinate food overnight for the best results.
Mimic Your Favorite Dishes: If you’re already adept at Asian cooking indoors, start your grilling adventures by recreating your favorite dishes on the grill. You really can’t go wrong by grilling meats and vegetables rather than stir frying them; serve them over rice or noodles for a more filling meal. Skewers are perfect for grilling lots of small pieces, or you can grill big chunks of meat or whole vegetables and slice them just before serving. This is an easy way to make grilled Asian meals without leaving your comfort zone too much. One delicious idea might be to whip up some yakitori, a Japanese grilled chicken traditionally prepared on a skewer.
Adapt Traditional Techniques: Your favorite method for cooking Asian food can probably be adapted for use on the grill, so don’t be afraid to give it a try. For example, you could use a grill wok to get even heat from all sides while making use of a technique with which you’re already familiar. Another option is to incorporate your existing grilling techniques for familiar items like burgers and fish and giving them an Asian flair; try a Korean kimchi burger or grilled fish with Thai green curry sauce.
Explore Unconventional Combinations: Equipment, techniques and ingredients not usually associated with Asian food can still help you create some delicious meals. For example, you may think of smokers as a key component of Southern barbecue, but you can actually use them to make delicious smoked ribs with an Asian flair. In addition, experiment with meats not typically used in Asian food, like pork shoulder, and use spices and marinades to incorporate the flavors that will give your meal a uniquely Asian flair.
Grilling doesn’t have to be reserved for burgers, hot dogs or steaks. This year, do even more of your cooking outside by preparing other categories of cuisine on the grill. You’ll get to spend more time in the summer sunshine and keep the heat of food preparation outdoors. Plus, grilling is the perfect way to cook when you’re entertaining, so expand your repertoire of meals to prepare for family and friends when they come over this summer!
Holly is an Indianapolis native with a love for baking and writing. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she loves.