The Secret of a Great Sautee

Great food is such a comfort! And you will be surprised at how relaxing making delicious dishes can be. Almost everyone these days is interested in learning how to cook. You can take note of how culinary schools are sprouting everywhere. Learning to cook is to learn the basics, which includes saut?�ing. This method is used mainly for a saucy dish with veggies, meat or seafood. For me, saut?�ing plays a huge part in cooking dishes. This method does more than just infuse together all flavours – it can also optimise them.
Saut?�ing usually involves shallots or onions, garlic and then your veggies, meat or seafood. Let us say for example you are cooking Chicken Tinola (a delicious Filipino dish). Although it is a soup, cooking it needs saut?�ing. We will need shallots, garlic and ginger.

Tip #1 Mince shallots, garlic and ginger finely. Finely chopped ingredients allow optimised infusion more easily.
Tip #2 Heat oil in a pan with low fire. These saut?�ing ingredients are burnt in a matter of seconds. Therefore, it is safer to heat oil in very low fire.
Tip #3 Once oil is warm enough by feel, put garlic, stir a little, and then gradually add shallots and garlic. Garlic has a more tight consistency, therefore, needs more time cooking to infuse flavour. shallots have more water content, helps moderate heat to prevent garlic from burning. Ginger can come anywhere in between.
Tip #4 Allow to cook all together in very low heat. This will let the ingredients cook and infuse flavour more.
Tip #5 Once ingredients have almost melted; add your meat, veggies or seafood. Just keep fire very low. Cover the pan with the lid or just let it be for a few 5-10 minutes. It is up to you whether you want lid on or off. Please take note that this saut?�ing technique’s purpose is for optimized flavour and not for garnishing, so it is okay if the shallots, garlic and ginger are not going to be visible anymore. Besides, have you experienced biting through a chunk of garlic or ginger? Some may love it, I do not.

If you are cooking meat with veggies, add the meat first with fish sauce (or any other additional spices you need for a different dish. For the Chicken Tinola, its fish sauce only) and let it cook over the garlic, shallots and ginger. The very low heat cooks the ingredients slowly, juicing them up and being simmered with it only, without added water. That is how the flavours are infused altogether. After 5 minutes, add 2 cups of water. When the chicken becomes tender, add the green (unripe) papaya and green long chilli. When the vegetable (green papaya) is cooked, it’s done and ready to serve.
This delicious soup is great on its own but the saut?� technique I have, makes it even better. You can apply the same procedure to your favourite dish. Enjoy the relaxing effects making and savouring your own dish in the comfort of your own home.

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