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31

Thickening agents To thicken, you would mix in an agent designed to do so. There are many options, but here are some that are directly applicable to Asian cooking: Corn starch - Works well in small quantities, though I find it has a tendency to turn sauces into jello in the fridge. If you have too much liquid in your sauce and use a relatively large amount ...


24

There is a slight carry over with most things you cook. However I think the answer to most "Why is my stir fry not like the restaurant's?" questions, has to do with heat. Their stoves are much, much more powerful. You simply can't get that with a typical home stove. So, the way to get closest at home is to preheat your wok (or your largest flat, not non ...


24

Many such sauces include a thickening starch, like corn starch. This can either be mixed with some of the cold liquid and stirred into the hot, or used to coat ingredients prior to adding liquid (with slightly different results). In a crock pot you can do this at the beginning, or when everything is cooked, a few minutes before serving. Some starches (e.g. ...


19

There are several factors that make bread be "holey". First of all we must understand that those big holes are created by "balloons" of gluten filled with CO2 and alcohol made by yeasts. Those balloons can grow in 2 ways Yeast cells close to the balloon make CO2 or alcohol, and it's "poured" into the balloon, and it grows. The wall between 2 balloons gets ...


11

You are correct that the milk is heated to denature the albumin so that it becomes part of the structure of the yogurt instead of washing out in the whey. When distributed through the yogurt properly this protein will not cause the clumping problems you are seeing. You shouldn't expect to make ricotta from yogurt whey- even if the milk wasn't boiled it just ...


11

There are many factors in play such as the type of sugars, amount of eggs or other sources of hydration, amount and type of leavening and so forth, but as an overall generalization: Melting the butter will lead to chewier cookies Creaming colder/room temperature butter with sugar will lead to cookies with a higher, more cake like texture. Refrigerating the ...


11

Browning ingredients (both meat and vegetables including the aromatics) before doing a braise or stew (which is what slow cookers do) helps develop depth of flavor, through the Maillard reaction where proteins and carbohydrates react together to create a myriad of flavorful compounds. Vegetables that are high in sugar, such as onions or leeks, and even ...


10

Most likely, they are using a softer tofu than you. For whatever reason, the US is infatuated with unusually firm tofu, and supermarkets emphasize the "extra firm" varieties. In Asia, especially Japan and Korea, but even in China, most applications call for a softer, more custard-like tofu. If it's soft inside, when you deep fry the tofu, it should stay ...


10

Multiple factors give cake and bread its distinct attributes: Fat/sugar content: a bread is generally very lean. Most traditional breads do not have any fat or sugar in it at all. Cake will generally have a high fat content from either butter, oil, or milk. Breads will taste "drier" than cake because it lacks this fat content. Cake will also have a large ...


9

I was unable to find information that might tell what happened to your dish, but found some extremely interesting and detailed sources of information on collagen and gelatin which I think are worth sharing. I did find that the pH is unlikely to be the major contributing factor, as there are both acid and alkaline processes for gelatin formation--see the ...


8

Professional charcutier here. We usually only make beef sausage from grass fed beef, which means our ground beef is very lean. Depending on the recipe, we have various tricks for improving the texture: We add beef fat if available to add richness, or even pork fat if we don't have enough beef fat. For a 5lb batch of ground beef for hamburgers, we'll add an ...


8

Blah ... this is getting to be a bit long for a comment, so I might as well reformat & expand more, even though it might not be an appropriate answer. (and I should note that this is mostly from memory as I got an engineering degree ~20 years ago) Are you asking about the physics of what 'crunchy' is? It's effectively stiff, brittle things. When you'...


8

Make sure your initial cooking is reasonably fast and hot, and from there just cook it until it's soft enough for your tastes. Many vegetables firm up when cooked at lower temperatures, especially in the presence of salt. From On Food and Cooking: It turns out that in certain vegetables and fruits - including potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, ...


8

It sounds very much like you didn't manage to completely dissolve the sugar. It's also possible to get a bad texture from ice crystals in your ice cream, but I don't think you'd describe it as gritty or sandy, just icy. It can be rather difficult to dissolve that much sugar in liquid, especially if it's cold straight from the fridge. You might want to try ...


7

Edit: If cooking longer softens the potatoes, then this isn't what's happening. In that case, well, you just need to cook longer. The main variable is probably temperature (maybe the pot isn't actually all hot for all 30-45 minutes), followed by variations in cut size and in the firmness of the original potatoes. But the rest could apply to some readers too! ...


7

For Potato Jenga you are going to want to use a French Fry slicer like this one from Amazon. The larger slicing grate will produce potato of about the right square size. You will want to exclude the edges and end pieces. Some additional tips: several hours to a day before you are going to serve them slice and blanch the potatoes in sweet water (boil water, ...


7

Expanded from the comments... Use properly salted water when cooking the pasta. Slightly undercook the pasta a little bit; the pasta will continue to cook as you prepare the salad. Do not rinse the pasta. Mix the ingredients while the pasta are hot; they will absorb more flavour; I would try to season the pasta before adding oil; since oil will tend to ...


7

Bell Peppers have a very fast change from crisp to soft This is why you usually encounter them either raw or fully roasted and peeled. They change quickly. In a stir fry, cook them just a couple minutes and accept the slightly crunchy texture, or cook them through. I find this leads to a sometimes 'rubbery' texture, as the skin will not soften in the same ...


6

The cookies will set (take on their final texture) about by 20 - 30 minutes out of the oven. Coming directly out of the oven, cookies will absolutely be soft and squishable; which is why you should wait a few minutes before moving them off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack (you can cheat this time if your cookies are all on a sheet of parchment paper,...


6

May I add to the above that fat in a sandwich loaf dough coats the gluten so that longer chains are unable to form -unable to support those large bubbles. Putting a lid on a tin also discourages large pores. Baguettes are traditionally made of softer (low gluten) flour but developed over a longer period with gentle handling to hold in all that gas.


6

To address your points in order: If you only cooked your soup for ten minutes, you didn't give it enough time for the flavours to 'marry'. A gentle simmer for half an hour would give you better results. A night in the fridge to really let everything blend would be even better. You will not get crispy potatoes in a soup - the liquid will see to that. The ...


6

First, it is the ingredients. For example, shortbread cookies don't have liquid, while other types do have liquid. This makes them quite different. Also, there might be ingredients you didn't pay much attention to (mono- and diglycerides, for example, which might have been present at the end as an E number only), but they still can change the mouthfeel a lot....


6

Since it's hard to know the age of your beans, it's best to cook them before you start adding sauce ingredients. My approach is: soak them about 20 hours. Depending on how much water they soak up you may add more halfway through - if you set them soaking in the early evening, check them in the morning drain, rinse, and then boil for about two hours, ...


6

There seem to be two general expectations for the marinade here: (1) it would tenderize the steak, and (2) it would result in more flavor. The first of these is basically a culinary myth, and the second was probably undermined by what you did to the second (unmarinated) steak. It's important to be clear about what marinades do and don't do. Marinades don'...


6

Yup, tomatoes can most definitely be a bit grainy. It's not a hard graininess like sand, but a softer graininess. The best comparisons that come to mind are hydrated but uncooked cornmeal or slightly wet breadcrumbs. Instead of being juicy and smooth (whether firm or soft), you'll notice a bit of small texture. It'll probably also be less juicy, and the ...


6

They are not lying, slow cooked pork belly is supposed to be soft and tender. It's perfectly acceptable to serve pork belly this way and there are many people who prefer it. If it's not to your personal taste then it's best to avoid it and order other things from the menu.


6

Two things hold cornbread together: Egg and gluten. Gluten forms from the wheat flour interacting with the liquid. In general you don't want too much gluten or the bread will be tough and chewy instead of the characteristic tenderness of cornbread. The egg in your recipe is similar to other recipes that call for 1 egg and 2 cups of flour. The 1/2 cup of ...


6

Madehow.com discusses the entire process of making peanut butter. Peanut butter is usually made by two grinding operations. The first reduces the nuts to a medium grind and the second to a fine, smooth texture. For fine grinding, clearance between plates is about .032 inch (.08 centimeter). The second milling uses a very high-speed comminutor that has a ...


6

You need a minimum cooking time and water for it to be cooked thoroughly. You mentioned that once they turned out tough and chewy: then they were not cooked fully through. Vegetables are not like meat, which turn rubbery when overcooked. They turn soft rather. Watch out for the opposite as well: Eggplants when cooked for a long time may turn mushy. Cut ...


6

In many places cornflakes are very cheap, I am assuming where you are they are expensive because they are imported. You aren't going to be able to get the ridged structure without something like cornflakes because it's the flakes themselves that give the breading that texture. You need to find something that you can afford, perhaps another cereal that is ...


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