Jason Chan: Enjoy the aroma of garlic cooking

Cooking with Adam Liao Weekend Nights air on SBS Food at 7.00pm and 10.00pm, or watch it for free on SBS On Demand. Streaming garlic episode now. –

When Chef Jason Chan of Canton Kitchen in Sydney inhales the scent of cooking garlic in the air, there is one place his mind and senses visit – Hong Kong.

“I was born and raised in Australia, but my grandparents would take me to Hong Kong, where they lived, often when I was young,” says Chan, a former chef to Queen Chau.

“I remember the smell of garlic cooking all over the streets. The smell of garlic in the air attracts customers to street food – the smell is everywhere. Garlic always reminds me of Hong Kong.”

“Every time they had the chance, they would take me to eat. That’s why I have so many memories of food, my grandparents, and the smell of garlic cooking on the streets of Hong Kong.”

As Chan recalls the scent of a cosmopolitan city decorated with food vendors cooking Cantonese favorites, memories of the late beloved chef’s grandparents return.

“Being the eldest grandson and a boy, my grandparents wanted me to spend time in Hong Kong for the traditions. So I used to go to Hong Kong when I was a kid and stay with them for two years. [at a time].

Light and intense flavors

Garlic is an ingredient that has been used for thousands of years in China, valued for its flavor and traditional medicinal purposes.

“It’s among the best ingredients we always use in Cantonese cuisine – most dishes contain garlic, scallions (green onions) and Shaoxing wine.”

As much as Chan loves garlic, he admits that some people have reservations about the pungent vegetable due to its intense flavor. Associated with vampires in folklore and first date failures, garlic tastes can prove their power.

“There are so many ways you can use garlic. It’s so versatile.”

However, Chan makes it clear that it doesn’t have to be the case. It all depends on how you cook with garlic. You can mix garlic or use garlic oil to incorporate the flavor into the dish. You can also choose deep frying, shallow frying, or steaming.

Or perhaps you could choose garlic or chives instead of garlic cloves. “By cooking with chives, you’ll have a more refined dish,” he says.

Garlic infused butter tastes better

One of Chan’s most craving uses for garlic is Cantonese garlic butter. “The taste of garlic butter always brings back memories of eating seafood in Hong Kong as a child.

“Snow crab with garlic butter sauce is a classic cantonese that you can never go wrong with. You can also use leftover garlic butter from the dish for dipping bread.”

Home cooks can also use garlic butter as Chan does in the SBS series Cooking with Adam LiaoAs a main ingredient in Cantonese garlic bread.

To make the butter for the dish, chan combines minced garlic, thinly sliced ​​garlic stalks, unsalted butter, kombu dashi, cornmeal, and caster sugar.

“The minced garlic gives the butter an aromatic taste and the stem gives color and crunch. Both forms of garlic are really subtle and work well together.”

Of course, garlic is a staple in many cuisines, not just Cantonese. Chan reiterates that the uses of vegetables are as diverse as many other ingredients garlic can supplement.

“There are so many ways you can use garlic. It’s so versatile.

“So don’t be afraid to cook with it. But definitely don’t go on a date after you eat garlic.”

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