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Asian cold cuts to start a meal

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Not all Asian dishes need to be stir-fried in a wok or steamed in a pot. Cold starters are a common way to begin a meal, or they can even accompany the food as side dishes.

Cold vegetarian starters can be found in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisines, with many sharing the same ingredients. Each dish can be easily prepared even as a snack with the aid of refrigerators like the Electrolux ESE5687SB. The fridge’s crisper helps to keep produce fresh, while its fast chill mode can make the dish colder faster.

Cabbage

Kim chi is possibly the most famous cold cabbage dish from Asia. This pickled dish from Korea is made by lacto-fermentation, which is also used for sauerkraut and dill pickles. You can make kim chi at home by mixing garlic, ginger, sugar, gochugaru (Korean chili powder) and water into a paste, then covering the cabbage with it. Pack it into a pot with radish and scallions, seal the lid and let it stand at room temperature for five days.

Kim Chi
By jonny.hunter
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Kim chi can be made at home by sealing its ingredients in a jar and letting it stand at room temperature for several days.

Cold cabbage starters can also be found in Chinese cuisine, where it can be served with an aromatic sauce that includes stir-fried red chili, scallion and dried shrimps.

Cucumber

A cold cucumber salad is a refreshing treat on a hot day. The Chinese serve it in a garlic sauce that mixes minced garlic with red peppers, sesame oil, oyster sauce, sugar, salt and mature vinegar to create a tangy dressing over strips of cold cucumbers.

Similarly in Korea, Oi Muchim is a spicy cucumber salad tossed with rice vinegar, gochugaru, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, salt, sugar and scallions.

Pickled radish

Pickled radishes or daikon, are a familiar accompaniment to Korean and Japanese dishes. Known as Takuan in Japan, the daikon used turns slightly yellow after pickling. Natural food colouring such as turmeric is often used to give it a bright yellow colour for commercial sale.

Danmuji
By roboppy

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In Korea, danmuji or pickled radish, is a popular accompaniment to fried chicken.

In Korea, the pickled radish dish is called danmuji. A popular accompaniment to fried chicken, a simple danmuji can be prepared simply with water, sugar and white vinegar. Let the mixture sit in a sealed jar at room temperature for one day, and then in the fridge for another one to two days. The result is a refreshing contrast when eating heavy, greasy foods like fried chicken.

Tofu

Tofu is another popular dish in Asian cuisines. The Japanese Hiyayakko is freshly chilled tofu garnished with grated ginger, katsuobushi (shaved bonito flakes), and green onions. Soy sauce is poured over it before consuming.

The Chinese also enjoy marinated tofu skins as a cold dish starter, with strips bathed in chicken marinade, cooking wine, spicy sauce and white sugar for 5 hours. Toasted sesame seeds are then sprinkled on top before serving.

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