Mistake 1: not marinating meat for long enough
Mistake 2: cooking at a temperature lower then the suggested one
When cooking meat at a temperature that’s too low, moisture can escape from it, which causes a dry texture.
Mistake 3: using the incorrect cooking utensils
You should allows use the right tool for the job. For example, a good wok is the key to making great stir-fry dishes. The concave shape allows heat to distribute evenly and avoid any blind spots, which are what cause food to stick and burn. So invest in a good wok and look after it.
Mistake 4: using the wrong size cooking utensils
Again, when it comes to things like woks, make sure you leave plenty of surface space in the wok for the meat to lay flat and cook evenly. If you’re restricted by what you have in the kitchen aka you only have a small frying pan, cook the meat in two batches so that they’re not partially overcooked or undercooked.
Mistake 5: not cooking spices and aromatic ingredients first
Mistake 6: cooking meat and vegetables together
You should always add meat to your wok and allow it to cook until it’s browned all over before adding vegetables. Reason being, the excess water from vegetables will simmer the meat rather than frying it, and if that happens, you won’t get the caramelised finish that lock in the meat juices.
Mistake 7: using salt to marinate beef
This is a big no-no when dealing with red meat. Salt cannot penetrate well into the protein structure, so all salting red meat does is draw out moisture and dehydrate it; making it tough when cooked. The best practice is using sauces that have salt dissolved in to them to add the savoury taste. For example Lee Kum Kee’s Premium Oyster Sauce or Light and Dark soy sauces can be used as a marinade.
Mistake 8: not simmering rice
For those who like cooking rice on a stove like myself, you might find it difficult to get it right every time, so here are few tips. You have to wash and drain the rice, then add two times the water (1:2 rice to water ratio) in the pan with a lid on. Bring it to boil then reduce the heat so that it just simmers over a low heat. It will take around 15-20 minutes. Keep checking and if the rice is still hard, give it another two minutes. Don’t attempt to the bring the heat up. Just be patient and keep it simmering.
Mistake 9: overcooking noodles or dumplings
Chinese noodles or dumplings can be easily overcooked in comparison to pasta, because the dough usually doesn’t consist of eggs. The trick is to add cold water once your noodles or dumplings start boiling. This quickly bring the temperature down, so that the surface is not overcooked while still enabling the residual heat to conduct to the core. Repeat this when it starts boiling again. Usually, they are ready after the third time that it boils again.
Mistake 10: forgetting that cooking wine can be substituted with beer
Feel free to substitute Shaoxing wine with beer if that’s what you have in the fridge. They are equally great for braising dishes.
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