The Flavors of Fusion Cuisine
Although a relatively new term, “fusion cuisine” has actually been around for centuries! Since the beginning of international trade, cultural traditions, foods, cooking styles, and flavors have come together to create new and exciting dishes. While the roots of fusion cuisine date back to ancient times, the modern concept we all know has only become popularized within the past few decades. Famous chefs like Wolfgang Puck began to incorporate elements of Asian cuisine into his traditional French background, creating a movement that has since become popularized throughout the globe. Join us at Advanced Biotech as we take a look at some of the classic flavors of fusion cuisine and what makes them so uniquely delicious.
The use of herbs and spices is the signature of many global cuisines, as regionally available ingredients are used to create specific flavor profiles. From Herb de Provence, to Chinese five spice, and Indian garam masala, these spices can be further combined to give fusion cuisine its unique flavor. Red Thai curry risotto combines the best of both Italian and Thai cuisine as short-grain Arborio rice is steeped in a rich combination of red curry paste, coconut milk, and topped with basil and parmesan cheese. Kung pao chicken tacos are an exciting amalgamation of Chinese and Mexican elements. Chicken flavored with chili pepper and tingly Szechuan peppercorns combine with fresh cilantro, smoked paprika, and savory cumin to create an entirely new flavor profile perfect for an appetizer or a lunch that packs a punch.
Acidic flavors give many cuisines a brightness and vibrancy that works to cut through rich, fatty, and creamy foods. Citrus juice is a popular ingredient throughout the world as Latin cuisines favor lime juice, yuzu is famous in Japanese recipes, and lemon is a common element in many Italian dishes. Japanese-inspired ceviche combines traditional Latin methods with Japanese flavors as the citrus from lime is used to slowly cook fresh fish like tuna, salmon, and shrimp and is flavored with yuzu-kosho – a spice combination of black pepper and yuzu zest, and balanced out with nutty sesame oil. Cultured dairy like crème fraiche, kefir, and buttermilk are also a way to give recipes an acidic kick and tandoori chicken quesadillas are the perfect balance of tender chicken marinated in yogurt and traditional Indian spices like garam masala and cinnamon and bright corn salsa flavored with cilantro and lime.
Fermented foods play an essential role in many cultural traditions, as kimchi is a staple in most Korean diets, miso is a quintessential Japanese flavor component, fish sauce is synonymous with Vietnamese cuisine. Not only are fermented foods cost effective, as they have a long shelf-life and are often made from low-cost ingredients, but they are healthy as most contain helpful bacteria that promote gut health. Kimchi quesadillas are a mashup of sharp, vinegary Korean kimchi and smoky Latin spices like chipotle, balanced perfectly with rich melted cheese. An interesting take on a traditional Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi pizza is topped with thin, crunchy strips of daikon, cucumber, and carrot soaked in rice wine vinegar.
Fusion cuisine continues in popularity as chefs continue to create new combinations of international flavors. The possibilities are limitless to experience global cuisine and learn about cultural traditions through these unique mashups.