Raffaele Imperiale - What is Fusion Cooking and Cuisine?
A Brief Summary Explanation of Fusion CookingFusion cooking (like the Seared Sea Scallops on BLT Salad pictured above) is often a very much maligned and entirely misunderstood concept. The word, "Fusion," is most commonly applied to the act of combining two substances or items together, very often by the application of heat. This can relate to anything from nuclear fusion - the process where two or more nuclei are fused to form one, larger nucleus - to the fusion of two metals to form an alloy, to the fusion of two ideas to form an entirely different principle. It is this third example of fusion to which fusion cooking relates and essentially the marriage of one or more cooking traditions, techniques or disciplines to form an altogether different approach or finished dish. It most definitely does not mean putting all the ingredients selected for a dish in to one pot and turning the heat up as high as possible!
What is the Point of Fusion Cooking?Fusion cooking can be employed for a great many different reasons. It is a technique which may be used by chefs in order to expand their culinary repertoire and afford them a dish which is truly unique and distinct from those offered by their peers and competitors. Alternatively, fusion cooking may be practised by a chef or cook from more than one cultural background, looking to inject their own unique identity in to their cuisine. Fusion cooking can even be employed as a means of subtly introducing new food concepts to the masses. One incredibly simple example of this is the Chinese takeaways in the UK attempting to target the, "Fish and chip," traditionalists.
Although Asian fast food and the large, multi-national fast food chains have a significant presence in the UK, it says a lot about the UK food psyche that good, old-fashioned fish and chips remains the UK's number one fast food choice to this day. Recognising this, Chinese takeaways in particular have long since offered chips as an optional accompaniment to Chinese stir fried dishes instead of the more traditional rice. This is fusion cooking in its simplest form: a marriage of East meets West, to offer consumers the comfort of their chips while at the same time, the opportunity to diversify and try something new.
The Chinese stir frying process is an extremely useful cooking technique for any and all who may be interested in fusion cooking. The technique has been applied to so many different ingredients around the world that there now very often exists considerable confusion as to which recipes are traditionally Chinese and which have been developed as the knowledge of the practice spread. This is a recipe for a very basic stir fry, accompanied by chips instead of the more traditional boiled or fried rice.
1 chicken breast fillet
1 small white onion (peeled and quartered)
2 pineapple rings (each cut in to 6 equal sized pieces)
1 tbsp unsalted cashew nuts
1 large or 2 medium potatoes
1 egg white
1 tsp cornflour (corn starch)
Salt and feshly ground black pepper
2 torn basil leaves for garnish
Sunflower oil for frying
Chips are not an overly complicated foodstuff to prepare. For an extra special way of cooking chips, however, click here - and note that chips cooked in this fashion have to be started long before the stir fry!
The first step in making the stir fry is to, "Velvet," the chicken. This is a very important procedure which essentially protects the delicate chicken breast meat from the intense heat of the stir frying process. The egg white should be placed in a glass bowl and 1 tsp of cornflour/cornstarch and 1/2 tsp salt added. The chicken breast should be chopped in to approximately 1" pieces and stirred well in to the egg white mixture. The bowl should be covered with clingfilm and placed in to the refrigerator for about half an hour.
Original Source: http://hubpages.com/hub/what-is-fusion-cooking