Chinese Cooking Methods

Here at WN Foods, Chinese food is one of our all time favorite cuisines. While we love takeout like so many others in the USA, we also love homemade Chinese food. However, we’ve noticed that many people are hesitant to cook it at home. We promise that it isn’t as complicated as it seems! Today, let’s take a look at common Chinese cooking techniques and how to use them in your home kitchen.

Stir Frying

Stir frying is one of the most common techniques in Chinese cooking. It may have even originated in ancient China! This cooking method is known for being fast; it involves heating a pan and stirring ingredients in hot oil until cooked. Almost any ingredient you can imagine can be stir fried, but most recipes include some type of meat or seafood, chopped vegetables, and either rice or noodles. Many Chinese cooks stir fry food in a wok over a fire, but you can use this technique at home with a stove and a pan.

Red Cooking

Chinese red cooking takes longer than stir frying, but trust us when we say that the wait is worth it! Red cooking is a particular type of braising where ingredients are first sauteed at a high temperature, then slowly cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, star anise, and rice wine until the food is coated in a sweet, luxurious glaze. Duck and pork belly are most commonly prepared using this technique, but we recommend also trying it at home with tofu or your fish of choice. This Chinese cooking method doesn’t require any special equipment, so it can be done easily at home.

Steaming

Steaming is a versatile cooking technique used in Chinese dishes of all kinds. The most traditional form of steaming uses bamboo steamer baskets, which allow cooks to utilize steam from hot water to cook ingredients and also to quickly and easily serve the finished meal. Steaming creates tender, juicy dishes like soup dumplings, aromatic whole fish, and sweet buns. If you live near an Asian grocery store or can order from online shops, you can purchase bamboo baskets and use them on your stove. If you don’t have access to bamboo baskets, you can still steam food in a metal pot or even a microwave.

Roasting

Roast meats are a staple of Chinese cooking. This method uses dry heat, as in a fire or oven heat with no water, oil, or other cooking liquid. Roasted foods often end up having an irresistible golden brown finish without losing any of the tasty juices on the inside. Roast duck is the most famous roasted Chinese dish (which is why you might see them hanging from restaurant windows in Chinatown), but you can also roast flavorful pork belly or chicken. You can easily roast meals at home as long as you have an oven and some spice!

Boiling

Chinese food doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. Boiling is a perfect demonstration of how you can have an amazing feast without having many technical skills. The most difficult part of Chinese hot pot is creating the broth, which really only requires stewing a few aromatics for enough time. Once the broth is ready, any number of meats and vegetables can be chopped and cooked quickly by boiling them. Though you can do this with a stovetop pot, many families make this a shared experience by using a portable stove and placing the hot pot directly on the table.

What are your favorite cooking techniques? Which dishes would you like to cook with these methods? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

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Regional US Foods

Regional US Foods.png

Here at the WN Foods blog, we’ve talked a lot about foods from different countries around the world, but we haven’t explored many American dishes. It’s time to shine a spotlight on a few regional US foods!

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago is famous for its deep dish pizza, which is made with a tall, flaky crust filled with a generous helping of cheese and chunky tomato sauce on top. The combination of the crunch of the golden crust with the hot, gooey cheese is heavenly. Some people make this dish even more luxurious by adding various meats, sauces, and vegetables.

Louisiana Gumbo

Though gumbo has roots in French and African cooking, it has evolved into a special dish loved especially by Louisianans. This dish is one of the most rich, flavorful soups thanks to it base, which is made by mixing roux, filé powder, and okra. Many different ingredients can be added to this base, but common ingredients include sausage, shrimp, and chicken.

New York Garbage Plate

Okay, we admit that the name isn’t very appetizing, but we and many native New Yorkers assure you that the Garbage Plate is absolutely delicious. To make this dish, just pile potatoes, baked beans, macaroni salad, and your choice of meats (usually chili, hamburger meat, or sausage) on a big plate and enjoy. This definitely isn’t diet-friendly, but it sure is satisfying.

Maine Lobster Roll

Lobster rolls are simple, but they pack a flavorful punch. At its base, a lobster roll is just lobster meat in a bun. In Maine, the lobster meat is served cold and coated with mayo. The bun may be lightly buttered and toasted to add a bit of crunch to the mix. Other states in New England have their own variations of this dish as well.

Hawaii Loco Moco

Loco moco is one of the most quintessentially Hawaiian foods out there. To make this dish, top steamed white rice with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and gravy. Though this is the most basic form of loco moco, it can also be served with sides like macaroni salad, noodles, or fresh vegetables. We can just picture ourselves at a restaurant in Honolulu chowing down on loco moco now!

Which regional US dishes have you tried? Which ones would you like to taste first? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

Mushrooms

Autumn is the season for mushrooms, a delicious and flavorful ingredient. Let’s learn about this fascinating fungus!

What Are Mushrooms?

Though mushrooms are often included in the vegetable section of grocery stores, they are not vegetables as they have no roots, seeds, or leaves. So what exactly are mushrooms? They are a fungal growth. The larger top of the mushroom is actually the reproductive part of the fungus; it carries spores, which are similar to seeds in that they spread and allow more mushrooms to grow. Not all mushrooms are edible, but a few types are safe and quite delicious when prepared correctly.

Where Do Mushrooms Grow?

Mushrooms grow well in damp, nutritious environments like forest floors. In the US, forests in the Pacific Northwest are famous among foragers because the moist climate is perfect for mushroom growth. Rather than being gathered, some mushrooms are grown on farms in climate-controlled rooms. This way, mushrooms can be grown and harvested quickly.

How to Gather Mushrooms

Gathering mushrooms is all about knowing where to look. The best method is to go with an experience mushroom forager so they can take you to their favorite spots, teach you which mushrooms are safe to eat, and how to properly cut them from the stalk with a knife. When gathering mushrooms, be sure to carry them in a woven basket so that the spores will spread as you walk and the mushroom population can be replenished for the next harvest.

Types of Mushrooms

As stated earlier, not all mushrooms are edible. Some are even lethal, so always be sure that your mushrooms are safe to eat. Edible varieties include chanterelles (golden mushrooms with fruity, peppery notes), portobello (large, meaty mushrooms), and enoki (thin, mild-flavored mushrooms). Shiitake (rich, umami mushrooms), porcini (nutty and creamy mushrooms), and button mushrooms (white mushrooms often found on pizza) are also commonly used in cooking.

How to Cook Mushrooms

There are as many cooking methods for mushrooms as there are types of mushrooms. Larger mushrooms like portobellos can be grilled and stuffed with savory fillings, similar to meat. Other mushrooms can be sliced thin and placed on top of pizzas. Sauteeing is another common cooking method that really brings out the flavor of mushrooms. Be sure to also try mushrooms in kebobs, pasta, and burgers.

What’s your favorite mushroom? Which ones would you like to try? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

One Pan Recipes

Whether you are cooking for yourself or an entire family, cooking can sometimes be such a chore. Make things easier on yourself with these one pan recipes using WN Foods sauces!

Sriracha Chicken & Veggies

(Photo by Buzzfeed)

Looking for a balanced meal that can be made quickly and easily? Try this one pan sriracha veggie dish! It offers the perfect amount of heat and sweetness to compliment the juicy chicken and fresh vegetables, and you only have to use one pan, so cleaning up the kitchen after dinner will be nice and easy. We think it tastes great with steamed rice on the side, but eat it as you like.

Honey Garlic Salmon

(Photo by Cafe Delites)

Many people think that cooking fish at home is too difficult due to the intensive preparation process, but with this honey garlic salmon recipe using pre-cut salmon fillets, making a delicious and nutritious fish dish is a breeze. This meal can be enjoyed with a simple side dish like rice or green beans, or it can be eaten by itself like the crown jewel it is!

Sweet & Sour Chicken

This one pan sweet & sour chicken recipe is already easy as pie to make, but you can save even more time by making it with our Longevity Sweet & Sour Sauce so that you don’t have to mix the delicious sweet & sour sauce yourself! Though the recipe suggests using snow peas and carrots, you can use any of your favorite vegetables. We personally love adding in some broccoli, green beans, and bell peppers.

Frozen Potstickers

These are more like instructions than a recipe, but did you know that you only need one pan to heat up frozen potstickers? Using a method called steam frying (covering a pan of frozen potstickers, water, and oil till they are both steamed on the top and fried crispy on the bottom), you can make frozen potstickers taste as good as new! This one is especially good for families that make potstickers in bulk and freeze them for future meals.

Fried Rice

(Photo by Averie Cooks)

Takeout fried rice is one of the most beloved fast Chinese foods in the country. What fans of this dish may not know is that can be made with one pan at home with this convenient recipe! Like the previously mentioned sweet & sour chicken recipe, you can also add any of your preferred vegetables to this fried rice dish. Enjoy!

What are your favorite one pan recipes? Which one would you like to try first? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

Seasonal Autumn Ingredients

Autumn has officially arrived in the northern hemisphere. To celebrate, let’s have a look at some seasonal Autumn ingredients!

Squash

Squash is everywhere in Autumn cooking, especially butternut squash, kabocha, and pumpkins. Pumpkins are usually used in sweet recipes such as pumpkin pie, but most other squashes are used in a variety of savory dishes. These meals can be as simple as pan roasted kabocha squash, and as decadent as curried butternut squash soup.

Chestnuts

There is nothing quite like biting into a hot roasted chestnut on a chilly Autumn evening. These nuts can be gathered directly from the tree or bought in bags from the grocery store, then used in a huge range of Autumn cooking. Chestnut desserts like cakes and crepes are especially popular, but we recommend trying them in savory recipes like this chestnut stuffing.

Persimmon

Every Autumn, we are gifted with sweet, plump persimmons. There are actually several varieties of this fruit, each with its own unique but delicious flavor. They are a joy to eat raw, but you can also use them in your home cooking. Persimmon salad is absolutely wonderful, as is persimmon bread.

Mushrooms

If you’ve ever been in a forest in Autumn, you’ve probably noticed mushrooms springing up from the moist soil. Not all of these are edible, so please don’t pick any wild mushrooms without consulting an expert. Instead, try picking up shiitake, portobello, or chanterelle mushrooms at the grocery store and use them in one of these tasty mushroom recipes.

Pomegranate

Autumn marks the art of pomegranate season. The juicy beads inside this fruit resemble rubies, and they taste wonderfully tangy. It can be tricky to remove them, but once you get the hang of it, there are plenty of awesome pomegranate recipes waiting for you to try, such as pomegranate couscous and roasted brussels sprouts with pomegranates and hazelnuts.

What are your favorite Autumn ingredients? Which ones would you like to try? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

WN Foods Facilities

By the time our sauces reach you, they are already in their final (delicious) form, neatly tucked away in a glossy red packet or a convenient squeeze bottle. Have you ever wondered where they come from? Today we’re talking about the facilities that allow us to make our wonderful products!

Cooking

Everything begins in the cooking department, where our staff masterfully measures out our top quality ingredients and blends them together in vats, all while keeping them at just the right temperature.

Lab

Before moving onto the next step, our quality assurance team takes samples of each cooking batch back to the lab, where they meticulously test them for food safety and quality.

Packing

Once cooked and tested for quality assurance, our sauces are transported to the packing area, where they are packed in bottles, jars, or packets on our state-of-the-art high speed lines. For a full list of packing capabilities, please see our website.

Warehouse

After that, our sauces are carefully and efficiently stored in our warehouse. Our sturdy shelves hold palettes of products until they are ready to be shipped out to you, our amazing clients!

Office

Last but not least, we have our office. Sales, marketing, accounting, and other important administrative departments work here to keep everything running smoothly.

We are so thankful for our facilities and the capable staff that runs them! Do you have any questions about the WN Foods building and equipment? Let us know in the comments!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.

Vietnamese Food

One of the most famous Vietnamese dishes in the US is Phở, but there are so many more delicious foods from Vietnam. Let’s learn about a few amazing dishes and how to cook them at home!

Phở

This Vietnamese soup is one of the ultimate comfort foods. With its flavorful broth, tender meat, and chewy rice noodles, it’s no wonder Phở is one of the most well-known Vietnamese dishes! Making it at home is a long process, but the end results are worth it. Check out this recipe if you would like to try it yourself.

Bún chả

Bún chả uses the same tasty rice noodles as in Phở and pairs them with grilled pork and fresh herbs. It is also often served with a Nước chấm (a vinegar and fish sauce mix) dipping sauce. The fresh taste of the noodles with the tangy dipping sauce and delicious pork are an absolutely incredible combination! To make it at home, try this recipe.

Gỏi cuốn

Also known as Vietnamese spring rolls, Gỏi cuốn are rolls comprised of vegetables, pork, and prawns wrapped in Bánh tráng (rice paper). They are often served as an appetizer with a dipping sauce such as Hoisin sauce, peanut sauce, or Nước chấm. Try this recipe if you would like to make it at home!

Bánh mì

This Vietnamese sandwich uses French baguettes and native Vietnamese ingredients like Chả lụa (pork sausage), pickled carrots, daikon, cucumber, and coriander. In Vietnam, Bánh mì is typically a snack or breakfast food, but it is eaten throughout the day in the US. Here is a great recipe to try in your home kitchen!

Bánh xèo

Bánh xèo is a crispy, savory pancake stuffed with a myriad of ingredients based on preference. It can be filled with any ingredient, but recipes commonly include shrimp, bean sprouts, onions, pork, and cucumbers. Give it a try at home with this recipe!

Bánh cuốn

This delicious Vietnamese dish begins with a thin rice batter that is steamed to form a wrapper. This wrapper encloses a simple but exquisite filling made from ground pork, wood ear mushrooms, and shallots. It is often topped with fried shallots and fresh herbs. Sound appetizing? Take a look at this recipe!

What’s your favorite Vietnamese dish? Which ones would you like to try? Let us know!

Here at WN Foods, we co-pack high quality sauces, cooked with the finest ingredients. If you would like us to manufacture your sauce recipe, or if you would like our food science team to help you develop your own sauce, please contact us at (510) 487-8877 or wingnienfoods@gmail.com.