The chances are you’ve either eaten fusion food or have seen it on a menu at a restaurant before. Fusion food is everywhere at the moment and while it has been around for years, it seems to have become a more popular choice when eating out.
Fusion food is created by combining two different types of cooking – this can relate to cultures, techniques or traditions – together to create a new and unique dish. This basically means you can team up any two of your favourite types of food and create something exciting.
While there are plenty of fusion restaurants and street vendors offering delicious dishes that will get your mouth watering in no time, not many of us try our hand at making fusion food at home.
You might think that getting the combination of two dishes right is difficult, but if you have a few tricks up your sleeve and are happy to experiment, you’ll probably end up with something pretty tasty. To help you create your own fusion food and start introducing more flavours to your cooking, here are some great tips:
What flavours do you like?
Is there a particular type of cuisine you like and want to introduce into your cooking, or is there a specific flavour you want to experiment with? Having an idea of this will let you see what you can introduce into your food, whether it’s the rich spiciness of Indian food or the fresh heat of Thai cuisine.
This will let you see what ingredients are out there that you can start using, as well as look at the best techniques to use them. Familiarising yourself with the new style of cooking you want to try will help build your confidence to experiment with it.
Stock your cupboards
It’s impossible to make fusion food without the right ingredients to hand, so it’s a good idea to stock your cupboards with spices and different ingredients from the cuisines you want to experiment with. Not only does this give you some freedom to experiment, it can also mean you’re more likely to change up your usual recipes, which could deliver delicious results.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is much easier when you already have the tools to do so to hand, so get yourself some different oils, herbs, spices and extras – such as miso paste – and figure out how you can use them every day.
Start off simple
You may want to jump into fusion food with both feet, but if you don’t have any experience in this area, it’s best to keep it simple. Find a recipe you like that will be easy to alter – even if it’s just throwing some extra spices in – and go from there.
Your starter recipe could be practically anything, from a curry to toad in the hole. So long as you have an idea of how you could alter it and what types of flavours you want to introduce, there’s less chance of it going wrong.
That’s not to say this method is totally foolproof, but it’s better to walk before you can run so take it slow.
Think about what you want to achieve
If you’re adding another ingredient, why are you doing this? What is it that you want it to bring to the dish? Fusion food isn’t about just throwing in loads of different flavours and hoping for the best, every ingredient you add needs to have a purpose.
This means considering if that chilli powder is really what you want. After all, do you just want heat or do you want to add a smokiness and depth alongside it? Looking at alternative ingredients will help you get a better understanding of flavour, although trying your food as you cook is definitely the best way to ensure you are getting the results you’re aiming for.
You aren’t going to become a master of fusion cooking overnight and one failure doesn’t mean that you won’t get the hang of it. As with any recipes, perfection takes time and you’ll learn each time you work on a dish, helping you get closer to what you were hoping for.
This isn’t to say that there’s definitely no chance you’ll serve up something that looks seriously questionable or that tastes truly horrific, but it’s all part of the learning process when it comes to fusion food.
So long as you’re happy to simply scrape your plate into the bin – or just throw the whole thing away if getting the food off your crockery proves to be impossible – and start again, you’ll end up making something great in the end.