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What cooking oil do you use?


patrickamory
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I'm in the anti-canola camp as of a few years ago. I rarely used it prior to that time (because I seldom use neutral flavored oil when cooking) but tried three or four brands of varying quality before giving up on it entirely. All brands produced fishy off flavors. I've switched to peanut oil and never looked back. (And sometimes corn oil if I'm cooking for a mixed crowd and don't know about allergies). But really, if you're going to sear a steak, clarified butter, tallow, or lard are the way to go.

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  • 2 months later...

How you ever want to prepare Asian / Chinese food at home? The most common cooking oil used by the Chinese is peanut oil and palm oil.  The taste of Asian food is more authentic if either one of this oil is used.

My name is KP Kwan. I am a pharmacist turned restaurateur who lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I have worked in my restaurant more than ten years and since year 2012.

 

I am also a food blogger.  You can read my blog at http://tasteasianfood.com/

I am looking forward to learning and contributing topics about culinary skills in this forum.

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How you ever want to prepare Asian / Chinese food at home? The most common cooking oil used by the Chinese is peanut oil and palm oil.  The taste of Asian food is more authentic if either one of this oil is used.

 

I've never come across palm oil in China. Peanut oil is certainly the most common in this part of southern China, but not everywhere. Rice bran oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and corn (maize) oil are also used widely. In parts of China, soy oil is more common than peanut.

 

Here is part one of my blog on oils in China, with links to parts two and three

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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liuzhou,

 

Would you mind telling us if the peanuts are grown in China or imported?

 

Lots of folks know about peanut oil for Chinese cooking, but I've never heard anything about peanut crops being grown in China.

 

Please PM me, if you think I'm in jeopardy of thread hijacking, but I'm burning up with curiosity on this issue.

 

Sorry.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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liuzhou,

 

Would you mind telling us if the peanuts are grown in China or imported?

 

Lots of folks know about peanut oil for Chinese cooking, but I've never heard anything about peanut crops being grown in China.

 

Please PM me, if you think I'm in jeopardy of thread hijacking, but I'm burning up with curiosity on this issue.

 

Sorry.

 

No need to be sorry. I don't think this is off topic.

China is by far the world's largest producer of peanuts.

I guess most is used for oil., but apart from the oil,  peanuts are everywhere.. As snacks, in mainstream cooking (e.g Kungpo Chicken) etc. Even peanut sprouts, peanut stems etc are eaten.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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  • 2 weeks later...

Palm oil is my choice.  Reasons:

1. I use it for deep-frying and it can be reused a few time before it turns bad.

2. The smoking point of palm oil is high and is suitable for Chinese style stir-frying (need to apply intense heat at times).

3. The taste is universal.  Peanut oil and olive oil have the distinctive flavor and therefore I try not to use them.  I can easily control the flavor of the dish I cook without the interference of the flavor of the oil.

 

 

What is the favorite oil you use? Love to hear from you.

My name is KP Kwan. I am a pharmacist turned restaurateur who lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I have worked in my restaurant more than ten years and since year 2012.

 

I am also a food blogger.  You can read my blog at http://tasteasianfood.com/

I am looking forward to learning and contributing topics about culinary skills in this forum.

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I keep a dark green bottle of high quality yet priced to sell evoo in a cool dark cupboard. But my main goto is a 50/50-ish mix of canola and peanut oil that I keep in the fridge along with a small bottle of sesame oil. I don't keep butter and will sometimes save schmaltz.

 

All the high heat stuff gets the canola/peanut blend. The olive and sesame oils are used for flavoring generally. Found it is better to buy in smaller bottles and have a higher turnover. Just seems fresher that way here in the warm South.

 

Palm oil... not so universal in the States I think except in... most processed food.

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I have in my pantry at present: Olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, and a crock of saved bacon grease, as well as some flavored oils, some walnut oil, and some tangerine oil which makes outstanding citrus viniagrette. Oh, and there's coconut oil in the bathroom; I've never cooked with it, but it makes an outstanding moisturizer. I use the first four with some regularity, the latter ones for specialty purposes.

Edited by kayb (log)
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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I'm still using the same oils I was a year ago, when I posted - rice bran oil, grapeseed and sunflower seed oil - the latter both "raw" and "refined" which I find excellent for high-temp frying.  Also EVOO, regular olive oil, butter, lard, bacon drippings, duck fat, etc. 

 

I absolutely, positively will not use palm oil.  I did use it for some things (Indonesian recipes) in the past but that was before the massive deforestation in critically endangered areas. 

 

For flavoring, I have been using culinary Argan oil on numerous dishes, particularly grains, pastas, tapas - toast-based appetizers such as bruschetta, etc., because of the unique flavor which, in my opinion, enhances and compliments the flavors of these foods (definitely Umami)!

It is expensive, but should be used sparingly. 

For an afternoon snack with a cup of tea, I drizzle a bit on warm flatbread - naan or pita.

Some people say it basically tastes like mildly toasted sesame oil but not to me - I like toasted sesame oil and use it in some dishes but it has a faint bitterness that is absent in the Argan oil.

 

A friend sent me a "set" of "exotic" nut/seed oils for my birthday in March (I was away at the time so they were at my neighbor's till I got home) and I opened the Macadamia oil yesterday and made a small batch of mayo - the recipe was on a hang-tag on the bottle.  It was excellent in chicken salad.

 

There is also hemp oil, pistachio oil and Sacha Inchi Oil and the latter is one I have never heard of.  Apparently it is one of the new "superfood" items from the Andes.  Available from Amazon.  I have yet to try these three but the latter intrigues me as it is apparently a "flavoring" or "finishing" oil and may be similar to my favorite Argan oil.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/feb/02/malaysian-palm-oil-forests

http://www.wired.com/2014/07/palm-oil-map-rainforest/

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/palm_oil/about/

etc

 

--------------------

 

Oils I have around:

Peanut, rice bran, "vegetable" (this one is actually soybean), several EV olive oils (Alziari, California Olive Ranch Arbosana, Maussane-les-Alpilles, generic 'The Fresh Market' brand), walnut, hazelnut, black truffle, black sesame, toasted sesame, non-toasted sesame. Also small tubs of chicken fat & duck fat.

 

The ones I currently use most regularly for cooking/frying are the peanut & rice bran oils.  Don't have canola at the moment but not because I shun it.

 

I don't suppose "chili oil" counts in this regard. :-) 

Edited by huiray (log)
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I forgot to mention – I cook a lot of Chinese and Chinese-derived food (including Malaysian-Chinese, Singaporean-Chinese, Thai/Vietnamese-Chinese, Nyonya, etc besides Chinese-Chinese) and have done so over many years but have never used palm oil.  Corn/"vegetable"/soy/peanut/rice bran oils have been the ones I've used, and I choose the one suitable for what I am preparing or what I feel like or what I want to impart to the dish.  I don't especially worry about having a "universal" oil, I just have the various ones around - but that's just me.  I would note that I rarely (if ever) use olive oil for Chinese-derived/style dishes as the flavor profile is harder to match with the dish and ingredients concerned, for my taste at least.  Even when doing something like blanching vegetables in "oiled simmering water" (something I've described here before and is a common technique in Chinese cooking) olive oil is a BAD choice IMO because I find it creates a peculiar "greasy" texture and mouthfeel for the vegetables.  There are also some food writers/bloggers (usually in the West) who use olive oil in their Chinese dishes "for the health benefit" but I myself would prefer to pass on that. ;-) 

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I use extra virgin Olive Oil for almost everything. I have a bottle of canola which I use for making Asian style food - the idea of olive oil along with things like fish sauce and soy sauce fills me with horror.

 

Occasionally I'll use some butter too, often for pancakes.

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I'm with huiray on the heavy, greasy mouth feel of olive oil. I love it salads, but a little goes a long, long way. I use it to oil the pan when baking pizza, but sparingly. A little EVOO in a marina is good, but I never add it to meat sauce, which already has plenty of animal fat.

 

I too would never use olive oil with Chinese or other Asian food.

 

I use lots of butter too for cooking, harrysnapperorgans. It's especially good for seafood and eggs or sauteing vegetables. I'd still eat crab or lobster without melted butter to put in my candlelit butter warmers to dip it in, but it sure wouldn't be as much fun, and I can't think of a single thing that could successfully be substituted for the butter here.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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