SautÃ©ing is a method of cooking, wherein the food is cooked on a pan which is placed on high heat, along with a small quantity of fat or oil. The food is randomly tossed while cooking, so as to ensure even cooking and browning of the food. Popular sautÃ©ed dishes include sautÃ©ed onions, sautÃ©ed green peppers and sautÃ©ed potatoes.
Origin of SautÃ©ing
The origin of sautÃ©ing can be traced back to the time when frying emerged as a process of cooking, as sautÃ©ing falls under shallow-frying. Lard and animal fat were initially used to prepare sautÃ©ed recipes, but with the invention of various types of low-fat, low-cholesterol and healthy oils, the former was replaced. SautÃ©ing began as a process of cooking meats and vegetables, which got slightly browned on the outside due to the caramelizing of sugars present in the food, while the natural flavor and moisture was sealed inside due to the high heat. This process resulted in a highly flavorful and aromatic final dish, which made sautÃ©ing highly popular, and several types of sautÃ©ed dishes were invented across the globe in different cuisines. Almost every cuisine has a wide range of sautÃ©ed recipes.
The Process of SautÃ©ing
SautÃ©ing is carried out by first cutting the food to be sautÃ©ed into small, preferably thin pieces. The small size of the food allows it to cook faster as sautÃ©ing is a quick process. Oil is then heated in a wide, flat-base fry pan or griddle which can hold all the food items together in one layer, allowing the steam to escape so that the sautÃ©ed dish remains crispy on the outside, while fresh and juicy inside. The food is placed inside the pan, which contains a small quantity of oil at a very high temperature. The food is continuously moved and flipped while sautÃ©ing, so as to cook and brown it on all sides. If meat is being sautÃ©ed, the liquid residue obtained is generally used in order to prepare a sauce to accompany the sautÃ©ed dish. SautÃ©ing is an extremely fast method of cooking as all the food are placed in the pan at once and are quickly cooked on high heat and then removed and served immediately. SautÃ©ing is used to prepare everyday dishes as well as elaborate specialty preparations.
Popular SautÃ©ed Dishes
SautÃ©ed Spinach, SautÃ©ed Chicken and SautÃ©ed Plantains are examples of popular sautÃ©ed dishes. The popularity varies from cuisine to cuisine, as every cuisine has its own list of sautÃ©ed recipes. Olive oil and butter are the most commonly used fats for sautÃ©ing, and most of the meats and vegetables such as poultry, beef, seafood, potatoes, onions and peppers are suitable ingredients for preparing sautÃ©ed recipes. SautÃ©ing is commonly used across most of the cuisines, although minor variations exist in every cuisine.
Advantages and Disadvantages of SautÃ©ing
SautÃ©ing is advantageous over certain other methods of cooking as it is a very fast process, and the amount of fat required is lesser as compared to deep-frying.
However, sautÃ©ed dishes do contain a certain amount of fat, and are less healthy as compared to boiled or baked dishes. Also, sautÃ©ing needs skill and constant supervision as the food needs to be tossed and mixed while cooking; else it is under the risk of getting burnt or unevenly cooked.
Techniques Similar to SautÃ©ing
SautÃ©ing is very similar to searing, with the only difference being that seared dishes are only cooked on the surface, while sautÃ©ed dishes are cooked throughout. Stir-frying is another method similar to sautÃ©ing but the difference between the two is that sautÃ©ing involves cooking all the food items together in a flat pan, whereas stir-frying requires the food items to be added in rapid succession into a wok, which is a round bottomed cooking pan.