15 March 2019

A Foodie’s Guide to Fusion Cooking

People have been setting off to experience different cultures and cuisines for centuries – it’s how spices reached the west from the east in the first place.

21st century food appreciation and technology have taken us to new realms –unusual and interesting ingredients are readily available and we’re getting more adventurous too. Once-exotic flavours and cooking styles have become a part of our lives. From Moroccan tagines to Middle Eastern hummus, and from Asian curries and noodles to Japanese sushi, we’re consuming and experimenting with food from all over the world – and loving it.

Understanding Flavour Fusions

The trick to fusion food is to start off simply and experiment until you find the flavour marriages that work for your palate.

For instance, want to bring an element of Asia to your dinner party? Begin with your favourite dips and snacks, and work out ways to add a dash of a classic Asian flavour – you could add wasabi to guacamole for a Japanese hit, or mix Thai curry paste into hummus for a spicy flavour sensation. Once you’ve mastered these simpler recipes, move onto the main course – sauces are a great place to start freestyling with flavours. By the time you’ve hit dessert, you should really have found your groove, and that’s when the fun really starts!

An excellent place to look for inspiration is street food – usually comprising just a few flavours, often a typical street food dish can be adapted to suit your mood or flavour preference.

Try These Flavour Mash-Ups

  • Add some umami to your lamb knuckle stew with XO sauce, an iconic spicy seafood sauce that hails from Hong Kong
  • Go against the grain and try Maize Rice Risotto Verde recipe which substitutes arborio rice with maize rice, make a Deep-Pan Pap Pizza or use quinoa instead of noodles in your Pad Thai
  • Indian curry is delicious in a quesadilla
  • Pizza topped with Tandoori chicken is a mouthwatering flavour sensation
  • Add a dollop of red curry paste to a traditional beurre blanc for fish
  • Do what the South Americans do and add chilli to your famous chocolate mousse
  • Love Shakshuka? Swop out the Zaatar for Masala, or try our Boerewors Shakshuka recipe!
  • Bobotie spring rolls served with fruity chutney are a fun Mzansi-Asian flavour mashup

Fusion Food Pantry Basics

These spices, herbs and pantry essentials and their distinct flavour profiles are masters at morphing and marrying with other flavours:

  • Ground cumin is a must for Mexican meat dishes but no Malay or Indian dish is complete without it either
  • Cinnamon brings out so much flavour in slow roasted lamb dishes but it’s equally wonderful in custard
  • Mayonnaise may be a Belgian favourite with frites but add some chilli sauce to it and you have a brilliant burger relish
  • Devilled eggs are nothing without cayenne pepper but it adds so much zing to slow cooked pork too
  • Soya sauce is traditionally an Asian stalwart but stir in some honey and mustard and you have an outstanding dipping sauce or glaze.


Fusion food and cooking is bigger than it has ever been. Visit our recipe website for ideas on how to bring exotic ideas and flavours into your own world, or download the Le Creuset recipe app.

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