With our slow-cookers taking up permanent residency on our kitchen counters, our bookshelves overflowing with clean-eating cookbooks, and everyone looking for more sustainable, plant-based dishes, 2018 was a big year for cooks looking to expand their repertoire, save time, and get healthier. Each year, Google lets us know what people were searching for the most and, without further ado, these are top 10 foods we Googled "how to cook" in 2018:
10. How to cook barramundi
One of the most popular searches in 2018 was "how to cook barramundi". It's little wonder that this versatile fish has gained such popularity - with its mild, buttery flavour and firm texture, it makes a perfect choice for recipes that call for "firm, white fish".
9. How to cook crayfish
Crayfish have many names - crawdad, freshwater lobsters, mudbugs or yabbies - but are all a variety of crustacean that live in freshwater. Once you learn how to open lobsters and crabs, busting open a delicious crayfish opens a world of delicious possibilities.
These delicious yabbies with remoulade on baguette make a moreish finger food, while our barbecued lobster recipe and roasted lobster tails with mirin dressing can easily be adapted for freshwater crayfish.
8. How to cook couscous
Couscous is an extremely versatile food, made from crushed semolina, originating from North-West Africa. Much like rice, once you learn how to cook couscous you can incorporate it into many delicious dishes in myriad ways.
One of the most popular ways to serve couscous is as an ingredient in side dishes like this jewelled couscous salad. It's also makes a delicious bed for succulent marinated meat dishes like this Moroccan chicken dish.
7. How to cook corn
Corn, like couscous, is one of the most versatile foods you can cook with. While it's quick and simple to boil corn cobs in water until their kernels are tender, there are many other ways to cook and enjoy corn.
Corn is delicious grilled and served with cheese and sauce, like this Mexican-style grilled corn. The kernels can also be used to make these delicious zucchini and corn muffins, or even a batch of corn fritters with sour cream.
And of course, popcorn.
6. How to cook rice in the microwave
The conveniences of modern technology are a constant wonder, which is why "how to cook rice in the microwave" is in the top 10 most searched "how to cook" recipes in 2018. While we do go into a lot of detail elsewhere about how to cook white rice properly, here's the short and sweet microwave version:
Place 1½ cups (300g) of rinsed white rice in a medium microwave-safe dish. Pour over 2 cups (500ml) of cold water and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook on HIGH (100% power) for 12 minutes. Stand covered for 5 minutes before serving.
5. How to cook beetroot
Vibrant, sweet, and healthy beetroot have risen in popularity in 2018. Beetroot is the taproot of the beet plant, and is cooked in much the same way as other root vegetables. Whether roasted, boiled, or steamed, the papery skin of the beetroot easily peels away after cooking. Roasted beetroot is a delicious ingredient in salads, and its light, sweet flavour makes it an ideal as a chutney.
Of course, beetroot is also well-known for its stubborn red pigment which, while you might want to keep it away from your clothes, is ideal for creating a striking pink beetroot risotto.
4. How to cook silverside
While we tend to use the terms "corned beef" and "silverside" interchangeably, technically they aren't the same thing. Silverside is, in fact, a particular cut of beef from the hindquarter of cattle which has a silver-looking membrane of connective tissue down one side, which is where "silverside" gets its name. Since it's the most popular cut of meat used to make corned beef, the names have come to mean the same thing in Australia and New Zealand. But actually, not all corned beef is made from silverside, and not all silverside becomes corned beef.
3. How to cook tofu
More people than ever are choosing to cut back on the amount of meat they regularly consume, and with that has come a boost in the popularity of protein-rich vegetarian dishes. The champion of which is - tofu!
Made from soy milk curd, tofu can be firm, soft, or "silken" (the consistency of soft cream cheese), and has a mild flavour making it an ideal ingredient in a whole range of dishes including traditional Asian dishes like this vegetable laksa and as a meat-substitute in these bahn mi. We also love it spiced, like in this delicious salt and pepper tofu dish.
2. How to cook eggplant
Eggplant is a delicious ingredient that is at home in a whole variety of dishes. In general, when working with fresh eggplant, it's important to sprinkle it with salt and allow it to sit for around 10 minutes until excess water starts beading on the surface. Blot the excess water away with paper towel, and then continue cooking. This helps the eggplant maintain its shape while cooking, and prevents the dish from becoming watery.
1. How to cook corned beef
2018 was the year of corned beef, it seems! People were desperate to know how to cook corned beef. Slow cooker corned beef, especially, seemed to be on everyone's mind as they hunted down tasty, easy, slow-cooker recipes. And why not? Once you cook a delicious side of corned beef it can be used to create all sorts of delicious dishes. From a corned beef roast for dinner, to this delicious corned beef jaffle, and even corned beef hash with poached eggs and a tasty breakfast.