Although you may not have thought of this before, traditional cuisine from the countries of Southeast Asia, China, and Japan is really healthy.
Actually, Asian culture and food is all about balance. So, even if you aren’t a fan of traditional Asian flavors, balance in the diet is something we can all benefit from. The truth is there are more and more people interested to change their usual American cuisine. Also, many people get tired of eating the same healthy foods all the time. Now, just in case you fall into one of the two categories, try something new and change it up with some traditional Asian cooking. You’ll definitely enjoy it!
In Asian culture, vegetables are an acceptable addition to any meal of the day, even breakfast. There are a variety of tasty veggies included in Asian-inspired recipes, like: mushrooms, bok choy, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, snap peas, chili peppers, etc. Vegetables are extremely important in a healthy diet, and with the Asian diet you’ll get plenty of them.
Meat is actually considered more of a "side dish" in Asian culture. The primary focus of a meal is usually on the grain and the vegetables. Fish is specifically popular in many Asian countries, and it is quite affordable, particularly along the coast. Including at least two servings of fish per week in your meal plan is highly recommended.
Besides fish and shellfish, pork, chicken, duck, and some beef are also found in the Asian cuisine. However, meats are consumed in smaller portions. When you decide to include these meats in your meal plan, keep in mind that it is important to choose lean cuts, to remove any skin, and to cut away visible fat before cooking.
A great deal of vegetarian protein is also found in the Asian cuisine, like: tofu, edamame, peanuts, as well as other legumes. These are generally added to stews, stir frys, spring rolls, and soups.
Find the Balance
Authentic Asian cuisine involves a balance of vegetables, protein, and grains. Some oils, sauces, and fruit are also included. It’s all about focusing on portion control and making healthy choices.
The most favored grain-based foods in Asian cooking are rice and noodles. Southwestern countries like India also enjoy different flat breads such as naan. Rice noodles, egg noodles, and soba noodles (noodles made from buckwheat flour) are just some of the most frequent types of noodles used to make main dishes and soups. In many Asian countries, rice is served with most meals of the day.
Flavors and Seasonings
Authentic Asian cooking is about exploiting all the natural flavors of the foods you cook through the use of herbs and seasoning. One of the most common flavor profiles you will see is a mix of garlic, ginger and scallions as well as cilantro and chili peppers that are also quite common. These seasonings are great for adding flavor to sauces, soups, and stir fry dishes for very few calories, sodium, and carbs.
Dairy products are something you won’t see a lot in Asian cooking. Cheese, milk, and yogurt are very seldom used in most Asian cooking, with the exception of Indian cuisine.
Tea has been a staple drink in Asian countries for thousands of years and continues to be a popular choice. In the past, it has been used as an herbal medicine and as a religious offering. In certain Asian countries, it is still used in tea ceremonies, and it is generally consumed with meals or sweets to help with digestion.
So, in case you think you don’t know the first thing about cooking Asian food, the point is that regardless of whether you have a background in Asian cooking or not, you can start trying out some tasty recipes and include the Asian cuisine into your diet. A balanced, healthy diet can only benefit you!
What’s your experience with the Asian cuisine? Are you a frequent consumer of the Asian diet? We really would love to know, so please share with us in the comments below.