It is often considered that many people born and raised in Asian countries tend to be more slender and have healthier bodies than many people in Western countries. Although genetics play a part in this, traditional Asian diets are also a major factor. In fact, medical researchers have suggested that many traditional Asian diets minimise the risk of diabetes and obesity. Here are some simple Asian recipes which can be incorporated into your diet and live a healthier life.
Breakfast: Basic Recipe for Congee
Congee is a staple food among many Asians. This popular food is a warm watery rice porridge, which can be seasoned in various ways by adding meat, fish, chicken and mushrooms, to produce a sweet and savoury taste. It serves as a beverage and provides healthy carbohydrates to boost your energy level.
- 9 cups of water
- 3/4 cup of long grain rice
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Chinese dates and rock sugar (optional).
- Bring the rice and water to boil in a fairly large pot.
- While the rice is boiling, reduce the heat from high to low.
- Cover the pot with lid and allow some space for steam to escape.
- Cook on low heat, and stir it once in a while until the rice has a thick and creamy texture of porridge (This could take between 60 to 80 minutes).
- Add salt, sugar, dates and other seasoning as desired.
Lunch: Hoisin Wraps
This delicious and healthy Hoisin wraps can be made quickly and they are ideal for dinner or as a tasty snack, which you can eat any time of the day. The following recipe serves two people.
- 4 onions, finely shredded
- 1/4 cucumber, de-seeded and shredded
- 2 flour tortilla
- 4 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce
- 200g of cooked chicken or turkey (cut in thin strips).
- Heat up your grill.
- Mix the chicken or turkey with 2 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce to coat it.
- Spread the chicken in an oven dish and grill it till it is sizzling.
- Warm the tortillas under the grill.
- Spread the remaining Hoisin sauce on the tortillas and use it to wrap the chicken or turkey with watercress, onions, and cucumber. Cut it in half and eat while it is warm.
Adding simple meals such as the above to your diet once or twice a week may help to reduce dietary boredom whilst providing a number of health benefits. Furthermore, virtually all the ingredients required for these recipes can be found your local grocery store.
Dinner: Chow Mein
Chow Mein (fried noodles) is a classic Asian dish which uses a range of popular Asian ingredients combined with noodles, meat and vegetables. This recipe contains chicken, however this can be substituted with meat, seafood, or more vegetables. This recipe takes a total of 30 minutes to cook and serves four people.
For the main dish-
- 2 finely chopped spring onions
- 1/2 teaspoon of golden caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper (finely ground)
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
- 2 teaspoons of dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce
- 50g cooked ham (finely shredded)
- 50g mangetout (finely shredded)
- 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of groundnut oil
- 100g of finely shredded chicken breasts (boneless and skinless).
For the marinade-
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons of Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce.
- Cook the noodles in a fairly large saucepan of boiling water for about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain them and immerse in cold water, drain and add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil.
- Mix the marinade ingredients with chicken and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, leave it for 10 minutes.
- Stir fry the chicken shreds in a heated lightly oiled skillet for about 2 minutes.
- Stir fry the garlic for 10 seconds in a skillet after heating up groundnut oil. Add the ham and mangetout and then stir fry them for 1 minute.
- Add the noddles, spring onions, sugar, pepper, rice wine, soy sauce and salt and stir fry for 2 minutes. Stir fry for about 3 to 4 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Add a teaspoon of sesame oil and give it a final stir.
Adding simple meals such as the above to your diet once or twice a week may help to keep your diet exciting whilst providing you with a number of health benefits along the way. Furthermore, virtually all the ingredients required for these recipes can be found your local grocery store.