5 Tips For Healthy Chinese Cooking
The popularity of Chinese cuisine is almost unparalleled around the world. Though, getting a takeaway meal may seem like a pushover, trying to cook healthy Chinese food needs much more than a visit to the Asian store. Mastering the art of Chinese cooking is not just about dealing with noodles, tofu, and stir fries especially if you are a part of “eat healthy brigade”. But it is not challenging either; simple measures like keeping a check on the cut of the meat used, amount of fat added and number of additives added will help you prepare healthy Chinese meals in no time. So, with no further ado, read on for more such tips…
You do not need MSG to prepare Chinese food. It is a popular misconception that MSG or Ajinomoto is a traditional Asian seasoning and food would not taste good without this additive. On the other hand MSG was invented only recently and almost never used in authentic recipes. MSG is a known allergen and main cause of “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”. It is also purported to be a carcinogen and known to worsen hyperactivity on ADHD children. It is better avoid this additive completely and use natural seasonings instead.
2. Restrict the use of salt in the cooking
Most Chinese recipes call for the use of sauces like soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, oyster sauce, etc. All these sauces contain salt, hence it is advisable to not use any excess salt in cooking and season the dish just before serving. This practice will cut your sodium intake to a large extent.
3. Use a non-stick pan for stir-frying
Even though, traditionally a wok is used for stir-frying food, you will find that a non-stick pan will drastically cut the fat content of the food. The high heat needed for authentic wok cooking is rarely achieved in household kitchens, which results in food sticking to the vessel. To prevent this one tends to add more oils, thus loading a probably healthy dish with unhealthy fats. On the other hand you can prepare a near authentic and healthy stir-fry in a non-stick pan using very little oil or better a cooking spray.
4. Use healthy cooking methods like steaming, boiling, and par boiling
Think beyond stir-frying and include other cooking techniques in your project. Steaming, boiling and par boiling are not only healthy but help prepare the most delectable and traditional Chinese food. In fact steamed dim sums way better than the fried variety. Invest in a good quality steamer if required.
5. Choose an authentic traditional Chinese recipe
The popular Chinese recipes and cookbooks available are different from the healthy Chinese food served in its parent country. Unlike in the Western countries, the people in China focus more of fresh vegetables, soy, tofu, and rice with a small portion of meat. They also tend to keep the serving size small. Hence, sticking to tradition and less common is always better and healthier.
So the next time you crave for Chinese food, stop worrying about the nutritional value of the food. Just follow the tips given and you will be able to cook health Chinese food in no time.
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