An Insight Into The Asian Cuisine

The Asian cuisine is becoming increasingly popular and has shown to be a healthy diet as a whole. Traditional diets of many Asian countries offer a good model for good health as shown by the best-selling book ‘The China Study’, by T. Colin Campbell, with others documenting the increased longevity and health of followers of the original diets of China and Japan. The Asian Food Pyramid offers basic guidelines for the types of food to select and with what frequency. Within the pyramid, there are a large variety of grains, with rice being the number one choice, and noodles are also included in this category. Today, you can slot in all your whole grains, including brown rice in this role.

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As you can see in the picture, plants make up a large section of the diet, with a lower consumption of meat, dairy and sweets. Plants are a very nutritious and provide us with a large amount of fibre, antioxidants and lovely flavours. Fish and shellfish are optional daily, eggs and poultry and sweets are recommended as once-a-week treats, while meat is a once-a-month event, placed at the tip of the triangle.

A side benefit of eating old-school Asian is the healthfulness of fermented foods. Kimchi, preserved vegetables and pickled vegetables are all-natural sources of probiotics, thanks to lactic fermentation. Miso, soy sauce, black bean paste and fish sauces are all fermented foods in which a protein has been broken down in a fermentation process that provides extra flavour and health benefits.

Top 4 favourite Asian dishes

1. Satay

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Satay is the King of Asian Foods! Satays are simply meat on a stick, roasted over charcoal or an open fire. Satay usually comes with various dips, with the peanut sauce being the most popular and is mainly served with sticky rice or Lon tong. Most of the time you will have chopped onions, cucumber or other veggies as well.

Seafood satay is also a popular version that uses fish, calamari, prawns or other sea creatures. Satays are an easy and cheap way of filling your stomach and come nicely fried on a stick, or a small snack for in between.

2. Sushi

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Sushi is considered a higher-class delicacy and mainly eaten in posh restaurants and is seen as a science by many as it is much more than just creating raw fish rolls- forming sushi rolls are much more complex. Although it actually just takes the right kind of rice, seaweed wrappers and soy sauce.

The other ingredients like sweet, pickled ginger and Wasabi (the green, tasty paste similar to horse radish) are sold almost everywhere.

3. Chicken Curry

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Chicken Curry is a universal dish you can find on almost every menu in Asia. There are many curry powders available all over Asia and used to create those amazing curry dishes- curry powders are rich in colour and flavour. There are so many varieties of curry powders and depending on the country you are in, you will have a very different flavoured curry, as well as texture and looks- the curries are usually based with coconut milk, saffron and ginger. In Indonesia, ‘Kari Ayam’ is the most popular type of curry, which is thinner than curries found in Malaysia.

4.  Fried Rice (nasi goreng)

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Rice is the staple diet in every Asian country and is cheap and tasty. The fried rice is usually cooked plain white, with a coconut sauce or saffron added- eaten with meat or vegetables! Fried rice is made simply by throwing everything in a Wok, fried in some vegetable oil, add soy sauce, garlic, shallots and other spicy food to increase the depth of flavour from the plain rice.  It is popular to add a fried egg on top or within the dish and satays or prawn crackers can be a nice addition to the dish to fill you up for a while.