All About Asian Food

September 2008 Archives

shrimp chips bag.jpgIt isn't easy to pick 10 favorites out of all the Japanese snacks out there. Walking down the Asian food store aisle, it seems like every colorful package is crying out, "pick me, pick me." No offense to all the other Japanese snacks, but shrimp chips (sometimes called prawn crackers) take number seven in our favorite Asian foods countdown. Crunchy, cute, and super addictive, shrimp chips are the triple threat of Japanese snacks.

Made from deep-fried flattened out prawns, these Japanese snacks can be found in Asian food stores across the U.S. Most Asian food stores carry pre-cooked shrimp chips (similar to potato chips) and translucent disk-shaped shrimp chips that must be deep fried before serving. If you are new to shrimp chips and would rather not dirty your frying pan, start with pre-cooked. Expect a subtle shrimp flavor and light, crispy texture.

When you buy shrimp chips, keep them crunchy. Don't let them sit in a partially opened bag or they'll quickly turn stale. Put some in a bowl and close the bag with a shrimp chip-clip (cute) or eat them all at once. Be warned, shrimp chips are super addictive and you can go through a whole bag in one sitting. Especially when watching "Iron Chef."

What chip would be complete without a dipping partner? Dip them in hot sauce, try them in cheese, or flavor them with Japanese seasonings. These hot and spicy shrimp chips make a flavorful stand-alone snack. Here's a little known secret about shrimp chips -- you can crunch them up and use them as breading for fried chicken. Pack your shrimp chips, shrimp-fried chicken, Ramune soda, and disposable chopsticks in a basket and head out on a Japanese-inspired picnic.

To find shrimp chips and other Japanese snacks, shop Asian Food Grocer. And check back soon for our number six in our favorite Asian Foods countdown.

Crazy Sushi Creations

Sushi makes everyone smile. It's no surprise that those colorful California rolls appear in places other than the dinner plate. But sometimes sushi looks too good to eat. We went on a sushi safari (ok, so we were surfing the internet) to explore the most innovative sushi creations. Get your chopsticks ready and dig in to this feast for the eyes!

Thumbnail image for sushi and chopsticks.jpgWe found this sushi lego creation at Anime.com. Absolutely adorable and worth the hours of work. We hope those little Lego people enjoy their sashimi. But how do they use disposable chopsticks with those tiny, fingerless hands?

Thumbnail image for sushi_highres_combofull.jpg


Why eat sushi when you can wear it around? We found this jewelry set at at Bag Lady.com. Maki rolls: the newest fashion accessory since tiny dogs. Spread the word.


sushi panda.jpg These sushi rolls are too cute! But who wants to eat something that darling? Look at those pleading Panda eyes and those puffy Panda cheeks. Can't eat...too cute....must resist.



sushi tire cover.jpg

We found this sushi gem at Adrants.com. By law, everyone should get rid of those unsightly black tire covers and roll with this. Warning: this is not an actual sushi roll. Please refrain from chasing the car or you might get run over.



586220_sushi_flower.jpgWould a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Not if it's made of sushi. But this sashimi rose is truly a sight for sore eyes.





sushicandy.jpg

And finally, tasty sushi candy brought to you by Glue Gun Crafts. Doesn't it look like real sushi? Yummy. You can learn how to make sushi for yourself here. What a tasty treat for holiday parties!



Hungry yet? If you're salivating for sushi, (sorry, couldn't resist) check out our sushi supplies. And please send us a photograph of your own sushi art. We'll post it in the next round of sushi creations.

          

Thumbnail image for miso.jpgAs the third installment of our weight loss series, we're focusing on miso soup. If you frequent Japanese restaurants, you'll instantly recognize the distinct miso flavor. But we have a recipe that rivals the best restaurants in town! Make this miso soup recipe and let us know what you think.

Learn to make a mean miso soup and you're well on your way to a skinnier, healthier you. Stock up on miso soup and paste or get miso soup and our other weight loss foods in this healthy bundle pack. Pssst -- there's a little known secret about miso. Miso makes a delicious dressing and marinade, so if you get sick of soup, try miso paste in other Asian dishes.

Ingredients:
* about 30 half-inch cubes of Tofu
* 4 mushrooms, sliced
* 2 stalks green onions, chopped
* 4 cups water
* 2 teaspoons Dashi
* 3-4 tablespoons miso (adjust to taste)


Directions:
Boil 4 cups of water and dashi. Add tofu and mushrooms, simmer gently about 3 minutes. Add miso and dissolve completely. Immediately turn off the heat and add chopped green onions, then serve
.

Who knew soup could be so simple? Find more delicious Asian food recipes and get on the road to a healthier (happier) you.
 
shirataki noodles 2.jpgAs the part two in our weight loss series,  we're supplying recipes for the six foods mentioned in the article, starting with Shirataki noodles. Shirataki noodles are taking the world by storm as the only noodle that actually aids weight loss. That's right - a NOODLE that HELPS you LOSE WEIGHT. We don't mean to gush but Shirataki noodles are truly amazing. Why gain pound after pound from pasta when you could enjoy oodles of these Asian noodles? You can get all six healthy foods in this healthy bundle pack.


The Secret of Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki noodles were once Japan's best-kept weight loss secret. Thanks to the low-carb craze, the noodles are out of the bag now. Shirataki means "white waterfall" -- a pretty name for a noodle. We like to think of them as little miracles of science.

What's the big secret of Shirataki? These noodles contain no fat, carbs, net carbs, sugar, or any other weight-loss enemies. As mentioned in our previous article, shirataki noodles are made from the yam-like konjac plant and loaded with glucomannan - a water-soluble dietary fiber. Anyone who has tried to shed pounds the old-fashioned way knows that fiber is a major fat buster. Shirataki noodles keep you full and curb the craving for carb-rich food.

shirataki noodles 3.jpgHow Should I Prepare Shirataki Noodles?
Not everyone is enamored with Shirataki noodles. Like sushi and beer, Shirataki noodles have an acquired taste. Before you ship these Asian noodles off to diet food island make the recipe below for delicious Shirataki Chicken Salad. Or substitute Shirataki for Asian noodles in some of our other Asian recipes.  Remember, Shirataki noodles absorb whatever you mix into the pot, so don't be shy with the Japanese seasonings.

Some people think Shirataki noodles taste rubbery, probably because they didn't parboil! Before you use Shirataki noodles, rinse and parboil them to get the right texture. Simply bring water to boil and add a pinch of salt (optional). Quick boil the noodles for 1-2 minutes, then drain and rinse.

SHIRATAKI CHICKEN VEGGIE SALAD

You'll need: large frying pan; 2 tsp. vegetable oil; 8 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast; 2 carrots; 1 medium onion; 1 clove pressed garlic; 1/4 lb. snow peas; 1 package (16 oz) JFC Shirataki; 1 Tbsp. Kikkoman Soy Sauce;  2 Tbsp. Mitsukan Rice Vinegar; 2 tbs. Sesame Oil.

1. Heat large frying pan, preferably non-stick, over high heat.
2. Add 2 tsp. vegetable oil; coat pan.
3. Add 8 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast, slivered. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes, or until lightly
    browned. Remove from pan.
4. Heat 1 tsp. oil in same pan. Add 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks; 1 medium onion, cut into thin
    wedges; 1 clove garlic, pressed; and 1/4 lb. snow peas, trimmed and halved lengthwise.
    Stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove from pan.
5. Add 1 package (16 oz) Shirataki drained and coarsely chopped, and 1 Tbsp. Kikkoman Soy
    Sauce to same pan. Cook and stir 3 minutes.
6. Turn into large bowl. Mix in chicken, vegetables, 2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar, 1 tbsp. Soy Sauce, and     2 tbs. Sesame Oil.
7. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, stirring occasionally. Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 187 calories, 16g protein, 6g fat, 14g carbohydrate, 774mg sodium, 39mg cholesterol.


If you made Shirataki Chicken Salad or any of our other Asian recipes, please comment below and let us know what you thought.  Can't wait until our next healthy recipe? Then check out these Asian cookbooks.