All About Asian Food

July 2011 Archives

Deep Frying Like a Champ

Tofu

Americans have a long and devoted history with deep frying. We deep fry our chicken and our fish. We deep fry our hot dogs and our donuts, and even our ice cream! But all this deep frying hasn't been too kind to our bodies. If only there was a way to enjoy our favorite deep fried food, but not be so unhealthy... Oh wait, there is!

The Japanese love deep frying too, but they call theirs tempura. And instead of using flour, they use bread crumbs.

 

Panko Bread Crumbs are one of the most popular types to use. Panko bread crumbs absorb less oil than flour, and this results in a lighter, healthier meal that has just as much of that satisfying crunch. You can also try it on a casserole, crab cakes, or any type of meat.

Potato starch is another good substitute for flour because it's gluten free. There is Seasoned Potato Starch for a fuller flavor, but if you're really looking for a slimmer, healthier alternative, you should stick with the unseasoned. Potato starch is also a great thickening agent. You can use it to add a little texture to soup, or pudding, or you can mix it with spices to even out the flavor and prevent over-spicing. Use it for pancakes or cupcakes as well for a leaner, healthier effect.

Sweet Rice Flour is another healthy option preferred over normal flour because rice flour generally doesn't contain gluten. This makes it a better option for people who have diabetes, or who are trying to lose weight. You can also use this to make delicious mochi, or as a thickening agent for pudding, or various soups.

Tofu

Now, you may notice that we've been hating on flour a little bit in this blog. But the problem with flour is that it has gluten in it, and the body turns that into glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar, and an essential energy source for the function of the human body. But too much glucose can lead to serious problems like diabetes and other related issues like blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, blood clots, and even strokes. So it's fine to eat all those tasty things you enjoy, but look for ways to substitute out the harmful elements for something that's a little better for you.

We encourage you to experiment with our bread crumbs, potato starch, and rice flour to find the perfect recipes for your soup, pudding, and everything you love to bake or fry.

Sticking to Your Summer Diet

Shiratake noodles

 

A lot of us go on a diet in the summer to look good while we sunbathe on those beautiful beaches. But we at Asian Food grocer encourage you to maintain this healthy diet year round. Diets don't have to be difficult either. You can still have your favorite snacks too, but you've got to make healthy food a staple in your everyday meals.

We've outlined a couple foods that will help you keep your health, your sanity, and enough money in your wallet for a summer vacation.


Shirataki Noodles:

You've probably heard us blab on and on about how wonderful these noodles are, but we really can't say enough good stuff about them. They're extremely adaptable. You can use them in place of almost any pasta, and you can use them to complement most meat, stir-fry, or soup dishes. They're glutten free, low carb, low in calories, free of fat, cholesterol, and sodium, making them the perfect diet noodle! They'll expand in your stomach to make you feel more full too, so you'll end up eating less.

Miso:

Miso is famous for being in soup, such as miso soup. (Duh...) But most people don't understand the dietary and health qualities that miso can offer. It's great for aiding digestion, and it helps to lower the LDL cholesterol. It's been known to help prevent certain types of cancers, and strengthen the immune system, and best of all, it's almost fat free. Miso isn't very expensive, and a lottle goes a long way. Plus it's got a very long shelf life, so it's unlikely you'll be wasting any due to spoilage.

Seaweed:

I bet you didn't see that one coming. Seaweed is a surprising contender in the battle for good health. It's loaded full of vitamins, including the ever important complex B vitamins, which are great for lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and promoting overall brain and circulatory system health. This is yet another food that is very adaptable. It's famous for being in sushi rolls, but it's commonly eaten by itself like potato chips. It is also frequently used as a garnish to decorate foods, or even as a spice that is sprinkled on plain rice meals. It's low in fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories.

Tofu

Tofu:

Tofu is another health food that is highly adaptable. It can be used to complement almost any meal. You can fry it, boil it, use it in a salad, put it in soup, serve it with your pasta, or whatever you can imagine. Tofu is protein rich, making it a great meat substitute, and it's low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Tofu is pretty inexpensive too, so making a meal out of it won't cost much at all.

The point we're getting to with this blog is that good health doesn't have to be hard to maintain. And you don't have to starve yourself to stay on a diet. There are all kinds of great tasting alternatives to the typical greasy, fast food meal. So skip the burger and check out our free recipes section!

Cooking with Seaweed

Huizong


Many people don't know it, but Seaweed is actually extremely healthy for you. It is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It's been shown to be good for the digestion, as well as the circulatory system. Seaweed is filled with more nutrients than many of the plants and vegetables that grow on land.

The reason for this is that there are a lot of healthy nutrients floating around in the ocean water. These nutrients get absorbed by the seaweed, and so the plants become like little sponges that suck up all these healthy vitamins and minerals.

Seaweed is commonly used with sushi to make various types of rolls, such as maki, nori, or California rolls. But it also has other applications too. It's often used in Furikake, a type of Japanese seasoning typically used on plain white rice. It's also used in many types of Soups to add texture and flavor. Or you can even eat seaweed by itself in place of unhealthy potato chips. Seaweed is also used to make Agar-Agar, which can be used to make a healthy gelatin used for deserts.

One of our most popular seaweed products is the pack of Fujikko Konbu Maki Dried Kelp Rolls. They are strips of seaweed, rolled over on each other, and tied by a guard strip. They're common on holidays and special occasions.

There are various types and styles of seaweed as well, and they're used for various purposes. Here are a few.

HuizongNori - Nori is one of the most common types of seaweed. It's the kind that is used in sushi, roasted and eaten like potato chips, and also used as a garnish to decorate food.
Kombu - Kombu, or konbu, is used in soup. It adds a complex, savory, salty flavor. It is used as dashi to flavor to soup and broth, but is often removed before the soup is served.
Wakame - Wakame is sweeter and a bit more slippery than kombu. This is the kind of seaweed used in miso soup. It is also used in salads and is served with tofu.
Seaweed Paste - Seaweed paste is usually added to plain white rice or simple dishes to add flavor. Depending on what is added to enhance the flavor, it's typically very healthy.

Check out these recipes below for some ideas on how to cook with seaweed.

California Rolls
California Rolls
Try this recipe for a simple but delicious sushi dish. Easy to make, and very healthy, you're going to love these Sushi Rolls
 Caterpillar Roll
Caterpillar Roll
Test your sushi skills with a more complex recipe, that will entertain your guests and satisfy your hunger. Try our Caterpillar Roll
Huizong


Shiitake Mushrooms are famous for their full flavor and their positive impact on health. They've been used in Asian cuisine and medicine for about the last 6000 years, in soups, teas, and various herbal remedies.

Many people think that mushrooms are vegetables, but in reality they're a unique type of fungus. Because of this they're extremely easy to grow, and don't require a lot of resources like water and nutrients to develop. This makes it a sustainable food for earth conscience eaters.

There are a lot of reasons to eat shiitake mushrooms. First of all they've got a great taste, which can compliment most foods- from pastas, to soup, to most meat dishes.

But they're also incredibly healthy. Shiitakes have high levels of complex B vitamins, which help with cardiovascular health. These Huizong mushrooms are also known to reduce cholesterol and help the body fight certain types of cancer. They're also about as high in iron as typical meat, which makes them a great staple for a vegetarian diet, or for anemics.

Take a look at the recipes below to try out your skills with shiitake mushrooms.

Arame-Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Grilled Sesame Seed Steak Strips With Vegetables

Cooking with Tuna Flakes

Huizong

Tuna Flakes might sound like sort of a weird concept. We've all heard of tuna sandwiches, and most people might have tried tuna in the form of sashimi, or a sushi roll. But tuna flakes?


Well, tuna flakes are dehydrated slices of tuna. They are very light, and look sort of like tiny shreds of paper, and are actually a very versatile ingredient. They're commonly used in soups as a sort of flavor enhancers. They can also be used as a garnish to increase the aesthetic appeal of a dish, or in spring rolls, or even in the place of tuna in a tuna sandwich. And if you still can't get your head around the concept of tuna flakes being tasty, maybe your cat can. Some of our customers have dubbed tuna flakes as "Kitty crack." Cats seem to love the stuff, so if you're not interested in a delicious soup or spring roll, consider the taste buds of your feline friends.

Huizong

Tuna is also an extremely healthy food to eat. It's high in protein, full of fish oils (duh), which have been associated with better cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as well as overall circulatory system health. It's also low in fat and calories. The FDA even recommends eating up to 12 ounces of fish a week, so eat up!


If you're interested in some tasty, healthy soups, then consider trying these recipes with your tuna flakes.

Miso Soup

Dobunmushi