Is your weeknight menu getting a bit stale? There’s something to be said for the tried and true, but sometimes your tastebuds need a kick.
Why not go international? Exploring foods from various continents introduces you to new flavors and ingredients, many of which benefit your overall health and well-being. Here are eight fun ways to enjoy Asian food at home.
“Asian fusion” may sound like a modern trend, but it has ancient origins. Chefs have long experimented with various cuisines, and those who traveled brought back new flavors to add to everyday dishes. However, most folks these days think of funky foods a la Wolfgang Puck, such as buffalo chicken spring rolls.
You can even get creative when you stay within the continent – Asia is the world’s largest one, after all. Pan-Asian food differs slightly from fusion cuisine by combining dishes like Vietnamese pho with pad Thai as an entree. You might also pair an Indian dish with a Korean one.
Have you ever tried seaweed soup? It’s a rich source of iodine, which is helpful if you have thyroid issues. You can boil seaweed, stir-fry it, or serve it raw. Why not add a few leaves with your salad greens for an interesting crunch? You can pick up the dried leaves as a salty, on-the-go snack.
Lotus chips make an intriguing substitute for the potato version. Is it a chip or a cracker? The taste is somewhat in between. Many Asian cultures include the root in their cooking. It’s an excellent potassium source, helping to moderate your blood pressure. Best of all, you can find it seasoned with seaweed instead of salt, which reduces the sodium content of the finished product.
You can enjoy more Asian food flavor at home by switching up your condiments. For example, many recipes that call for vinegar taste just as good with the rice version. In some cases, it enhances the flavor of the final dish.
Rice vinegar has a sweeter taste than the distilled white or red wine versions. You can sample a small bit – your lips won’t pucker like they would if you tried a sip of the standard stuff. It’s a natural match for summer salads laden with berries. It balances the acidity of the greens with the bright tang of raspberries and blueberries perfectly.
Do you stay away from Asian food because you have a sensitive stomach? If so, you might want to embrace the cuisine instead of staying away. Why? Many dishes call for lemongrass, a herb with a long history of use for calming digestive issues and easing stress.
Lemongrass has a citrusy taste with a hint of mint. Try adding it to chicken soup to give it an Asian twist. You might also find the essential oil relaxing in your diffuser – it may help ease muscle aches and pains.
Do you have high blood pressure? If so, this Asian food swap could be a lifesaver. Soy sauce has six times less sodium than the stuff that comes out of your shaker but imparts a similar flavor – one that’s even richer with umami undertones.
However, the thought of sprinkling soy sauce on your salad might not delight you. Your solution? Whip up a quick and easy salad dressing containing this ingredient that will let you “pass the shaker” without the salt.
Ginger appears in many Asian dishes. It also plays a starring role in Ayurvedic medicine. It makes up trikatu along with black and Indian long pepper, a preparation scientists are currently researching as a possible alternative remedy for flu-like illnesses such as COVID-19.
This sweet, tangy, slightly earthy root also has a long history of helping with digestive upset. Fortunately, it’s a snap to add to your diet. You can grind the root and mix it with your morning coffee grounds to give your brew a light chai flavor. You can also bake with it in dozens of ways. Ginger snaps, anyone?
Your wok is much more than a fancy frying pan. It’s handy for so much more than stir-frys. You can even use it when you crave burgers on a wintry day but don’t feel like digging the grill out of the snow.
You can use your wok for popping popcorn or preparing eggs scrambled or poached. Some people even use these devices to roast coffee beans for the freshest brew imaginable.
Chances are good you typically order out when you feel like Asian food. Why not make it at home with a copycat recipe?
The internet is a goldmine of knockoff recipes for places like P.F. Chang’s and Panda Express. Once you master the basics, you can add original twists to make your dish a one-of-a-kind creation.
You don’t have to order out if your tastebuds feel bored. Why not get in the kitchen and whip up an Asian-inspired meal? Try one of these eight ways to enjoy Asian food at home! You’ll broaden your horizons deliciously.