From My Wok to Yours - Taking the Mystery Out of Everyday Dining and Meals!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

New Years resolutions are already being broken.  What are the most popular ones to break?  (By "POPULAR" I mean the easiest.  Besides working out more regularly.)

Resolutions that deal with healthier food or better care for your body and diet. 
So I ask:  What are YOU doing to take better care of yourself this year? How will you change your diet the most?
Many people believe that better food is flavorless food.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  There are MANY ways that great tasting Asian foods can be made with less oil and be just as tasty.  (My biggest suggestion, while not my favorite is to use a non-stick pan, which will allow you to use less oil.)
  1. Avoid dishes with heavy sauces, such as red-cooked dishes that are simmered in dark soy sauce and sugar.
  2. If you're trying to decide which regional cuisine to try, Cantonese is generally the best choice. Cantonese dishes tend to be light, using fresh ingredients.
  3. Reduce the amount of oil you use for stir-frying. If the food starts to stick, add water or broth. The broth also adds extra flavor.  This should be done as close to the end of the cooking process as possible, or else your meat will become tough.
  4. When deep-frying, make sure that the oil is at a high enough temperature before cooking. Deep-frying food at too low a temperature makes it greasy. Be sure not to overcrowd the wok with food, as this will also lower the temperature. When properly done, deep-fried dishes retain only a small amount of oil.  If frying in multiple batches, be sure to give your oil enough time to recover to the highest required temperature.
  5. Try other cooking methods besides stir-frying and deep-frying, such as steaming and baking.
  6. Try partially freezing meat. This will make it easier both to remove the fat and to cut the meat into thinner slices. Always trim the fat off meat before cooking.
  7. Reduce the amount of meat in your meal. The average Chinese daily meal is grain and vegetable based, with meat playing a secondary role.
  8. Author Stephen Wong notes that fat does serve the useful purpose of dispersing flavor. To make a low-fat dish more flavorful, he suggests increased use of healthy seasonings such as ginger, garlic, and cilantro.
  9. Stick to noodles that are lower in fat. For example, a cup of cooked rice noodles has 0.352 grams of fat, while the same amount of chow mein noodles has a whopping 13.842 grams of fat. (Source: USDA)
  10. Finally, if a recipe calls for coconut milk, try one of the skim or low-fat versions.
Enjoy, and until then, Good Eating, Friends...

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