When my children were small I introduced them to Asian foods. I was lucky for the most part because both my children liked vegetables but I found when I prepared Chinese or Japanese foods they were intrigued by the variety of vegetables in the recipes (I mean who doesn’t like little baby corns).
Have you been to a restaurant that serves “Asian” food or tried some at a friend’s house only to think it’s too involved and you could not prepare it at home. Many times when we go out to a restaurant we are getting the Americanized version, so before you close your mind to Asian cooking I want to explain some of the differences between Japanese and Chinese cooking. For instance, the Japanese style of cooking involves a great deal of fresh ingredients (vegetables, fish and seafood) and it is cooked for a very short time, which is why they do tend to eat things raw like Sushi. They use seasonings sparingly like soy sauce (Plumb’s Market has Gluten Free Soy Sauce) to enhance the flavors of food and Japanese recipes tend to not mix items together but foods are served separate. Chinese, on the other hand love to use seasonings (hot or mild) and they will mix different ingredients together (meats and vegetables). Chinese cooking is known for unusual types of meat and many dishes are prepared by frying the ingredients over a high heat and it can involve a great deal of oil (but there are ways to use less and that is what I will show you this month)
There is no need to worry about a special pan like a wok to prepare the Asian foods, I currently use a really large frying pan and it works quite well. I also don’t have a rice cooker but many of my friends swear by them. It is important to use good rice like Basmati or Jasmine for recipes (you will like them so much better than Minute Rice).
Cooking Asian food has a tendency to bring everyone into the kitchen because it’s fun to prepare. Getting your family involved with the cooking will help entice them to try what they have been working on. You can purchase sauce mix in the store but if you have anyone in your family with allergies that may not be an option for you. Sun Bird and Lawry have some pretty good mixes (I like the Hot & Spicy Szechwan) or you might try a sauce that does not need mixing and you just add to your food as it cooks. One of the best suggestions I can make is to not overcook your vegetables! Mushy is not good, they should be crisp yet tender. In the picture with my blog I made chicken with broccoli, plus I added a few more vegetables, which is the beauty of Asian cooking – use what you have on hand. I’m sure you noticed I have a great deal of spices, mixes, vinegar, sauces, mustard, etc. because I make Asian at least once a week. In my blog, lowfatdivablog.com, I will give you some recipes for easy Sushi, egg rolls, pot stickers, spring rolls and a lot more. Enjoy! For comments/questions please write to firstname.lastname@example.org