One major advantage of cooking food from scratch is that it allows you to control what you put in the mix, and therefore control the health profile of whatever you are eating. Of course, for many of us, cooking something new from scratch is always unnerving, creating the possibility of us running back to the reassuring old favorites and missing out on something new. It also prevents us from broadening our palates and getting as balanced a diet as we’d like.
Take for example adopting a whole new cuisine – while many of us can manage a few passable Italian dishes, how would we fare with the more complicated recipes and often unfamiliar ingredients that make up a range of cuisines like those seen in South East Asia. China, Japan and Korea, among others, all have their own approaches which can include a lot of healthy options – as long as you know the keys to how they are cooked or prepared.
Japanese Ramen – not like the packet mix
For the average Western household, “ramen” means packet noodles with a sachet of seasoning, a snack much beloved of the college student low on funds. It’s something entirely different in its native Japan, where a bowl of ramen does include noodles, but much more besides. Real ramen will feature a broth containing fresh veg, chunks of meat and often hard-boiled eggs too. Far from being a packet snack, this type of ramen will keep you full and contain a payload of protein that your body will appreciate.
Chinese Egg Fried Rice – the perfect accompaniment
A popular side dish at any Chinese restaurant in the west, the version we usually experience is, as with so many Western equivalents, a little less complex. Authentic Chinese egg fried rice isn’t too complicated, but there are a few things to remember. Firstly, rice has to be cooked in advance and left to cool – frying warm rice will lead it to become one large mass of rice and egg. Also, always use long-grain rice, not basmati. A high-quality egg fried rice dish will admirably accompany any Tai Pei frozen food options or similar entree.
Korean Kimchi – a versatile stalwart of the dinner table
Kimchi is as crucial to the standard Korean diet as pasta is to Italian cuisine; even if it’s not the focal point of the dish, it’s almost always there. It’s increasingly available on the shelves of Western supermarkets, where it almost invariably contains cabbage and usually wild radish. Those are the staples of Korean kimchi, too, but there are plenty of recipes that contain other vegetables instead. If you’ve embraced canning as part of your homestead, then this is an excellent way of harnessing that new talent, as it is the fermentation process that gives kimchi its tang and makes it a healthy wonderfood used in fried rice and on burgers alike.