Whether you’re watching your diet for specific health reasons, weight loss or some other factor, it should be a  lifestyle, rather than a fad, that starts with cooking at home. Using fresh, natural ingredients and healthy cooking techniques when preparing Chinese food can make a huge difference and it’s proof that you can still eat flavorful foods while eating healthy.

Keep it natural

When you buy food, keep it natural. Food should never come out of a box – even your sauces. For example, black bean sauce is made from fermented black beans, soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans and salt, chili bean paste is made from fermented chillies, soy or broad beans and salt. Knowing what is going into your food, and therefore your body, is very important.

Make your own sauces

Learn how to make your own black bean sauce from fermented salted black beans, light soy and stock. This way you can control the amount of salt and sugar you add to it.

Flavor enhancers

To deepen flavors and enrich stews and stocks, Chinese tradition champions dried ingredients, such as mushrooms, shrimps, clams, herbs and spices. These are great natural flavor enhancers, avoiding the need for MSG, which some Chinese foods have been known to contain.

Use plenty of garlic, ginger and chili. There are health benefits to incorporating these three regularly into your food – garlic is good for the heart, ginger aids digestion and chillies are full of vitamins. Stir-fry for a few seconds with your favorite ingredients and give your immune system a boost.

Stir-fry

This popular cooking technique retains the nutrients of the ingredients due to the quick cooking method. You only need a small amount of oil, lean meat or fish and lots of seasonal veggies for a delicious supper. By eating within the seasons we are eating what is optimally nutritious. Food that has travelled miles will not be as fresh and therefore, may have lost some of its nutrition. Like it hot? Throw in spices too.
Ingredient focus… ginger

Dim Sum

These bite-sized portions of deliciousness are not only simple to make using bought wonton skins or by making a simple dumpling dough, but they’re healthy and look so elegant served in their bamboo baskets. Opt for the steamed variety.
Quick & easy hot-and-sour chicken noodle soup

Embrace light soups

Healthy broth soups are easy to make and are delicious. All you’ll need for a light but filling supper is boiling water, organic vegetable bouillon, dried Chinese mushrooms, spring onions, chicken thighs, and your favorite seasonal vegetables.

If you live in the Oklahoma City area, you can find all the ingredients necessary for healthy Chinese cooking at Super Cao Ngyuen.

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