Despite not being able to travel right now, who’s to say that we can’t bring other countries into our own homes, and more specifically into your kitchen? These Asian recipes will not only take you on a mouthwatering, exotic trip to Asia but also encourage you to eat your fill of vegetables and fall in love with healthy eating all over again! The following recipes are recommended for their good balance of macronutrients or containing ingredients that are nutritious and healthy. Check out Asian Persuasion: 5 Popular, Tasty, Plant-Based Dishes You’ll Love!
1. Bibimbap (비빔밥)
One of the most well-known Korean dishes which, translates literally as ‘mixed rice’. Essentially, it is a bowl of rice with vegetables, tofu, and a bit of Korean chilli pepper paste. There are several combinations for this dish, so I will just share the cooked version of the ‘classic’ variation here.
It has a good balance of carbs, protein, and a wide range of vitamins and elements from the vegetables. What’s great about this dish is that you can easily swap out ingredients to cater to your dietary requirements and needs. On top of that, the ratio of these three components can easily be adjusted!
Another tasty recipe where you fill the rolls with whichever ingredients you want, to suit your dietary and culinary needs! Traditionally, this dish originates from Vietnam, and is called Gỏi Cuốn (or spring rolls but not the ones you would imagine getting from your local Chinese takeaway shop).
A modern spin on this classic contains tofu or tempeh, with basil and mint, cucumber, coriander, and rice noodles. You can find all sorts of ingredients being used in this: mango, green apple, bell peppers, avocados, tofu, and many more.
They are usually dipped in peanut sauce or a classic Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nước chấm). This is an amazing recipe for those who are going for a low-carb diet or gluten free as the wrapper and noodles are made of rice. You can always exclude the noodles to reduce the carbohydrate content further, should you wish.
Here is another great Vietnamese recipe if you’re craving something filling and healthy but refreshing and not too heavy. Gluten-free rice noodles topped with a range of vegetables (add according to your nutritional preference and taste). Feel free to throw in some crushed lemongrass into the marinade of the tofu or tempeh to enhance the flavour.
4. Seaweed Soup / Miyeok guk (미역국)
Having a hearty, warm soup is something that can bring comfort and happiness to your day during this cold season. In Korea, seaweed soup is a popular birthday dish, but it’s also a staple eaten as a nutritiously nourishing food!
Seaweed are forms of algae that are found in the sea and comes in different types, here wakame is used. They are packed with iodine and tyrosine which support the functioning of your thyroid glands. It also contains other goodies; vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and more!
5. Sukiyaki (すき焼き)
A Japanese dish that is usually prepared and served as a hotpot during winter, it’s also possible to cook it in a regular pot. Generally, it consists of thinly sliced beef and a variety of vegetables which is cooked in a soy sauce-based broth. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can easily replace any meat component with another protein alternative such as tofu.
I have to say I got my appetite worked right up while writing this! These are some of the more commonly-known healthy Asian dishes that you can experiment with to see if you want to include them as regular meals. Not only are they super full of flavour, they’re also nutritious with a wide range of stimulating ingredients and herbs used in each dish. Let us know which recipe from the Asian persuasions above most appeal to you in the comments below, or on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!