Move over deep-fried food and gravies: healthier cooking methods can be yummy too! Learn more about healthier preparation methods and get some recipe ideas.
Love the crunch of deep-fried food and the richness of gravies and stews? Your favourite crispy ayam penyet is probably high in fat and calories, and the thick curry sauce ladled over the rice is likely high in fat and salt.
So, those of us watching our calorie, fat, salt, and sugar intake might want to limit how much deep-fried food or heavy gravy we eat. Luckily for us food-lovers, there are many other yummy and healthier ways to prepare food! Let’s check them out.
Tap into your inner MasterChef and experiment with healthier preparation methods like stir-frying, baking, grilling, roasting, and steaming. These methods use less or no oil at all, which reduces the number of calories consumed.
Stir-fried, not Shaken
Lightly oil your wok, turn the heat up, throw in ingredients, and start frying in a stirring motion. Stir-frying is as simple as that! You can stir-fry a wide variety of dishes, from veggie dishes like stir-fried kai lan with garlic to staples like char brown rice bee hoon.
Grill Baby Grill
Grilling gives your food a nice smoky flavour. If you’re watching your fat and calorie intake, switch gravy for grilled.
Ideas for the Chef
Here’s curry chicken without the heavy curry. Marinate chicken in a mixture of soybean oil, pepper, curry powder and garlic powder. Let the chicken soak in the marinade for a few minutes and then grill it.
Health tip: Go for skinless chicken to cut down on more fat.
It’s Getting Steamy
Steaming is a super simple cooking method that requires no oil and minimal effort. Just prep and season your food and let the steam do the rest! Some dishes to try: chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg); steamed fish in soy sauce with ginger, garlic, and chilli; home-made dumplings.
Ideas for the Chef
Chilli crab’s heavy sauce can pile on the cals. Cut calories by skipping the sauce and steaming your crab whole instead — this way, you also get to better enjoy the fresh, sweet crabmeat. Spice up the dish by prepping a sambal dipping sauce, or top the crab with ginger and spring onion before steaming.
Choose oils with the Healthier Choice Symbol, for example canola oil, peanut oil or sunflower oil. These are lower in unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fats, and higher in unsaturated fat, which helps lower bad cholesterol levels in your blood (if used in moderation, of course).
Slashing your salt intake for health? Use herbs and spices to zhng (jazz up) your dishes! Some herbs and spices that will work well with local dishes include garlic, chilli, ginger, turmeric, star anise, and curry powder.
Use these cooking methods and tips to whip up a nutritious and delicious dinner for your loved ones and spend some quality time with them. You’ve come this far on your healthy eating journey — you deserve a little treat!
Need more ideas for your family feast? Check out these healthy recipes!
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