June 25, 2024

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Pan-Asian cuisine: What techniques are used in it, and why is it considered the healthiest?

3 min read
If there is one cuisine that’s gaining popularity across the world for a healthy dining experience, it’s Pan-Asian cuisine, which encompasses a diverse range of culinary traditions from East and Southeast Asia, blending flavours, techniques, and ingredients. Preferred globally for its harmonious balance of taste, texture, and visual appeal, Pan-Asian cuisine offers a unique and health-conscious culinary experience.It emphasizes fresh, minimally processed ingredients, showcasing a variety of vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. The use of diverse cooking techniques, such as wok cooking, steaming, and raw preparations, contributes to the cuisine’s appeal, creating dishes that are not only delicious but also rich in nutrients. From the umami-packed delights of Japanese sushi to the aromatic curries of Thai cuisine, Pan-Asian food has become a global sensation. Here is a lowdown of all the cooking techniques used in this cuisine and why it is considered the healthiest. Take a look.

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Wok cooking
A cornerstone of Pan-Asian cuisine, wok cooking involves the use of a high-heat cooking vessel. The wok’s unique shape allows for quick and uniform cooking, preserving the natural flavours and nutrients of the ingredients. Stir-frying, a popular wok technique, ensures that vegetables retain their crispness and colours, contributing to the visual appeal and nutritional integrity of the dish.

Steaming
Steaming is a common technique in Pan-Asian cuisine, particularly in Chinese and Japanese cooking. By using steam, this method preserves the vitamins and minerals in vegetables and proteins, resulting in dishes that are both flavourful and healthy. Dim sum, a popular Chinese culinary tradition, often involves delicate steamed dumplings filled with a variety of ingredients.
Sushi rolling
Sushi, a Japanese culinary marvel, involves the art of rolling vinegared rice, raw or cooked seafood, and vegetables in seaweed sheets. This technique ensures that the ingredients remain fresh and unaltered by excessive heat, providing a nutrient-rich and visually appealing dish.

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Raw preparations
Pan-Asian cuisine frequently incorporates raw elements, showcasing a commitment to preserving the natural goodness of ingredients. From Sashimi in Japanese cuisine to the famous Thai salad ‘Larb’, raw preparations offer a burst of flavours while maintaining the nutritional integrity of the components.

Through a combination of diverse cooking techniques, a focus on fresh and minimally processed ingredients, and an emphasis on balance and variety, Pan-Asian cuisine has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the healthiest culinary choices worldwide. Here are a few reasons why this cuisine is considered the best globally.
Balanced ingredients
Pan-Asian cuisine emphasizes a harmonious balance of ingredients, incorporating a variety of vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. This balanced approach ensures a nutrient-rich and well-rounded diet.

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Minimal processing
Pan-Asian dishes often involve minimal processing, allowing the natural flavours and nutritional value of ingredients to shine. This contrasts with some Western culinary practices that may involve extensive processing, which can diminish the health benefits of the food.
Dietary diversity
The diversity of Pan-Asian cuisine promotes a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Ingredients like tofu, seaweed, and a variety of vegetables contribute to a diet rich in antioxidants, fibre, and essential nutrients.
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Mindful eating practices
Many Pan-Asian cultures embrace mindful eating practices, savouring each bite and paying attention to hunger and fullness cues. This approach fosters a healthier relationship with food and encourages moderation.
Herbal infusions
The use of herbs and spices in Pan-Asian cooking extends beyond mere flavour enhancement. Ingredients like ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, and cilantro are often employed for their health-promoting properties. Herbal infusions, such as Thai Tom Yum Soup with lemongrass and galangal, not only contribute to the dish’s aromatic profile but also offer potential health benefits.
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Talking about the health benefits of the culinary practices used in Pan-Asian food, the CEO and co-founder of House of Wok – Sajat Jain shared, “The cooking method is the highlight of this cuisine as it contributes to making each dish healthier. Methods like steaming, grilling, stir-frying, and fermenting are proven to help retain the ingredients’ natural goodness while using less oil. Further, Pan Asian cuisine is a balanced blend of taste and health, and the secret lies in the fact that the dishes are prepared with fresh and nutrient-rich ingredients such as cabbage, papaya, broccoli, ginger, garlic, turmeric, coconut, etc., when infused with traditional herbs and spices create a fusion food that is perfect for all palates.”
(Images courtesy: Canva)


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