Menu Terms To Teach You How Food Is Prepared
Confucius said "A man cannot be too serious about his eating, for food is the force that binds society together." This statement summarizes the importance of food in the Asian culture. Preparation is meticulous, and c
Confucius said "A man cannot be too serious about his eating, for food is the force that binds society together." This statement summarizes the importance of food in the Asian culture. Preparation is meticulous, and consumption is ceremonious and deliberate. Because of the emphasis on vegetables, rice and relatively little meat, Asian food tends to be very healthful. It pays, however, to know the preparation methods being used.
Here are some ordering tips to consider the next time you head out to
your favorite Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Vietnamese restaurant.
For lower fat and calories, order steamed spring rolls or steamed egg
rolls for appetizers rather than fried wontons, crab rangoon or fried
As an alternative appetizer, try one of the flavorful soups. Many
Chinese soups consist of clear broth with small amounts meat, vegetables
Ask for plain rice and noodles in place of fried rice and noodles to
lower both your sodium and fat intake. Look for stir-fried or steamed dishes with a variety of vegetables,
steamed rice or poached fish. Request that stir-fried dishes be prepared
with a limited amount of oil.
Know that items that contain the word jum are poached, chu means
boiled and kow indicates roasted.
To reduce sodium intake, request that your food be prepared without
salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG) or soy sauce. Ask that other salty
sauces be served on the side. Japanese cuisine
Learn the words that indicate less fat: nimono (simmered), yaki
(broiled), and yaki-mono (grilled).
For something different, try edamame, which are fresh, steamed
soybeans in the pod.
If you are watching your fat intake, avoid battered and fried dishes
such as tempura, agemono and katsu.
Try domburi, which is a meal in a bowl that contains rice, vegetables,
meat or poultry.
Instead of rice, try Japanese noodles uban (wheat noodles) or soba
(buckwheat noodles) once in while.
To limit sodium intake, use high-sodium sauces sparingly, such as soy
sauce, miso sauce and teriyaki sauce. Thai and Vietnamese cuisines
Choose from the wide variety of menu selections based on the staples
of Thai and Vietnamese cuisines: rice, noodles, vegetables and
reasonable portions of seafood and meat. For something new, look for a dish that contains fruits and vegetables
common in Thai and Vietnamese cuisines but less familiar in the United
States, such as bamboo shoots, straw mushrooms, bitter melons, green
mangoes or pomelos. Ask your server what type of oil is used to prepare the dish you are
ordering. Request vegetable oil be substituted if lard or coconut oil is
- Know that Thai soups, curries and desserts are often made with coconut
milk or cream, which are very in high in calories and saturated fat.
Request little or no nam bla (a high-sodium Thai fish sauce) be added
to your food. For people watching their sodium intake, avoid dishes made with salty
condiments like salty eggs, dried shrimp and fish paste.