What makes Asian food unhealthy

Discover the Asian cuisine

Asian cuisine - which country kitchens are part of it?

There is no such thing as “one” Asian cuisine, rather it is the sum of many different national kitchens. These include the South and East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Vietnamese), but also the Central Asian (for example Tibetan, Mongolian or Afghan cuisine).

Why is Asian cuisine so healthy?

Despite all the differences, there is one common denominator: The Asian cuisine scores with lots of fresh vegetables, plenty of fish, which contain the good omega-3 fatty acids, and high-fiber soy products. There is little and often lean meat for this. Another plus point: The food is prepared in a way that preserves vitamins (in a wok or even in a bamboo basket). So it is not a big surprise that Asians, compared to Europeans and North Americans, are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and gastric and colon cancer, as numerous studies have shown.

What ingredients are typical for Asian cuisine?

Even if the Asian cuisine consists of specialties from many countries, some of which are thousands of kilometers apart, there are ingredients that end up in pots or woks everywhere from Japan to Indonesia to Uzbekistan. Above all rice: it is the staple food of the Asians. The soybean is also often used in a variety of ways - as milk, in the form of tofu and as a soy sauce. For seasoning, Asians use ginger, fish sauce (based on fermented fish) and miso paste (made from soy and grain).

Why are there hardly any dairy products used in Asian cuisine?

In Asia, around 90 percent of the population is lactose intolerant - in Germany it is only around 15 percent. Humans lack an enzyme (lactase) that can break down and digest milk sugar. If you still consume dairy products, stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea follow. By the way: lactose intolerance is rarely congenital - not even in Asia, otherwise babies would not be able to tolerate breast milk. The intolerance only develops in the course of childhood. But not only in Asia, most Africans are also lactose intolerant.

Which spices are most common in Asian cuisine?

You can safely leave salt and pepper on the spice rack if you want to cook Asian dishes. Because here, other ingredients provide that special taste kick: Ginger gives dishes spiciness - just like so-called sambals (spice pastes based on chilli). Lemongrass tastes fresh and exotic. Coriander is used in sauces and meat dishes. South Asians refine their rice dishes primarily with turmeric.

How do you cook in Asian cuisine?

We need pans, pots, a deep fryer or a roasting pan for cooking. The Asians, on the other hand, trust their kitchen all-rounder, the wok, for almost everything: It can fry, stew, deep-fry, blanch, stew and cook dishes - and all in a very nutritious way. The reason: the wok is only very hot at the bottom, the temperature decreases towards the top. The chopped ingredients are only briefly seared due to the constant stirring and otherwise cook on the edge. This protects heat-sensitive vitamins.

What actually is the Chinese restaurant syndrome?

Itching in the throat and mouth, reddened cheeks, headaches: for some people, eating in a Chinese restaurant has unpleasant consequences. This has nothing to do with the quality of the food, but only with one ingredient - the flavor enhancer glutamate. In 1968 a US doctor first described these symptoms after consuming Asian food. The assumed reason: a glutamate intolerance, also called Chinese restaurant syndrome. However, studies have not clearly proven this link.

Whale, dog & Co .: Is that really served?

In Asian cuisine there are specialties that we Europeans can only shake our heads at. The consumption of whale meat in Japan has a long tradition, but it is fading more and more: 50 years ago the average Japanese ate two kilos of whale meat a year, today it is only 30 grams. Dog meat is considered a delicacy by the Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans . Fried chicken feet are a popular snack - you can buy them in almost all markets. However, we do not have any of these specialties in the Asian restaurants, as they are prohibited in Germany.

Which drinks belong to an Asian menu?

Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner: Asians drink a lot of green tea. They rarely use warm soy milk in the morning. Even if the Asians are united by their love for their national drink, tea, there are country-specific customs: Chinese businessmen toast a deal with Baijiu - a grain-based liquor. The Japanese choose sake, a rice wine, for this. Indians like to defuse their food with a lassi (yogurt drink).

What are the classics of Asian cuisine?

Every country has its own specialties, which we also have many fans. Sushi, miso soup and tempura (vegetables fried in batter) come from Japan. The Chinese export hits are Peking duck and spring rolls. The rice dish nasigoreng and crab chips come from Indonesia.

Get hungry? Here are the Asian recipes from EAT SMARTER.