5 Ingredients From Asian Cuisine You Must Try

by Debbie Wolfe

Why does Healthy Gourmet’s resident nutritionist Julie Daniluk always recommend Asian superfoods in recipes? Well, some Asian ingredients have surprising health benefits that include boosting immune systems, weight loss and antioxidants. They also add amazing dimensions of flavor.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Asian populations habitually consume a large amount of cruciferous vegetables and other plant-based foods.” Many of these vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables, can have a significant positive impact on your health and wellness.

Fans of Healthy Gourmet know that Julie is a huge fan of the cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

In a recent episode, Julie and Chef Ezra were tasked to make over a high-fat, post workout meal. The challenge was easy enough in theory for the duo, but there were some obstacles—this group of women is as picky as the average four year old when it came to eating.

Watch to clip below to learn more about mushrooms and quinoa on Healthy Gourmet and find out where to watch it on your cable channel.


5 Ingredients From Asian Cuisine You Must Try In Your Next Healthy Recipe

Julie introduces several Asian ingredients for the meal: shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, arame, rice wine and soy sauce. How do these ingredients help improve one’s health? Let’s take a closer look.

Shiitake Mushrooms

shiitake-mushroomsShiitake mushrooms are also known as the King or the Royal mushroom.

Julie informs us that they also “boost immune systems and help you lose weight.” How exactly? Shiitakes are a rich source of eight essential amino acids and an essential fatty acid called linoleic acid. This fatty acid helps reduce total and LDL cholesterol, as well as, aid in weight loss and muscle building. It’s also a great source of vegetarian protein and high in fiber.

100g of shiitake mushroom contains 34 calories, 2.2 g of protein and 2.5g of fiber.

More On Z Living: 5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Add To Your Diet - Z Living


Bok choy

Bok choyBok choy is a member of the beneficial cruciferous family. It’s a type of Chinese cabbage that has long dark green leaves connected to white stalks. It’s slightly sweeter tasting that the “regular” round cabbage most people in the US are familiar.

Bok choy is a nutrient-dense food that offers several health benefits. In just one cup of shredded bok choy, you get 62% of your daily vitamin A needs, 9 calories and 1.9 g of protein. Like the other members of the cruciferous family, Bok Choy has anti-cancer benefits, as well as, anti-inflammatory benefits.

More on Z Living: Experimenting with Bok Choy? Try this Teriyaki Salmon With Bok Choy recipe



ArameArame is an edible Pacific seaweed with broad brown leaves, used in Japanese cooking. Seaweed is packed with vitamins and minerals and high in iodine, iron, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium and other trace minerals. Arame is loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants, which help fight cancer and inflammation, improve hormone balance and promotes healthier hair and nails.


Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a common salty condiment in Asian cooking and isn’t typically regarded as a “health food”. Yes, it’s high in sodium, but it’s also a fermented product that has some digestive tract benefits.

What makes soy sauce better than plain salt is the amount of flavor it can impart in a dish without having to use much. When looking for a soy sauce, stick with one that is traditionally made, and isn’t packed with additives.There are low-sodium options as well. A little goes a long way, so go easy with it.


Rice Wine

Rice wine is made from fermented rice. Not only is it tasty in cooking, it’s a good source of selenium, an essential trace mineral important for cognitive function. There are some theories that claim rice wine is good for your skin and hair, but it’s still an alcohol and should be consumed in moderation.


Putting it Together For Health & Wellness

How do these five powerful Asian ingredients come together in a dish?

Chef Erza begins by braising shiitake mushrooms with arame in a broth made with soy sauce and rice wine. He then grills bok choy and tosses it, along with the shiitake mushrooms and broth, with quinoa. The result is a superfood side dish that not only tastes and looks great, but will help boost your immune system, reduce inflammation and keep you full without a ton of fat and calories. Chef Ezra served the salad with grilled tuna and a mango salsa.

The Asian inspired quinoa salad will taste great with any type of grilled fish for a low-fat meal packed with health benefits.

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