Healthy Asian-Inspired Meals

Fill your kitchen with mouthwatering aromas from these Asian-inspired recipes.
Joy E. Zacharia, R.D.

Menu:
1. Make-Ahead Pork Dumplings
2. Beef With Ginger
3. Spinach Egg Drop Soup
4. Fluffy White Rice
5. Baby Spinach With Pine Nuts

Yeow Chang of Memphis knows a lot about great Asian dishes. From age 7 to 17, he watched his mom's every move in the kitchen. "My mom has been my inspiration," he says. "She gave me my own clay pot when I was little, and I've been cooking ever since."

Yeow is particular about certain things when preparing Asian dishes. "I cook with high heat and use lots of vegetables with small amounts of meat." Adopt this strategy, prepare these recipes, and learn how good healthy can taste.

Perfect Rice
If you're a serious rice lover, consider buying an electric rice cooker, such as Zojirushi brand, available in 3-, 6-, and 10-cup sizes at department stores or www.surlatable.com. Zojirushi cookers range in price from $39.95 for the 3-cup model to $180.00 for the 10-cup. You're assured a perfect batch of rice every time. Simply add the rice and water, turn it on, and it's done when the switch pops up. Rice cookers are also great for steaming vegetables and seafood.

To Wok or Not to Wok
While woks work great for stir-frying, a large skillet will also do the trick. You'll want to ensure your ingredients have plenty of room to sizzle (don't crowd your pan) and that you're using high heat. Also, keep cooking times short. The less you cook your vegetables, the brighter their color and the more heat-sensitive nutrients, such as Vitamin C, are preserved.