What we've been up to
February 2016 Archive
Health Benefits of Miso Soup
Japanese food is renowned for being particularly healthy, and Japanese women have the longest life expectancy in the world at 87 years. Considering that Miso Soup is one of the staples of the Japanese diet, it is little wonder that is considered one of the healthiest meals in the world.
What is Miso Soup?
Miso soup is made from a fermented, enzyme-rich paste containing soybeans, sea salt and koji. The paste is simply mixed with boiling water to create a soup base and other ingredients such as tofu and vegetables may be added to create a more substantial meal. Many Japanese people drin
What are the health benefits of Miso Soup?
High Nutrient Content: Miso is a great source of a range of nutrients including manganese, copper, zinc and mineral phosphorus as well as protein and dietary fibre. The fermentation process involved in making miso means that it is also very high in antioxidants which help to protect the body against free radicals.
Digestive Benefits: The micro-organisms present in miso as a result of the fermentation process help to break down the proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the soybeans, making them easier to digest. Additionally, miso often contains good bacteria and probiotics which support a healthy digestive system. Drinking miso also stimulates secretion of digestive fluids into the stomach, making it a great way to start a meal.
Cardiovascular Benefits: One large scale study found that eating miso soup greatly decreased the risk of suffering one type of stroke. This is a particularly striking finding considering that miso is classified as a high sodium food, which would usually be expected to increase the risk of stroke.
Cancer Protection: Soy miso contains isoflavone genistein which has been associated with a decreased risk of a range of cancers including prostate, breast, lung and colon cancers.
How to Eat Miso Soup
Soup: Enjoy a simple miso soup as an appetiser or side dish, or add noodles, tofu and vegetables for a healthy meal.
Salad Dressing: Mix miso paste with some olive oil, ginger and garlic to make a flavoursome Asian salad dressing.
Marinade: Mix miso paste with some sake, sugar and garlic to create a marinade for meat.
Where to Buy Miso?
Asian Home Gourmet has a delicious Miso Soup spice paste
so you can enjoy the benefits of miso in the comfort of your home.
Breakfast in Asia
Have you ever wondered what is eaten for
breakfast in China, Thailand or Korea? Asian breakfast foods are extremely
different to those eaten in the western world and many of those who haven't
grown up eating tofu, rice or soup for breakfast might initially find it
difficult to stomach. However as the popularity of Asian foods is increasing
worldwide, Asian breakfast foods are beginning to be recognised for their
health benefits. Many Asians breakfasts are generally warm, savoury meals,
containing protein and vegetables, which provide the body with the necessary fuel
to start the day. The warmth also helps to stimulate the digestive tract and
kick-start the metabolism, leading to improved digestion and effective weight
management. We've compiled this list of typical breakfast foods from various
parts of Asia so you can give some a try yourself.
Breakfast in China is usually based on
rice, vegetables and meat or fish. Dim Sum are very popular breakfast foods
across China, especially dumplings which consist of a rice flour skin filled
with vegetables, tofu or meat. Another common breakfast food is congee which is
a savoury rice porridge, topped with pickled vegetables, fermented tofu,
peanuts, eggs or meats. Soy milk and tea are popular breakfast drinks, but
occasionally fruit juice or cow's milk may also be drunk.
The Japanese word for breakfast is
'asagohan', which literally means 'morning rice' or 'first rice', so it's no
surprise that rice features in the traditional Japanese breakfast. The staple
breakfast in Japan is rice and miso soup. The soup is based on soybean paste
and usually contains tofu, sesame oil and some green leafy vegetables. Another
traditional Japanese breakfast food is natto, which is fermented soybeans mixed
with soy sauce and served over rice. Japanese people generally drink green tea
with breakfast, but many office workers also drink coffee in the morning.
Breakfast is an extremely important meal in
Korea and is usually as large as the evening meal. A typical breakfast consists
of a combination of rice, kimchi, meat, soup and sometimes bread or pastry.
Kimchi is a fermented cabbage dish, made using red pepper powder, garlic and
ginger giving it extraordinary health benefits as well as a strong distinctive
flavour. The meal is quite filling, meaning that many people eat only a small
lunch or mid-day snack during the day.
Vietnam has three major breakfast foods:
pho, sticky rice and bahn mi. Pho is a soup made with rice noodles, beef or
chicken and fresh green leaves such as basil, shallots and coriander. Sticky
rice cooked with sugar and mung beans and wrapped in bamboo leaves is a common
portable breakfast eaten in rural areas. Bahn mi, which is a sandwich sized
French baguette is another common breakfast food. These can be eaten plain,
with butter or filled with pate, cucumber, chilli and carrot. Many Vietnamese
people will also eat a piece of fruit, such as dragonfruit, rambutan or mango
with their breakfast. In terms of beverages, Vietnam coffee is the most popular
choice, served in the Vietnamese style with condensed milk. On hot days, the
coffee is served cold with ice for a refreshing morning pick me up.
Swap your toast and cereal for a satisfying
and healthy Asian breakfast, shop our range of spice pastes and mixes here.
Image Source: http://www.jesselanewellness.com/recipes/brown-rice-congee/
5 Unmissable Indian Festivals
If you're planning a trip to India, but you're not sure when to go, scheduling your trip during one (or more) of these fantastic festivals will ensure you have the chance to experience a uniquely Indian event. Festivals are a massive part of Indian culture and they give tourists a perfect opportunity to explore the food, culture, religion and personality of the country. Diwali 30th October 2016
Even if you've never visited India before, you've probably already heard of Diwali, as it is the biggest celebration in the Indian calendar. The festival of lights celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. This festival is best celebrated with an Indian family, as it is celebrated in a similar fashion to Christmas in the western world. Holi 23rd March 2016
Holi, the festival of colour, is probably the most photogenic Indian festival and is a favourite amongst those who have an interest in photography. The festival celebrates the start of the spring and involves festival goers throwing coloured power and water at one another. Women hoping to experience Holi should take precautions to remain safe by staying off the streets and finding a controlled private venue in which to celebrate, as women can be at risk of being harassed by gangs of drunken youths.
Durga Puja 8th October 2016
Durga Puja is a festival honouring the goddess Durga who symbolises the feminine energy. During the festival, crowds admire artistically embellished stages that exhibit statues of the goddess Durga and listen to live music. This festival is favoured by art lovers as it is essentially a big open- air gallery, showcasing the creations of Bengali artists. The best place to celebrate the festival is in Kolkata in west Bengal.Ganesh Chaturthi 5th September 2016
Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival created to honour the elephant-headed god Ganesh who is known as the god of luck and safe travels. Statues and images of Ganesh are created and then paraded in the streets and festival goers sing, dance and feast.Pushkar Camel Fair 8th November
Pushkar is a small town in Rajasthan which comes alive during the autumn camel fair which coincides with the full moon festival. The combination of a livestock festival and a religious festival is a vibrant and exciting atmosphere for locals and tourists alike. The festival is primarily an opportunity for camel traders to buy and sell camels, but there is also plenty of food, shows, markets and even camel racing.
If you're not able to make it to India, why not celebrate one of these amazing festivals at home with friends? You can create authentic Indian dishes at home with our range of Indian Spice Pastes, shop now
Image Source: https://www.everfest.com/e/mathura-vrindavan-holi-vrindavan-india
Top Thai Street Foods
Thailand is renowned for its wide range of delicious dishes available from street stalls and is often described as the street food capital of the world. The meals available at street stalls in Thailand are often made right in front of your eyes, meaning they are generally dishes that are quick to prepare such as stir fries. Alternatively some vendors pre-prepare large vats of slower-cooked foods such as curries and soups. We've compiled a list of some of the top Thai street foods to entice your taste buds.
Tom Yum Soup
This is Thailand's most famous hot soup and is a favourite on the streets of Thailand. It generally contains shrimp, mushrooms, lemongrass, chillis, kaffir lime leaves, as well as other herbs. This soup is adapted depending on which meats are available and can be made with prawns, chicken or vegetables.
Perhaps the most famous Thai dish, this fast, nutritious dish is another street food favourite. Pad Thai is a stir fried noodle dish with a subtle balance of flavours, usually served with crushed peanuts, fresh chives and a dash of lime. The dish can also be served with either meat or seafood.
This Thai version of barbequed chicken is a staple in any roadside stall. The full flavoured chicken is flavoured with garlic, lemongrass, turmeric and other local herbs and spices and makes for a tasty snack for any time of the day.
Kaang Daeng (Red Curry)
The most popular of the Thai Curries, Kaang Daeng is a delicate mixture of herbs and spices enriched with coconut cream. This dish can be made with chicken, beef and duck.
Kaang Kiew Wan (Green Curry)
The rich coconut milk enriched curry with an aromatic basil and lemongrass infusion is an ideal street dish for anyone who loves spicy green chillies.
Nam Prik Kaeng Kari (Yellow Curry)
A spicy blend of turmeric, chillies, cumin and other aromatic curry spices in the Thai Yellow Curry reflects the Indian influence on Thai cuisine. This dish can be served with meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables.
At Asian Home Gourmet, we aim to deliver you with the same authentic sensory experience you would encounter on the streets of Thailand. With Asian Home Gourmet's range of Thai products, bringing the delights of Thai cuisine into your home has never been easier.
To view these authentic recipes and others, click here.