Pan-Asian cuisine, the healthy way

Pan-Asian cuisine, the healthy way

Who said pan-Asian delights can't be given a healthy twist?

Lemongrass chicken

With people becoming more health conscious and following various kinds of diets, finding foods that won’t compromise on taste seems like an arduous task. A number of people often mistakenly associate Asian food as being unhealthy because of the way it is modified and presented. However, contrary to this notion, authentic pan-Asian food is one of the healthiest cuisines available today.

Pan-Asian cuisine has an extensive variety of options of which most include superfoods. The cuisine emphasises on the use of fresh ingredients rather than processed ones, and the methods of cooking adopted such as grilling, steaming, stewing, fermenting and more, ensure that the flavour and nutrition value of the food are retained. One can often see pan-Asian markets housing live grills creating delicacies like satays, with salad kiosks adjacent to them dishing out authentic Thai flavours, closely accompanied by an array of pots brewing mouth-watering meat stews. Foods like kimchi, kombucha, miso, yoghurt and others are fermented preparations that aid in digestion, making them good for the gut, and benefit one’s overall health since fermenting uses good bacteria that produce food with high probiotic content.

The cuisine originates from countries that utilise fresh ingredients known for their uplifting flavours and medicinal values. These include various kinds of herbs like mint, kaffir lime leaves, coriander and basil along with sprouts and leafy vegetables that are easy to cook, heavily used in Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Cambodian cuisines, and are common finds in street markets. The same countries also extensively use ingredients like cabbage, raw papaya, broccoli, bok choi, coconut, onion, ginger, garlic, fresh turmeric, fresh chillies, galangal, ginseng and sesame in most of their dishes, especially in stews, slow-cooked hotpots and stir-fries.

Each sub-cuisine is distinct and carries a streak of its individuality across all its dishes, thereby providing specific benefits. Malaysian cuisine incorporates a diverse range of dry spices, which were originally introduced by Indian, Arab and Chinese traders. Spices are known to fight inflammation and mitigate the damage caused to the body’s cells. They also help in lowering one’s blood sugar as well as improving the brain’s function and memory power.

Japanese and Korean cuisines have a unique food spread with preparations like sashimi, sushi, yakitori, teppanyaki, sukiyaki that are made using salmon, tuna, prawns, and other raw and low-fat lean meats and seafood, attracting the likes of new-age food lovers. These dishes are high in Omega-3 fish oils, which are classified as essential fats, and have a host of health benefits, including aiding in the reduction of high cholesterol levels, and minimising the risk of heart disease as well as overall inflammation. They also assist in lowering the levels of blood pressure and triglycerides, while maintaining the heart rhythm.

The numerous advantages to consuming delicious pan-Asian food have made it one of the most popular cuisine choices amongst today’s health-conscious generation. So, the next time you visit a pan-Asian restaurant, reconnect with that foodie inside you and explore the taste of these exotic delicacies completely guilt-free.

Raw Papaya Salad

Raw papaya salad
Raw papaya salad


Raw papaya Grated 2 Cups

Carrot julienne 1/2 Cup

Cherry tomato, cut into halves 4 Nos

Haricot Beans 6-8 Nos

Crushed Salted Peanuts 2 tbsp

Coriander Chopped 1/2 tbsp

For Dressing

Sweet chilli sauce 4 tbsp

Tamarind Pulp 1.5 tbsp

Garlic chopped 1/2 tsp

Fresh red chilli chopped 1/2 tsp


Prawns 4 pcs


For Raw Papaya Salad

Step 1 Wash & peel Raw Papaya. Cut and deseed it. Grate using a thin blade. Wash under running water. Drain. Keep it in the refrigerator.

Step 2 Wash & peel carrots. Cut and grate using a thin blade. Wash under running water. Drain. Keep it in the refrigerator.

Step 3 Cut Cherry Tomatoes into halves, cut Haricot beans in juliennes.

Step 4 Cut & blanch Haricot Beans. Cut into 2" Sticks

For Dressing

Step 5 Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Step 6 Allow the dressing to rest for at least an hour.

Step 7 Mix the dressing with the grated papaya, carrots, Green Beans and cherry tomatoes.

Step 8 Garnish with fresh coriander & crushed peanuts and serve chilled.

Step 9 Grill the prawns with garlic butter and have it tossed with the salad (optional)

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