Friday, 1 February 2019

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Chinese Cooking with Flax Seeds


Chinese food, especially from the hawker centres and food courts in Singapore, is super delicious (ok, I may be bias here, but then again it is not for nothing that we won Michelin star for hawker Chinese food in Singapore, so I can't be that bias :-)).

However, my only complaint, is that Chinese food falls short in terms of nutritional value. This doesn't have to be so. We just have to move ahead with time and do more R&D in this area.

I am embarking on a project of making modern Chinese food more nutritious. The recipes here are all tried and tested in our kitchen, and I am a Singaporean Chinese, used to tasting all the good food in Singapore, so you can trust me for the taste :-)

I am looking forward to the day, where we can go to a Chinese restaurant, hawker or food court in Signapore, where they incorporate higher nutrition in the food, without compromising the taste of the Chinese dishes.

Flax seeds are well-known for their omega-3 fats. According to Healthline.com, they are also:

1. High in high-quality protein
2. May Improve Cholesterol
3. May reduce cancer risk (as it is a rich source of lignans)
4. May lower blood pressure
5. May Help Control Blood Sugar

According to Healthline.com, "a typical serving size for ground flax seeds is 1 tablespoon (7 grams). Just one tablespoon provides a good amount of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to being a rich source of some vitamins and minerals."

Here is a summary of the nutritional value of flax seeds:


However eating flax seeds on its own is not only boring and tasteless, it also go straight through your system, without the nutrients being absorbed by your body. The secret is to grind it using a blender. In this way, when added to food, the flavor comes through and it is also more readily absorbed by the body.

Ground flax seeds can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks, but we usually use up ourselves within a week already.

In this first series, I am showing how Chinese cooking can be done incorporating ground flax seeds, without compromising the taste, but actually enhances it. Notice that I use ground flax seeds and not flax seed oil. This is because flax seed oil cannot take high temperature, and it is still a processed product. Eat the real thing for its taste and nutrient, don't use flax seed oil.

1. Classic Chinese Dipping Sauce

Add one teaspoon of ground flax seeds into your classic Chinese dipping sauce. Because of its fat contents, it actually will even enhance the flavor of this sauce. Try it :-)


2. Chinese Classic Meat Marinade

The Chinese classic marinade for the meat is the base for many of the Chinese dishes such as sweet and sour pork. Add one tablespoon of ground flax seeds into the basic marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper and mix well with the chicken or pork. Then fry it on the wok until cooked, as shown below :-)


3. Chinese Stir-fried Cabbage

Add one teaspoon of ground flax seeds into your stir-fried cabbage. It gives it a nice texture and adds natural oil from the flax seeds. Just make sure that you add this in towards the end, and give it a quick stir, until you see the oil extracted out. Then off the fire at once. It is done :-) The reason is because, flax seeds oil should not be over-heated, otherwise, it loses its health benefit.


4. Chinese Pan-fried Cod Fish

Chinese pan-fried fish is a very common household dish. It is done by sprinkling of some salt and pepper on the fish, and fry it in the wok over garlic oil. You can coat the fish with flax seeds. The end result is superb. It not only made it more tasty, but crispy too. Again, thanks to flax seeds' high fat content for this result.


Serving it at home isn't that complicated. Below is some simple Chinese food incorporated with flax seeds into the cooking that I made for our Little FECS' lunch, namely stir-fried cabbage with flax seeds, chicken marinaded with flax seeds and the classic Chinese marinade and a bowl of mixed brown and white rice:


If you have incorporated flax seeds into such dishes, you should be able to meet the recommended one tablespoon serving size.

P.S. Detailed recipes will follow later.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-flaxseeds#section2

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