There’s this misconception that Chinese food is “unhealthy”, “oily” and “full of MSG”. I remember my first experience with Western Chinese food in Italy. I was horrified by the glistening dishes of vegetables and meats, smothered in rich, thick sauces. The thick, chewy spring rolls that have been fried and refried with a burst of oil in every bite. The egg fried rice, oh the egg fried rice. How do you make the egg fried rice so unhealthy? How do you make it so frighteningly sticky and shiny?
Look at the Chinese people that surround you. No, we don’t have faster metabolism (I wish), nor do we have smaller appetites (my stomach’s a bottomless pit). When it comes to obesity it really comes down to what you eat and the real Chinese diet is actually healthy and low in fat, that is why not many of us are overweight. I grew up in Beijing with a Chinese mother who’s very much of a health freak and so I got the essence of Chinese health foods. So here I offer you a recipe of a dish I grew up with, hoping to break your falsified belief about Chinese cuisine. A simple, healthy and economical appetizer, that would, contrary to Chinese restaurants’ beliefs, suit your Western tastebuds’ needs. Oh and the best bit – you can find all the ingredients in your local supermarket without having to go to an Asian supermarket!
Total time: 20 min Serves: 2 Suitable for: starting off a healthy Asian meal
4 Chicken thighs/drum sticks
1 nob of ginger, sliced
1 tbsp spring onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp soya sauce
½ tbsp sesame oil
Boil enough water in a big pot that would fit the chicken, add ginger and chicken and let it simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes until it is cooked. Plunge the chicken in some ice water to cool it down.
Fry the garlic, ginger and spring onion in a bit of oil, once fragrent, add the soya sauce and sesame oil. Serve chicken with the sauce.