How to order in an Asian restaurant
Noodle dishes, rice, stir frys, ramen, pho, dal, teppanyaki and bao are among some of the dishes that spring to mind when we think about conventional meal options from the Asian continent. Many have a plant-based, whole food approach to the way they are put together but use different cooking styles to differentiate ingredients and flavours within each country.
As with many cuisines, the base of numerous Asian dishes are made up of a starch base piled high with sautéed vegetables, herbs, spices and local delicacies.By scouring a menu for plant-based ingredients and removing anything that does not fit within your dietary guidelines you can create something that fits within your diet and is absolutely delicious. Within Asian cuisine, many of the typical condiments have a fish base or are high in fat. For low-calorie (when eaten in moderation), plant-based sauces opt for soy, tamari, spicy ginger, Thai peanut, mirin, hoisin or szechuan. Each is naturally void of animal traces and packed full of flavour which adds depth to any dish.
Quick frying, skillet or a hot stone at the table is a common method of cooking in Asian cuisine. Rather than choosing from meats, pick vegetables or fruits to cook using these techniques and pair with a combination of the plant-based sauces and marinades mentioned above to spice them up.
See below for some of our most ordered plant-based Asian dishes and note that the ones in Italicsare our most recommended for anyone trying to lose weight.
Pho with noodles
Tom Yum soup
Chinese Vegetable Hotpot with noodles
Vegetable Singapore Noodles
Bean Sprout Stir Fry
Ramenwith tofu, mushrooms, bokchoy, chilli, bean sprouts and other traditional ingredients typical to this dish
Tofu or sweet potato katsu curry with rice
Vegetable sushi(brown rice gives it extra flavour and kombu, campio, oshinko, cucumber, avocado, asparagus, raw beetroot and raw carrot).
Pad Thaiwith vegetables, local spices and lots of fresh herbs(make sure without egg)
Vegetable & Tofu Gyoza or Dumplings
Bulgogi lettuce wraps
Tofu satay with peanut sauce
Vegetable or Tofu spring rolls
Sichuan style chinese long green beans
Szechuan asparagus with garlic, ginger and chillies
Kimchi and other pickled or fermented foods
Fried ricemany ways (with Tofu, bean sprouts, vegetables etc.)
Chinese eggplantwith miso garlic sauce
Get into the habit of talking to your waiterbefore you order restaurant food to make clear exactly what you can and cannot eat. Explain that you are plant-basedand cannot eat animal products including dairy and eggs with your meal. This is just as important for them as it is for you because of the many hidden ingredients found in sauces and seasonings. Once alerted of these dietary requirements, ingredients can often be removed or altered to make it plant-based friendly.
We have included a menu feature on the Go Healthy app to make it easy for you to find the exact dishes suitable for your plant-based diet within each restaurant registered. Check it out and share your findings to help make ordering Asian food easier for the next user!
See ourPhoto Menufrom @Nobu Fifty Seven, NYC for tried and tested dishes on the Go Healthy app.