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Recipes & Tips

The Flavors of Asia

Recipes and Cooking Tips From the Healthy Traditions Cooking Show, Asian Segment

The following traditional recipes have been modified to be lower in fat, but are still delicious! Studies show that low-fat diets that include more fruits and vegetables are more healthful and can prevent illness such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Enjoy these updated classics. The following abbreviations are used: Cals=calories; Pro=protein; Carb=carbohydrates; g=grams; DV=Daily Value. Current recommendations are that only 30 percent or less of the calories we eat be provided by fats. Note: Some of these recipes are a little higher than 30% fat. When these recipes are prepared together as one meal, however, the entire meal will not be more than 30% fat. The 30% limit is meant as a guideline for planning meals.

Tomato Eggflower Soup

Yield: serves 6


1 medium tomato
5 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sherry (optional)
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (dissolved in 2 teaspoons water)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
(Tomato Eggflower Soup cont'd.)

  1. Cut tomato into small pieces.
  2. Bring tomato and chicken stock to a boil in a 2 quart pot.
  3. Add salt, sherry and ketchup into soup. Mix well. Bring soup back up to a boil.
  4. Pour cornstarch into soup to thicken, then lower heat to simmer. Pour the beaten egg and sesame oil into soup. Garnish with the cilantro leaves and serve hot.

Cals: 68 Pro: 5 g Carb: 3 g Fat: 3 g Vit A: 2% DV Vit C: 7% DV
Percentage of calories from fat: 39%

Health tip:

Asian food, prepared with little fat, makes it easy to get your "5-A-Day" (5 fruits and vegetables every day).

Szechuan Bean Curd with Rice

Yield: serves 6


1 Tablespoon oil
1 green onion, sliced on an angle
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon finely minced ginger (optional)
3 ounces lean ground pork
3/4 cup chicken stock
12 ounces bean curd (tofu), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon sherry (optional)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 1/2 Tablespoons water
3 cups cooked rice

  1. Heat oil in sauté pan or wok. Add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic, red pepper, and ginger. Cook 1 minute.
  2. Add ground pork and stir until cooked. Drain any excess oil out of pan.
  3. Add chicken stock, bean curd, soy sauce, sugar and sherry. Allow chicken stock to come to a boil, then add dissolved corn starch. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Serve over cooked rice.

Cals: 232 Pro: 12 g Carb: 31 g Fat: 6 g Vit A: 1% DV Vit C: 3% DV
Percentage of calories from fat: 25%

Health tip:

Limit oil and fat in recipes to 1 teaspoon per serving.

Vegetable Chow Mein

Yield: serves 6


3/4 pound fresh Chinese noodles OR 9 ounces dry spaghetti
4 Tablespoons chicken stock
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups onion (1 large), cut into strips
1 cup carrot (2 medium), cut into julienne strips
4 1/2 cups napa cabbage, cut into strips
2 cups bean sprouts
4 green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons sherry (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

Cooking tip:

Cut vegetables into equal sized pieces-medium sliced or diced is best Cook over high heat-this allows for quick cooking without a lot of oil. Don't put too much into your pan! Overcrowding results in steamed rather than stir-fried foods.

  1. Cook noodles in 2 quarts boiling water for 3-5 minutes if using fresh noodles. Cook longer if using dry noodles. Cook until tender yet firm. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Toss with 1 Tablespoon chicken stock. (The remaining 3 Tablespoons of chicken stock will be used later in recipe.)
  2. Heat wok or large saucepan over high heat until it is hot. Add one Tablespoon oil and brush over pan. Add vegetables in the order listed, being careful not to crowd the pan. If the pan gets too full, remove some vegetables and put aside to repeat the process. This is so the vegetables do not boil in their juices. Cook about 1-2 minutes, keeping them slightly crisp.
  3. When all vegetables have been cooked, put them and the noodles into the pan, and add soy sauce, sherry, remaining chicken stock, and sesame oil. Toss to coat and heat through. Serve hot.

Cals: 150 Pro: 6 g Carb: 25 g Fat: 4 g Vit A: 134% DV Vit C: 46% DV Percentage of calories from fat: 21%

Health tip:

A diet that includes a variety of foods that are low in fat, like grains, breads, vegetables and fruits, is very satisfying and can only make you healthier.

Almond Float

Yield: serves 6


1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup evaporated low-fat milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 15-ounce can mandarin orange segments
1 15-ounce can lychee fruits (can usually be found in the Asian or International section of the supermarket)
12-16 maraschino cherry halves (optional)

  1. Dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 cup water.
  2. Heat evaporated milk, 1 cup water and sugar to just below boiling.
  3. Add dissolved gelatin and stir until completely mixed. Cool.
  4. Add almond extract.
  5. Pour into a square pan and refrigerate until set (overnight or about 6 hours).
  6. Slice into 1/2 inch cubes. Place cubes in a bowl and pour fruits with syrup over the cubes.
  7. Dot with maraschino cherries. Chill before serving. If desired, canned, light syrup packed pineapple chunks, pear slices, or peaches may be used instead of the fruits listed. May be prepared the day before.

Cals: 180 Pro: 3 g Carb: 40 g Fat: 1 g Vit A: 5% DV Vit C: 57% DV
Percentage of calories from fat: 5%

Health tip:

When the vegetables or fruits you need aren't in season, consider using canned, frozen or even dried.

Recipes contributed by Dicky Cheung, Golden Willow Restaurant, Concord, California.

FoodWise is a project of the Contra Costa County Health Services Department Community Wellness & Prevention Program, 597 Center Avenue, Suite 115 Martinez, CA 94553 Phone: 510-313-6808 This brochure was distributed by Delta 2000, a FoodWise Partner This project and has been funded in part with federal funds from the Food and Consumer Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Cooperative Agreement No. 58-3198-4-051. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.