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6 Asian-Inspired Healthy Spring Food To Try

6 Asian-Inspired Healthy Spring Food To Try

Time to say goodbye and good riddance to the winter blues because in a few weeks, it's time to greet spring again! Apart from the warmer weather and the beautiful blooms that await, spring food, veggies, and greens will be filling up the groceries and markets.

While you wait for the first sprigs of greens to sprout, plan ahead with some of my top Asian-inspired spring recipes. Read until the end for a special Healthy Asian Lettuce Wrap with Beef and Hoisin Sauce recipe to help you get out of hibernation mode and ready for a healthy spring season!

Asian-Inspired Healthy Spring Recipes

1. Spring Salad Recipe Idea: Bom Namul

Side dishes, or banchan in Korean, are essential to Korean cuisine. Come spring time, all types of spring vegetables or bom namul, are usually served as banchan. Filled with nutrients, eating it is a great way to boost one's energy after a tiresome winter!

Namul refers to just about any seasoned spring vegetable and greens. Most bom-namul have a bitter and herby taste. That's why seasoning is key! The seasoning may use soy sauce for a kick of umami, sesame oil for nuttiness, Korean gochujang chili paste or gochugaru chili powder for heat, doenjang soybean paste for depth, and so much more! This Spinach Namul recipe from Bon Appetit uses a mix of soy sauce and toasted sesame as its seasoning.

10 Common Bom-Namul Korean Spring Vegetables

1. Chwi-namul: Aster scaber
2. Dallae: Korean wild chives
3. Dot-namul: Striny Stonecrop
4. Duerup: Aralia Erala Shoots
5. Meowi: Sweet Coltsfoot
6. Ssuk: Mugwort
7. Gaji namul - Steamed eggplant
8. Kong namul - Soybean sprouts
9. Musaengchae - Korean radish
10. Naengi - Sheperd's Purse

Bom-Namul Seasoning Ideas

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Once spring season rolls in, you'll definitely be in the mood for some Vietnamese Spring Rolls (see what I did there?)! It comes in many names. Gỏi cuốn in Vietnamese, fresh spring rolls, summer rolls, and rice paper rolls. However you call this refreshing dish, it's undoubtedly one of the easiest and most delicious ways of enjoying spring veggies and herbs.

What goes in a spring roll isn't really written in stone but it's typically made with a fresh mix of carrots, cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, cilantro, chili peppers, glass noodles, and more, wrapped in a delicate sheet of rice paper.

In my blog, I talked about how to wrap a spring roll with the roll-tuck-seal method and share two delicious spring roll sauces--peanut sauce and hoisin sauce-- that you can make with simple pantry ingredients.

Fun fact: cabbages grow whole year-round but spring cabbages are sweeter, crunchier, more nutritious, and more delicious! Rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and other nutrients, it's typically served with a simple dipping sauce as an appetizer, due to its light yet nourishing properties. It's also a healthy addition to Japanese fried meals like tonkatsu, okonomiyaki, karaage, and more. If you're on a plant-based diet, give my 20-minute tonkatsu tofu noodles a try! The taste and texture brought about by the spring cabbage are just *chef's kiss*.

Spring season is herb season, so better make the most out of it, starting with my Basil Chili Garlic and Shrimp recipe. In just 30 minutes, you've got yourself a restaurant-quality shrimp dish that offers a triple threat of flavors-- spicy, garlicky, and herby. The chili garlic is only mildly spiced, so you can definitely take this on. Plus, the hint of mint from the basil balances all the flavors together for the perfect spring recipe.

5. Takenoko Gohan Bamboo Shoot Rice

Ever wondered what bamboo tastes like? In Japan, Takenoko Gohan, or bamboo shoot rice, is a popular spring dish! This is because bamboo shoots emerge during the springtime in late April to early May. The shoots are peeled, cut up, boiled, chopped, then cooked with dashi-seasoned Japanese rice. This particular recipe from Just One Cookbook uses katsuo dashi, sweet rice wine, and light soy sauce to season the rice.

When cooked, the bamboo shoots come out tender and crunchy and have a mildly sweet and earthy taste. Paired with savory rice, every bite tastes very much like spring!

Of course, there's no need to head to Japan to enjoy this dish! If you're wondering where to get bamboo shoots, they are typically sold in cans at your local market or Asian online groceries.

My Asian Lettuce Wrap with Beef and Hoisin Sauce is like the healthy cousin of beef tacos. The lettuce serves as a veggie alternative to the taco shell, while the filling is made from ground beef seasoned with a savory mix of soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Biting into the fresh and crunchy lettuce will have you feeling like it's Taco Tuesday!

Serve it for yourself or your family for movie nights or as a quick afternoon snack. You can also make it even lighter by using ground chicken or tofu as the protein ingredient.

As a foodie, spring might just be my favorite season. The markets will just be brimming with some of the freshest and most vibrant produce you'll see for the whole year. That's why you should grab every chance you get to prep healthy spring meals! Doing so can also help you sustain healthier eating habits that you can carry for many seasons to come.

Get all the Asian ingredients you need to welcome spring only at Karman Foods!

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