Cashew ChickenIf you’re anything like us, first discovering Chinese food was such a great adventure. There are so many cuisines to try and each one has its own huge cannon of dishes — it’s almost too much for a person to get through in a lifetime. But, after happily gorging ourselves for a few months on Water Boiled Fish and Long been fried with Eggplant and Chili Chicken, you begin to notice that there is a lot of oil left over on those plates. And it’s not just the Sichuanese food. These foods are of course, extremely delicious, but they can sometimes leave you wondering if you shouldn’t just go straight to the gym after every meal.
This of course was not always the case. Chinese food is historically very healthy. In fact, in a book by Harley Pasternak, The Five Element World Diet, Chinese food is ranked as the 3rd healthiest in the world after only Japanese and Singaporean cuisines. This fact was largely based on the fact that China has an obesity rate of only 1.8% and an average life expectancy of 82 years! So where is the disconnect? If Chinese food is so healthy, why is restaurant fare so heavy in fats, meats, oils and sodium?
Tomatoes and fried eggsThe most obvious answer is that as Chinese consumers’ disposable income has risen, chefs have more room to make increasingly rich but also costlier dishes. Which is why there is more meat, oil and other ingredients than ever before.
But, eating Chinese food doesn’t have to mean giving up on living healthy! We here at Cook in Shanghai are passionate about food nourishing our us, our families and friends. That’s why we’ve created a new regular Healthy Chinese Food Cooking Class.
Kung Pao ChickenIn this class, we are going to teach you how to make amazing Chinese food – including the dishes we all love, like Kung Pao Chicken! – in a healthier way. We’ll be creating foods that use good quality, fresh ingredients and have less oil, less salt and no MSG but do not sacrifice flavor.
We’ll start in a Chinese wet market where we’ll learn how to choose good ingredients. From there we’ll take our produce into our home-style kitchens to learn from a professional chef how to make dishes that you can feel good about eating and serving to your family every day. We are also happy to take requests, so let us know if there is a recipe that you’d like to learn a healthier version of, or if you have other dietary restrictions.
Stir Fried Cumin Beef with VegetablesThis class is every Thursday and you can sign up right here on our site or contact Helen at for more details. Also check out our healthy recipes page to see the selection of dishes we have for this class.