Asian dishes satisfy tastes for healthy meals with global flair
May 8, 2019
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This post is sponsored by TMI Trading.

Chefs and foodservice operators can look to Asian cuisine for inspiration on how to create flavorful dishes that satisfy consumer demand for healthy meals.

Asian cuisine's bold flavor profiles appeal to diners’ growing appetite for global flavors, and its emphasis on vegetables and cooking methods that don’t rely on large amounts of fat make it perfect for attracting health-conscious diners as well. Offering flavorful, healthy options is becoming more and more important for foodservice operators as consumers increasingly seek out these types of dishes. About one third of consumers (34%) say they are ordering healthy items at foodservice more often than they did two years ago, according to Technomic’s 2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report. The report found that vegetables are the component that most signals health in the eyes of US diners, with 84% of those surveyed agreeing that vegetables are a key component of a healthy diet.

Readymade Asian food products such as dumplings and noodles can be adapted for just about any restaurant concept to create dishes that range from authentic to innovative. The same goes for sauces and condiments such as soy sauce, soybean paste and gochujang. The latter, a Korean red pepper paste, is gaining mainstream popularity and was named among the year’s top condiment trends in the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot 2019 Culinary Forecast. Chefs can use it to add heat to marinades, dipping sauces or dressings.

For a crowd-pleasing dish that can be prepared in a number of ways to suit different dietary needs, dumplings are a versatile option. New York-based food company TMI Trading makes Edamame Dumplings for its Chef One brand that are filled with a blend of the whole green soybeans, diced carrots and corn. The brand also offers Kale and Vegetable Dumplings, combining the popular leafy green with corn, spinach and tofu. Dumplings can be steamed for a simple, light preparation, or pan fried for a crispy texture that is perfect for snacks or appetizers.

For main course fare, noodle dishes can showcase a range of healthy ingredients. TMI offers two noodle products that incorporate vegetables directly into the dough. Its Vegetable Noodle is made with spinach, broccoli and celery, in a versatile, flat shape similar to fettuccine, and the company will present its Beet Ramen Noodles at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago later this month. The root vegetable lends a pink hue to the noodles, which can be used to create eye-catching dishes ranging from ramen in a matcha dashi broth to beet noodle salad with goat cheese and arugula.

For more menu inspiration, visit TMI Trading’s website. Learn more about how Asian dishes and ingredients can satisfy diners’ desire to eat more vegetables at TMI Trading’s booth #8033 at the National Restaurant Association Show May 18-21.

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