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Guide to Asian Flavors

July 15, 2011

Asian Vegetable Slaw

To add to my Mexican & Southwestern Flavor Profiles from a couple of days ago, today I share with you my favorite Asian flavors. Once again, you can go crazy with vegetables: pick at least one green veggie (like broccoli or bok choy) and then pick an additional vegetable of a different color, like purple cabbage or carrots.

NUTRITIONAL NOTE: If you haven’t tried kimchi, now is the time to add it to your pantry. This traditional Korean dish is made from a variety of fermented vegetables, spiced with chili. Kimchi is a natural pro-biotic because it is not pasteurized; therefore its enzymes are not destroyed (which aids in digestion). The most popular type of kimchi is made from napa cabbage. Cabbage is a member of the cruciferous family and is one of the oldest vegetables that we eat.

Brands to try: Hawthorn Valley, Mother in Law’s Kimchi and Sunja’s

You can choose your favorite animal protein, but I do love organic tofu and short grain brown rice is my go-to grain. Often times I’ll top my rice, vegetables and tofu with a fried egg for some added protein. Last but not least: sauce (see my two favorite recipes down below).


Bean: Adzuki, Soy (tofu)

Dairy: Egg

Flavor/ Herb/ Spice: Ginger, Miso, Shoyu, Curry Paste, Nori

Grain: Soba Noodles, Short Grain Brown Rice

Vegetable: Red Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, Kimchi, Bok Choy, Snow Peas, Bamboo Shoots, Shiitake Mushrooms, Seaweed, Broccoli

Oil: Toasted Sesame, Peanut

Nut/ Seed: Sesame, Peanut


Ginger-Miso Sauce:


2 tablespoons white miso

2 tablespoons ginger root, peeled and minced (or grate on a microplane)

2 tablespoons brown rice syrup

1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced (or grate on a microplane)

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a fork until smooth and well mixed. Or combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth and well mixed.


Heidi Swanson’s Spicy Almond Sauce:


2 teaspoons red curry paste

1/3 cup unsalted almond butter

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

very scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

6 – 8 tablespoons hot water


Make the almond sauce by mashing the curry paste into the almond butter. Stir in the lemon juice and salt. And then whisk in the hot water one tablespoon at a time until you have a pourable dressing that is about as thick as a heavy cream. The dressing thickens as it cools, so feel free to thin it out with more water later on if needed. Taste, and add more salt or more curry paste if you like.

Check out full recipe at:

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