The “get slim by eating this” advice is commonplace nowadays. There’s always an ingredient or dish that plays America’s sweetheart. Kale, quinoa, and all things coconut, be it water or oil, seem to be the do-no- wrong staples currently enjoying celebrity status. Deeming a food as either healthy or unhealthy, though, does very little to give us the full scope of nutrition or what it means to eat healthy. A food or dish being healthy is a combination of things i.e., what said item is eaten with, how it’s prepared, and how much of it is consumed. Salads are an excellent example of this. Popular wisdom tells us that including more salads in our diet will likely result in weight loss. However, whether you’re making it at home or hitting up your local chain buffet, a bed of greens dressed in ranch, bacon bits, and croutons misses the point altogether and is more detrimental than helpful in your journey to better health.
When it comes to commercial dips and dressings, it appears that many brands are marketing Asian flavor profiles to push the idea of healthy dips or dressings. Its wasabi this, ginger-soy that. Ingredients that are often associated with Asian culinary traditions, such as soy sauce, fresh ginger, lime, or nuts can lend themselves to making tasty, healthier dips or dressings that don’t rely on cream or oil as the base. But a word of caution, don’t assume you’re better off eating these. Check the labels as sodium and sugar can sometimes sneakily creep into commercial dressings and dips. So what is a possible solution?
You knew this was coming but, as with most things, you’re better off making your own at home and by pairing them with, say, crudité or lean meats, not fried calamari if better nutrition or weight loss is your thing. Regardless of your goal, these recipes look to the East for inspiration and offer a departure from dressings and dips that are cream or marinara-based.
Need some inspiration for DIY Asian dressings? The Daily Meal has your back!
With fresh ginger, lemon, chili pepper, peanut butter, and fresh cilantro, this dressing complements salads, noodles, and satay.
Savory? Check. Tangy? Check. A smidge sweet? Check. This well-balanced dressing is inspired by Thai flavor profiles and works with a number of dishes, be it grilled beef salad, splashed on cucumbers as a snack, or as an unique dressing for vegetable slaw.