SouperChef Specials | Asian Superfoods
Every now and then, I have the privilege of being the recipient of sweet emails from customers, thanking us for helping them to eat healthily with ease and variety. And as we corresponded further, the topic of superfoods would inadvertently be raised. This buzzword ‘superfood’ has no official scientific definition, but suffice to say, superfoods are nutrient-dense and amazing sources of minerals, vitamins and other substances that shield our body from diseases and even keep our body weight in control. With the increasing emphasis on holistic health and wellness, superfoods are alluring to many, but also elusive to some. After all, in Asia, it isn’t all that easy and affordable to spruce our everyday meals with verdant bundles of kale, and eating bowls of hemp seeds isn’t quite the common thing to do either!
So I thought, perhaps we could shine the spotlight on Asian superfoods! The East Asian diet (think Korea and Japan) has long being known for being a key contributor to the citizens’ longevity. Kimchi, goji berries and miso etc are deeply rooted in traditions and used as healing foods in the everyday cuisine. This series of SouperChef Specials is thus an ode to our Asian roots, amplifying the wondrous life-giving properties of our humble Asian ingredients. Besides the healthy and tasty miso, gojuchang and kimchi that you may be more familiar with, expect some pleasant surprises! They don’t just taste extraordinarily good – they are souper healthy to boot! Look out for our social media posts to learn more about these Asian superfoods!
Don’t let superfoods become one of the food fads that fade away as you blink. When you find ways to ingrain them into your everyday eating patterns, you can eat clean easily and in a sustainable manner, and enjoy the goodness they bring to your body. For this reason, we are also including these SouperChef Specials in Souper Life, our soup meal subscription programme, so you will have plenty of healthy, hearty options to feed your body with! So journey with us this April. We promise you these Asian superfoods will not disappoint! This month, we are also going to be voting for your favourite SouperChef Specials to make a comeback this June, because we are turning 15 and it’s all thanks to YOU! Check out our Facebook page for more details on the Souper Fans’ Choice Awards 2017! Love from the world, to our kitchen, to you!
Soup Up to Goodness,
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It’s a mouthful but this Chicken Mulligatawny (pronounced as mull-eh- gah-TAH- nee) is going to rock your chicken soup world! If you are a Seinfeld’s fan like I am, you will remember the Kramer’s soup from the “Soup Nazi” espisode. Mulligatawny derives from what was originally ‘mullaga’ (pepper) and ‘thanni’ (water) in Tamil. Literally meaning ‘pepper water’, this is quintessentially a marriage of Indian and British ingredients, cultures and tastes. There are limitless renditions of this Anglo-Indian soup, but most will stay true to the love of spicy heat of the Indian and British palates. Story has it that a thin, spicy Madrassi broth known as molo tunny or ‘pepper water’ was frequently served during the British colonial occupation. It was intended to be served with rice but unfamiliar with the soup course that wasn’t predominant then in Indian cuisine, the Indian cooks bulked it with meat and vegetables of all sorts to suit the colonial tastes, making mulligatawny what it is today!
Our version is piquantly spiced with homemade curry powder from an assortment of spices, and endowed with split peas, red rice and vegetables. I have specially chosen the condiments of mango chutney, toasted almond and yoghurt to tame the heat down and bring a hint of sweetness to balance the tangy notes from the lemons. Turmeric is the star souperfood here! Known as the saffron from the earth with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, it is touted to be one of 2017’s superfoods! The result is a bright soup in both taste and colour —golden-yellow in the pot, and brilliant and happy on the tongue. Enjoy the richness from the chicken and the pleasant warmth from the spices!
Souper K Mussel Chowder
I was reading about superfoods health trends on the Thrillist, a digital lifestyle magazine, and was souper stoked to see so many of our Asian gems making it to the list! Kimchi, miso and goguchang (hot spicy paste made from hot peppers) are becoming fast known as superfoods, playing a central role in gut health, and it is no wonder that Koreans are keeping them as staples in their everyday diet. I got inspired to use these superfoods in a chowder, one of my favourite forms of soups! Creamy, rich and substantial, chowder is the perfect one-dish comfort food for many, and with the health-giving properties of the ingredients, this is one soup you can never have too much of! If you have been to Korea, you might be familiar with the practice of adding rice at the end of a Korean steamboat or jjigae meal. This chowder is reminiscent of a Korean-style mui fan, a cross between carbonara, clam chowder and bibimbap. Taste a kaleidoscope of flavours from this humble dish – sweetness from the mussels, sweet corn and fennel, spiciness from the gojuchang and chilli powder, a mix of savoury and sourness from the kimchi, and a healthy dose of natural umami from the miso and gojuchang!
Vegan Nangka Bourguignon
You might be familiar with the Beef Bourguignon, a beef stew cooked in red wine sauce from the region of Burgundy in France. In America, the dish was popularised in the 1950s, arguably by famed cook and author, Julia Child. And I think such an iconic dish deserves an Asian rendition, hence this SouperChef Special! We have made it vegan, using an Asian superfood that we are all well-acquainted with – the nangka or the green jackfruit! Slated to be one of the superfoods to look out for in 2017, do you know that the jackfruit contains only 95 calories per half-cup, but is nutrient-dense with potassium, vitamin B and protein? It even has the ability to imitate pulled pork and is a well-kept secret among vegan chef veterans! Taste the meaty profile in this vegan dish! Our version is also inspired by the Javanese stew from Yogyakarta, known as Yogyakarta jackfruit stew, lovingly called gudeg Jogja in Indonesia. Gudeg is traditionally slow-cooked in a claypot for hours until all the liquid and spices have been absorbed by the jackfruit, resulting in a tender, melt-in-your- mouth dish. We are upping the nutritional credentials of this SouperChef Special with goji berries, so tuck in with full assurance of the goodness you are feeding your body!