Asian Stir Fry Salad - header

Asian Stir Fry Salad

Okay, so you might say there’s no such thing as a hot salad. Here, my definition of a salad is anything with greens as the main. Before you throw a rock at me for deceiving you with the word salad, I would like to make my case. If you do agree with me, please skip the next two paragraphs!

Asian Stir Fry Salad - Cold salad

What people usually think of when we say ‘salad’

There are two kinds of people who eat salad: (1) people who really like salads, and (2) people who just want to lose weight. It might be a slight issue if what you like about salads is the coldness of it. But. If you like salads because you generally just like vegetables (like me), or if you want to lose weight (Which girl doesn’t? Really? Though as long as I can maintain my current weight, I’m cool with that.), you’re going to put down the rock and listen read the rest of this post!

If you looked at the header photo of this post, sure yes, it’s a stir fry but it’s one with loads of vegetables and other healthy food! If you like vegetables, can we agree that it’s kind of like a salad already? It’s got so many other ingredients complementing the veggies and there’s a sauce. Salads can consist of cooked veggies so I don’t see what’s the problem. *wink*

Then I move on to talk about how this can assist you in your weight loss. If you have been eating salads to lose weight for a relatively long time, I’m sure you must be pretty sick of it. I think there’s a reason why humans started cooking, we prefer hot food (and the fact that cooking kills germs). If you live in a cold country but still gotta eat a cold salad, that’s probably worse. But then again, people in Southeast Asia love their hot soups too.

Bottom line, if you’re sick of the usual salad, I promise that this works the same way a salad does in assisting your weight loss. Firstly, if it’s just hot blanched vegetables, it would probably be really difficult to like it. At the same time, in order to make it a more balanced meal, I added shiitake mushrooms which have weight loss components, as well as tofu, egg and ikan bilis which are all a great source of protein. I’m sure by now you know how you need your proteins if you want to lose weight. Even with so many ingredients, this dish is low in calories as long as you watch your sodium and oil intake.

Asian Stir Fry Salad - Ikan bilis dried anchovies

Ikan Bilis (dried anchovies). Source: Kuali

Finally, i move on to the last reason as to why I dub this recipe the Asian Stir Fry Salad.

Vegetables like lettuce, red cabbage, baby spinach etc, are just so much more expensive than local vegetables in Asia. It’s just now sustainable for my wallet to be constantly eating salad when I eat at home to save money. This packet of spinach i used in this recipe costs like less than 1 USD per 300 grams compared to 3 USD for 200 grams of romaine lettuce. I rest my case.

In case throughout this confusion about how this is considered a salad you were wondering, “So is this Asian Stir Fry Salad actually a main dish?” My answer is Yes and No. Yes by my standards and no by cultural norms. I cook for one person most of the time, and when I want to use up my vegetables while they are fresh, I don’t have to stomach space to eat this portion on the side with rice. But yes, if you are cooking for more than one, the Asian Stir Fry Salad is usually a dish eaten with rice. It’s a free world, do whatever you want hahaha.

 

Recipe: Asian Stir Fry Salad

Serves 1-2 Prep Time: 5 Mins Cook Time: > 15 Mins Total Time: > 20 Mins
Asian Stir Fry Salad

Asian Stir Fry Salad

 

Ingredients

300 grams of spinach (or really just any kind of vegetables that you can stir fry)
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion (optional)
20 grams of ikan bilis
150 grams of medium tofu*
1 egg
5 ml of oil for cooking*
1 tsp soy sauce
Pinch of white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil (omit to lower calories)
1 tsp hua tiao chiew (optional)

Asian Stir Fry Salad - hua tiao chiew

Hua Tiao Chiew, or Chinese rice wine

 

Method

  1. Heat up the oil in the wok while preparing the tofu. You paper towels to absorb as much of the water as possible before cutting the tofu into bite size pieces.
  2. When the oil is hot enough, throw in the tofu pieces and fry them until golden (because we are not using a lot of oil, don’t expect them to be that crispy, we’re prioritizing our health here)
  3. When tofu are relatively firmer and golden, remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Next, fry the ikan bilis until slightly brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Saute the garlic and onion until soft and slight brown.
  6. Add the spinach and let cook until slightly withered before adding mushrooms
  7. Make a well in the centre and crack and egg before covering up with the vegetables.
  8. When egg is cooked, add the tofu and ikan bilis back in, stir to mix before serving
  9. Plate and serve immediately.

 

Nutritional Info

Asian Stir Fry Salad - nutrition label

 

Notes

  • You can actually just use any type of tofu, just remember that you want something not too fragile or they will disintegrate into invisible bits.
  • If you’re using a non-stick wok, it is possible to omit the oil totally, just make sure you have enough moisture in your wok so the vegetables do not char.
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