Ayam goreng, tempe goreng, tau goreng, paru goreng, ikan goreng – scanning my eyes down the display of dishes at my the only Nasi Padang stall I patron, I cannot help but notice that we Malays do love to deep-fry our food. Looking back at my childhood, the deep-fried chicken wings, nuggets and hotdogs are probably the cause to my tubbiness. I recall trying to get healthy in my first year of uni and all I did was to cut out the fried food from my diet. I lost 8 kilos in a month.
Don’t you just love fried chicken? via GIPHY
Year after year, doctors and nutritionists publicly weigh in on the most prominent health problems plagued by our community – obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Being in my mid-twenties has made me more conscious of what goes inside my body. Although being a foodie and working with food makes it fairly difficult to upkeep a healthy diet, I avoid certain foods altogether, and make a conscientious effort to detox once in a while. For one, I make sure I eat deep-fried foods only once a week.
We all have to make some sacrifices when it comes to food! via GIPHY
To keep my health in check, here’s my 5 alternatives to deep-frying.
1. The Oven is Your Best Friend
Try our Classic Roasted Chicken recipe here.
Contrary to popular beliefs, chicken wings need not be fried to taste the best. The oven is personally my favourite kitchen appliance which I overuse. There’s no mess, no oil splatters, and no need to have your Captain America shield as you fry the wings. You can roast, bake and grill the usual fried chicken just by using the oven! I usually season my chicken wings with salt, pepper, turmeric and a teaspoon of dried chilli paste and a little bit of plain flour, coat a a drizzle of olive oil and pop them in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes. Make sure the oven is set to the grill setting to get the crispy chicken skin.
2. Grilling Using a HappyCall Pan
Get your Happycall pan here.
When this Korean marvel landed on our shores, my mother and her like-minded makcik friends rushed to the stores to get their hands on it. Non-stick and heavily durable, you can grill, stew, roast and even bake using this double sided pan. The best thing is, you really do not need a spatula to flip things over, just close it and turn the pan to the other side!
3. Steam Your Fish
I’m very picky with fish – it used to be salmon or nothing, but I’ve since learned to love sea bass, tilapia, red snapper and cod. While I still prefer my pan-fried salmon to ensure a crispy salmon skin, I like my fish steamed Chinese-style. Some garlic, ginger, soy sauce and oyster sauce, voila! Delicious fish I could eat for days.
If you’re too lazy to make your own steamed fish, try one at Segar Village now!
4. Air-fry errrthaaannggg
The latest airfryer from Phillips, look as sleek as ever. Get yours here.
While I do not own an air-fryer at home, I have used air-fryers while traveling at AirBnB apartments as well as at friends’ homes. Essentially, the air-fryer uses Rapid Air Technology, hot air in other words, to cook the kind of meals that would traditionally be deep-fried. The air-fryer works best for ayam goreng kunyit, tempe goreng, and especially your chicken nuggets.
5. Steam or grill your less favourite chicken parts!
Chicken Pesto Sandwich recipe available here.
My family has knack for leaving chicken breasts as leftovers. Sometimes when I am too hungry I’ll finish it off but most of the time, we leave them uncooked at the back of the freezer. To make chicken breasts a bit more appetizing, I grill or steam them with just a pinch of salt and pepper to make my favourite chicken pesto sandwich.