Cooking with fruit is a great way to make sure your family gets their recommended daily requirement. Steaming or stir-frying - two common Chinese cooking methods - allows the fruit to retain more nutrients than other cooking methods, such as boiling. Here is a selection of Chinese and Asian recipes featuring various types of fruit used in cooking.
Mangoes feature prominently is numerous Asian desserts, including Chinese Mango Pudding
. Here, fresh mangoes are paired with strips of chicken in a healthy stir-fry from chef Stephen Wong, from his book HeartSmart Chinese Cooking. The recipe includes a nutritional breakdown.
The Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Hunan are famous for their cured hams. In this recipe, thin slices of ham are sprinkled with brown sugar and steamed, then paired with Asian pears and lightly brushed with a simple sauce made with honey and honey sauce.
There are numerous recipes pairing the sweet flavor of strawberries with chicken: here, I've combined them in a quick stir-fry that includes a simple sauce made with orange juice and lemon juice. This recipe has been reader-rated at 5 out of 5 stars.
Sweet peaches are paired with marinated strips of chicken in a tangy sauce. (Note: the recipe's less than stellar ratings total comes from a reader's confusion over which ingredients make up the sauce – I have clarified this in the directions. A subsequent rating gives the recipe 5 out of 5 stars).
All of the orange, including the peel, is used in this deep-fry recipe. As a rule, the Chinese do not like to eat raw vegetables, and celery is no exception: here, it is briefly submerged in the deep-fry oil.
Nothing beats the appearance of restaurant-style Pineapple Fried Rice, with delicious pineapple and shrimp fried rice bursting out of hollowed out pineapple shells. However, many of us don't have time for hollowing out pineapples and deveining shrimp on busy weeknights. This version uses cooked shrimp and canned pineapple, and forgoes the elaborate presentation.
Never mind that you'll find them with the other vegetables in the supermarket; technically, tomatoes are a fruit. Cooked rice makes the perfect accompaniment to this Cantonese dish.
Deep-fried chicken thighs are paired with pineapple and bell peppers in a sweet and sour sauce made with pineapple juice.
Looking for something different to do with pork chops? Here they are stir-fried with bok choy and carrots and finished with a tangy orange juice and honey/soy sauce mixture.
The sweet flavor of bananas is paired with coconut milk, sugar and ground cinnamon. (Note: if you want to maintain more nutritional value from the bananas, you can forego cooking them and just pour the hot sauce over top).