Easy, healthy Chinese food

“I try to show people a diversity of Chinese cuisine with a fusion element to it,” says Ching-He Huang, the host of Cooking Channel’s “Easy Chinese,” which airs Saturdays at 8:30 p.m.

Chinese food doesn’t have to be the greasy and sauce-laden dishes you’re used to ordering for takeout.
“Chinese food has so many different levels, and it can be very healthy,” says Ching-He Huang, the host of “Easy Chinese” on Cooking Channel. “Home cooking is always simple, healthy and fresh.”
Huang gave us some tips for lightening up traditional Eastern fare.

Don’t fry and douse your meat in sauce — marinate it instead: Huang’s five-spice marinade will give your dishes a flavorful punch. “It consists of star anise, citron pepper, fennel, cloves and cinnamon. Get some chicken and marinate it with five-spice, honey, light soy, and grate some garlic and ginger [before putting it] on the grill or on in the oven. You can garnish it with toasted sesame seeds.”

Make a soup: “I love to make really healthy, light soups that you can add to,” the chef says. “For dinner, you can have a vegetable-based stock with some water, add in some grated ginger and a handful of different kinds of mushrooms because they’re full of antioxidants and really healthy. Then chuck in greens, Chinese broccoli, spinach, or whatever you fancy, and some lean fish. Season it with a little bit of light soy, sesame oil, salt, ground white pepper and a little bit of rice wine. For me, that shows the epitome of a really good Chinese-based, easy, comforting dish that you can have at home. You can keep adding layers to it: You can add noodles, you can add 10 different kinds of vegetables if you want. You can keep it vegetarian, or you can wok-fry a little lean chicken that’s been pre-marinated with some five-spice and light soy.”

Try a salad: Though you might think of rice and noodles when you think of Chinese food, salads are “getting much more popular,” Huang says. She loves dressing hers with a grapefruit or lemon vinaigrette.

Her healthy at-home meal

A twist on egg rolls. “In the summertime, we get spring roll skin made of coconut oil and wheat flour. Put in some sliced-up egg omelet, bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro, tofu, then sprinkle peanuts with a bit of brown sugar, and roll it up and eat it. It’s the most refreshing thing.”
 
An assortment of  different vegetables.
 
A tofu dish. “Chilled tofu salad is the most delicious thing,” she says. “You get silken tofu, chop it up into cubes but still keep it as one block, put it in the fridge and chill it down. Then you make a dressing of light soy, vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seeds and dress it.”
 
A noodle dish. “A bit of stir-fried rice noodles is not overly bad.”
 
Protein. Huang likes chicken stir-fried with veggies.

Order up!

How to order healthily at a Chinese restaurant

1. Don’t order all fried foods. “That’s not Chinese food,” Huang says. “When Chinese people go out to eat, they’ll have a steamed dish, some vegetables and a few meat dishes so everything is balanced.”

2. Ask for Yi mien. “Most of the restaurants here are Cantonese, so they’ll have a dish called Yi mien. It’s basically brazed noodles — noodles cooked in a soup stock. It’s really light and it’s healthy.” Huang recommends the crab variety.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."