As the days close in and we are battered by wind and storms, nothing picks us up faster than a comforting bowl of steaming goodness. Asian cooking incorporates spices and flavors that can give almost anyone a genuine lift. As an extra bonus, you can also add cheese to these suggestions from the Philippines. Cheese is not a traditional Asian touch, but it adds a creaminess that can bring a cheerful element to a rainy day.
Lugaw is a hearty soup that is considered to have magic restorative properties by most Filipina mothers. It is a form of rice porridge that is a versatile base for adding vegetables, meat or sliced egg. The rice is often cooked in chicken stock, and julienned ginger is added for a bit of zing. Shredded chicken can be added, too.
Meatball soup is another stand-by in bad weather. Pork balls seasoned with garlic are prepared with vegetable broth, carrots and celery for a nourishing meal.
For something dessert-like, try champorado, a combination of glutinous rice, cocoa and sugar that will sweeten your day.
Everyone loves chicken
You cannot go wrong with chicken soup on a horrible day or when you feel unwell. Macaroni soup (or sopas) is not only a treat for the stomach, but it is also really easy to make. You simply cook some chicken, vegetables and pasta in stages in one pot and combine everything at the end.
Another popular dish is chicken misua, or thin salted noodles. Saute onion, then add cubed chicken and garlic. When the vegetables have cooked, add water and the misua, along with sponge gourd (patola) for an authentic Filipino touch, and finish with beaten eggs that will give the dish a nourishing boost.
Chicken recipes are perennial favourites. This report from the BBC covers 12 simple Chinese chicken dishes to try at home. If you are looking for even more delicious and easy chicken recipes, take a look at a cooking website such as http://food-tales.com/food-recipes/chicken/ to find a great source of inspiration and tasty tips.
Asian dishes taste great, and they’re a great way for the budding cook to grow in confidence. Much of the effort goes into preparation, and the cooking skills needed are fairly simple so you can be assured of scrumptious results every time.