How many ways do you know of that one chicken can be cooked? At least four right? Fried, boiled, steamed, broiled, you name it. And within each category, we know that there are a few more subcategories that further determine whether your dish will taste that little bit more different if you stir-fry it or pan fry it. See what I mean?
One chicken, many ways
Continuing from my point above, especially in food-crazy Singapore, it is common to hear and read about how various cooking styles can make one chicken taste totally different. Some more celebrated chefs have even gone as far as to use one bird to create a few different dishes with different cooking methods to illustrate that it does make all a world of distinction taste-wise.
How about health-wise?
Which brings me to my main question. Does cooking your food in certain styles mean that it is healthier or better for you? I guess the answer to this is almost definitely a yes.
The most direct of an example would be the comparison between deep-fried chicken and pan-fried chicken. Both end up crispy and delicious but because the pan-fried version used much lesser oil and probably not as much batter, you get a slightly healthier version of a crunchy piece of meat. Of course some of you may argue that there is no way anyone can compare a piece of deep-fried chicken to one that was cooked otherwise but hey, you have to admit that I speak the truth to a certain extent.
And well, this is how many nutritionists and health buffs will look at it too!
What about the flavouring? Wouldn’t that be the same regardless of cooking method?
But seasoning and flavouring play a big part in the food being “the healthier choice” too. Even though opting for the steamed fish is better for you, the amount of salt and oil used should also be controlled. It has to be understood that while choosing to have deep-fried fish with loads of seasoning is not recommended as part of your nutritious diet, having a steamed version with loads of artificial flavouring isn’t that fantastic either, even though yes, you can always argue that you are still having it steamed. Still, not that healthy too my friend!
So are we limited to the likes of just steaming and baking our food with less seasoning? Wouldn’t that be flavourless?
The thing is though, as much as we should all try to keep to the healthier cooking methods like steaming, baking, broiling and even light pan-frying, we can occasionally delight our tastebuds with a little of the deep-fried or calorie laden guilty pleasures. Otherwise, it will be a bland, sad life we live.
Oh yes, and remember to exercise to keep those nasty calories to a minimum!