The world is full of delicious dishes that sadly enough you can only get in some secluded places that you’ll never actually get to. While we all love Mexican food for example, very few of us will ever be able to experience real Mexican food made by a local there.
Luckily, there are more than a few specific fruits and vegetables that you could use to emulate that traditional cuisine feel.
While this won’t be a perfect representation of the meal that you could have had at a local Asian restaurant, it is still better than not having any to begin with.
As such, in this article we decided to cover the 25 best vegetables that you need to introduce into your diet if you want to get a good taste of Asian cuisine once in while.
Not only are these vegetables delicious but they are also packed in nutrients. Their macros are off the charts, and while we’re at it we should also mention that they’re very low in calories, which makes most of them great for dieting as well.
But hey, we’ve dwindled around for too long now, so how about we just hop right into our first pick of the day:
- 25. Kumquats
- 24. Bitter Melon
- 23. Winged Bean
- 22. Bottle Gourd
- 21. Lentils
- 20. Kashmiri Chili
- 19. Yamaimo
- 18. Sansai
- 17. Konjac
- 16. Bamboo Shoots
- 15. Water Spinach
- 14. Tatsoi
- 13. Mizuna
- 12. Galangal
- 11. Choy Sum
- 10. Lemongrass
- 9. Japanese Eggplant
- 8. Garlic Chives
- 7. Mustard Greens
- 6. Lotus Root
- 5. Taro Root
- 4. Bok Choy
- 3. Yardlong Beans
- 2. Daikon Radish
- 1. Chinese Cabbage
Kumquats are really interesting because they are actually the smallest citrus fruits in the world. Not only that but their flavor also packs quite a heavy punch, while their skin is very sweet.
It is also known to overpower most of the other veggies out there, which is why they’re great for salads that lack in the taste department.
24. Bitter Melon
As the name implies, the bitter lemon is quite… well… bitter, when consumed unripe.
But if you actually wait for it to ripen though you will quickly be shocked to find out that it is amongst the most deliciously sweet treats your taste buds could feel.
23. Winged Bean
This is a very interesting veggie that will definitely shock you with its strange and unique appearance.
It looks like a spiky cucumber, but it tastes amazing and honestly, if you want to consume a lot of protein without consuming a lot of calories at the same time, this may be the way to go.
22. Bottle Gourd
As the name implies, this veggie looks exactly like a gourd, and not only that but it is also very tasty, with a very distinct flavor to it which almost instantly reminded us of squash.
You can consume them while young, we don’t recommend actually letting them there to mature, because at that point it will grow hard and pretty much become inedible.
You should already know all about lentils and for good reason too. This is a very protein-packed bean that you can add to your diet any time you feel like you could get a little bit of extra protein in your meal.
Lentils have become a staple of the Indian cuisine, and honestly after trying them out for ourselves for years we do have to say that they are quite underrated to say the least.
20. Kashmiri Chili
Indians love their spicy food, which is why they absolutely adore adding Kashmiri chili to their meals.
If you want a chili that can really destroy your taste buds then you’ve got to use this variation that’s far more extreme than the classic paprika chili.
This Chinese native veggie can become a staple of your diet today, if you could actually try it out for yourself. Many people tend to ignore it simply due to how bland it looks, but honestly these people miss out on something really great.
Yamaimo, or the Chinese yam, has one of the most delicious roots your money could get you, and not only that but you can also use it for medicinal purposes as well, if you want to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Regardless of whether you’re a fan of the raw or cooked Yamaimo, you can be sure of the fact that the more you eat it, the healthier you will be.
Yet another deeply underrated veggie right here, the Sansai is actually extremely important in Japanese culture, due to the fact that it marks the beginning of spring there.
Not only that but this is also a very unique vegetable because it can only be foraged in the wild, so cultivating and harvesting it from the fields is practically impossible to do.
It can be used in some of the most delicious Japanese dishes though, including udo, wasabi and whatnot.
Overall, Sansai is a very unique vegetable that deserves a lot more recognition than it already gets, and honestly, if it were up to us we’d recommend it to everyone out there simply due to how delicious it really is.
While the konjac plant itself is not edible, you can use its root to add a special touch to your dishes. It was actually first cultivated before the 6th century or so, and it is still, to this day, considered to be one of the best veggies your money could get you.
It is very healthy simply due to its high dosage of glucomannan sugar, and not only that but it can also be used very often as a thickening agent, in order to make your recipes more delicious.
Be careful though with how much you put on your dish, as it will turn your meal into an almost jelly-like creation, so if that doesn’t sound like something you’d want for yourself, definitely don’t put too much of it in your meal.
16. Bamboo Shoots
Bamboo shoots are absolutely delicious, and we do mean that. If you want to give them a try though you should keep in mind the fact that bamboo shoots are usually too tough and bitter to actually consume, so instead you need to prepare them properly to get the sweet and even nutty flavor out.
There are plenty of benefits to eating bamboo shoots, but by far the top ones are definitely always going to be the fact that they are very low calorie veggies, so you can consume a lot more of them than you’d think and still lose weight by the end of the month.
15. Water Spinach
Water spinach is a very unique and delicious aquatic perennial that you can find quite easily nowadays. What makes it special is the fact that you can easily stir fry it, curry it or sauté it, if you prefer it that way.
You could even eat it raw if you wanted to, although we’d recommend using it to make other delicious meals. Amongst this plant’s top benefits that you have the fact that it reduces cholesterol, it helps your digestive system work overtime and it even prevents or helps with diabetes.
The Tatsoi is a delicious veggie that you can add to pretty much any salad out there and make it work fantastically. As far as its general taste is concerned, it is pretty much just a more intricate looking version of spinach, and you can even use it as a replacement for it any time you want.
You can also add the two together, since they’re both pretty low-calorie dense foods, so you can use these to your full advantage to enjoy healthy, low calorie meals.
Mizuna is yet another one of those beautiful veggies that you can add to your salad any time you want, giving it even more flavor than ever before.
You can also use it in your pasta dishes if you want, and on top of that we also recommend that you stir-fry it alongside risotto.
All in all though, mizuna makes for a great addition to any meal, especially so for soups and quinoa salads though because those are always great to see.
While this is not usually used as a main ingredient, you can make full use of the galangal veggie by putting it in your meals as a seasoning.
It looks a lot like ginger, we know, but it is way harder to the touch and it has a paler flesh, that you can see as soon as you start chopping into it.
Flavor wise you are going to instantly pick up on the fact that it is a lot more citrussy, and on top of that, since it is great for helping with an upset stomach, you can always just put it in your morning dishes to make them all the tastier.
11. Choy Sum
While this may look like an alternate version of the Bok choy, it is a tiny bit different than it simply due to the fact that it has smaller stalks and it also produces yellow flowers instead.
It can be used for a plethora of different dishes though, including any sort of salads out there, or you could just stir fry it and get a great meal out of it like that.
Lemongrass is an absolutely delicious herb that you can pick up from your local market easily since it’s a very common find. We recommend that you always check the lemongrass closely, to make sure it has a very strong smell, otherwise the flavor will be lacking.
On top of that, if you want to get the best lemongrass out there, we recommend that you go for a more yellowish and green color near the bulb. You can pretty much put it in most recipes to make them better too which is really nice for a change.
9. Japanese Eggplant
This is actually one of the most popular veggies in Japan, and for good reason too. It has been produced there for about 12 centuries or so by now, and the reason why it is so sought after is that it is simply put full of amazing nutrients, that we all need to some extent.
Are you vitamin C deficient? What are your potassium levels? There’s plenty of folate and fiber in the Japanese eggplant too. Overall, you just can’t go wrong with this veggie right here.
8. Garlic Chives
Garlic chives are honestly very underrated simply because they are not as easy to come by as most of the other veggies on our list.
If you can get your hands on some though you will absolutely love them to bits, simply due to the fact that they can be used in most meals, while also adding to the flavor of the dishes tenfold.
We recommend that you also add in herbal vinegar, butter and soft cheese to the mix, if you want to really make your garlic chives amazing.
7. Mustard Greens
While mustard greens are nothing new to the western cuisine, the way that the people in Asia consume them is way different than the way that we do it. In America, you just cover them in bacon grease and vinegar, nothing special really.
But, in Asia, you take these mustard greens and you add them to the mix with heart-healthy veggies, in order to create a healthy and balanced meal that you can eat on a daily basis.
6. Lotus Root
The lotus root may sound a bit inedible, but let’s just say that it will definitely leave you speechless after you try it out, simply because it is just downright delicious to say the least.
Not only that but the lotus root also helps a lot with blood circulation, and if you’re dealing with a lot of stress, eating a fresh lotus root is sure to help you get through everything.
On top of all of that, the lotus root is also full of vitamin C and it is very beneficial to your heart’s health. Since it is so low in calories it also makes for a great dietary option also.
5. Taro Root
The taro root is a great option for anyone out there regardless of what you’re looking for. If you want a delicious addition to your diet then you can’t go wrong with it, but what about its health benefits?
Luckily, the taro root has got you covered as it immediately helps you with your digestion, and not only that but it also helps prevent cancer on the long run too.
4. Bok Choy
We couldn’t have this list without the Bok choy and that’s simply because it is by far one of the most popular Asian veggies out there, for good reason too.
It is packed full of nutrients, you can get plenty of vitamin C, A and K from every single bite, and not only that but since it has so few calories you can consume a lot of it, and still love weight at the end of the day.
3. Yardlong Beans
You may be wondering, what are yardlong beans? Well, you may have heard of them under their other nickname, asparagus beans, and in case you’re still in the dark, you should know that this is an absolutely delicious type of a bean that you need to add to your meal asap.
Just keep in mind that you can’t just boil them, you need to sauté them, otherwise they will get all mushy in no time.
2. Daikon Radish
Most Asian veggies we have on our list are jam-packed with healthy nutrients, and this definitely also applies to the daikon radish, as this is by far one of the healthiest veggies you could get your hands on.
Not only that but you can also consume a lot of it too, while also dropping down the weight since it is so low in calories to begin with.
It does feature a slightly milder flavor though, which is definitely not for everyone, so keep that in mind that if you’re looking for the classic radish taste there are better options out there.
1. Chinese Cabbage
While there are a ton of different varieties out there of Chinese cabbage, we would like to offer the first place on our list directly to none other than the Napa cabbage.
This is by far the most delicious one in our honest opinion, while also being amongst the healthiest. You get a huge dose of vitamin C with it and on top of that you can also cook it however you want to, and still get a super delicious dish unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before.
As you can tell by now, every single one of these veggies would make for a great addition to your diet. All of them are low calorie dense foods that you can consume as much as you want, while also keeping your figure or slimming it down.
This is the secret of the Asian physique, and the reason why they always appear to be so much slimmer than everyone else out there. If you want to look like that or even better, you can always add these veggies to your every meal and you’ll immediately start seeing results in no time.