Love the crunch of deep-fried food and the richness of gravies and stews? You're favourite crispy ayam penyet is probably high in fat and calories, and the thick curry sauce ladled over the rice is likely high in fat and salt.

That's a lot of added fats, not exactly the definition of a healthy meal.

So, those of us watching our calorie, fat, salt, and sugar intake might want to limit how much deep-fried food or heavy gravy we eat. Sure, a slow cooker sounds good, but you don't have much space in your kitchen or room in your budget to get one. You're not thrilled about some of the long cooking times either.

Luckily for us food-lovers, there are many other yummy and healthier ways to cook food! You'll never have to struggle to come up with healthy meal plans again. Let's check them out.

Healthy Cooking Opens a Whole New World

Tap into your inner MasterChef and experiment with healthier food preparation methods like stir-frying, baking, grilling, roasting, and steaming. These methods use a small amount of oil or no oil at all, which reduces the number of calories consumed.

Healthy Cooking Method 1: Stir-fried, not Shaken

Lightly oil your wok, turn the heat up to reach medium or high-heat, throw in ingredients, and start frying in a stirring motion. Stir-frying is as simple as that! You can stir-fry a wide variety of dishes, from veggie dishes like stir-fried kai lan with garlic to staples like char brown rice bee hoon.

Healthy Cooking Method 2: Grill Baby Grill

Grilling gives your food a nice smoky flavour. If you're watching your fat and calorie intake, switch gravy for grilled. Some gravies can have a lot of hidden added sugar too, so make the switch today!

Ideas for the Chef

Here's curry chicken without the heavy curry. Marinate chicken in a mixture of soybean oil, pepper, curry powder and garlic powder. Let the chicken soak in the marinade for a few minutes and then grill it.

Health tip: Remove visible fat to cut down on more fat and calories.

Healthy Cooking Method 3: It's Getting Steamy

Steaming is a super simple cooking method that requires no oil and minimal effort. Steaming also helps to preserve nutrients. Just prep and season your food and let the steam do the rest! Some dishes to try: chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg); steamed fish in soy sauce with ginger, garlic, and chilli; home-made dumplings.

Ideas for the Chef

Chilli crab's heavy sauce can pile on calories. Cut calories by skipping the sauce and steaming your crab whole instead — this way, you also get to better enjoy the fresh, sweet crab meat. Spice up the dish by prepping a sambal dipping sauce, or top the crab with ginger and spring onion before steaming.

Healthy Cooking Tip 1: Oil be Healthier

Preparing to fry, stir fry or grill? Choose oils with the Healthier Choice Symbol, for example canola oil, peanut oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil. These are lower in unhealthy fats like saturated and trans fats, and higher in unsaturated fat, which helps lower bad cholesterol levels in your blood (if used in moderation, of course). High blood cholesterol increases risk of heart disease, so give your heart a break with healthier oils.

Healthy Cooking Tip 2: Spice and Everything Nice

Slashing your salt intake for health? Use herbs and spices to zhng (jazz up) your dishes! Some herbs and spices that will work well with local dishes include garlic, chilli, ginger, turmeric, star anise, and curry powder.

Healthy Cooking Tip 3: Sharing is Caring

Use these cooking methods and tips to whip up a nutritious and delicious dinner for your loved ones and spend some quality time with them. You've come this far on your healthy eating journey — why not share your healthy cooking tips with them so they, too, will be able to whip up healthier meals.

Need more ideas for your family feast? Check out these healthy recipes!

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