Enlighten Mealtime With Asian Flavors And Traditions

Looking for delicious, fun and healthy ways to spice up mealtime that are also as easy as 1-2-3? Families can turn to Asian cuisine with meal ideas from La Choy to add variety to dinner, get the kids involved and please even the pickiest of palates.

"Asian recipes are versatile and easy to prepare, resulting in a delicious and healthy meal that the entire family can enjoy. And involving children in mealtime preparation is a great way to teach them about Asian customs and traditions," said Corinne Trang, an expert on Asian cuisines and author of "Curry Cuisine" (Dorling Kindersley, 2006) and "The Asian Grill" (Chronicle Books, 2006).

Follow these easy meal ideas and tips from Trang to get cooking with your kids and teach them about a new culture:

Perfect Balance

Asian cuisine is based on a balance of flavors, textures and colors. In a large frying pan or wok, stir up veggies and a lean meat, such as yellow peppers, broccoli and pork. Pork pairs perfectly with any ingredient, offering versatility and flavor to almost any dish.

Sauce Is the Boss

Make seasoning easier by using sauces that combine authentic flavors for you, such as La Choy Garlic Ginger or Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauces. Extend meal options by using the sauces for stir-fry, as a marinade or a dip.

Preparation Partners

When it comes time for cooking, let the kids help out by adding premeasured ingredients to the recipe, such as chopped carrots, water chestnuts or bean sprouts. Ask older children to pour out the correct amount of sauce into a measuring cup.

Setting the Scene

Sit down with your family before the meal and learn how to use chopsticks. They can be found at most grocery stores and any Asian market. Observe the custom of taking turns pouring tea during the meal or decorating the dining area with traditional décor.

A great recipe to stir up things in the kitchen-and get the kids involved-is Teriyaki Pork Lettuce Wraps. This easy recipe includes tender strips of teriyaki marinated pork tenderloin, sautéed and wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves with vegetables and rice noodles.

Teriyaki Pork Lettuce Wraps

Makes: 4 servings


1/2 cup La Choy Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauce or La Choy Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 large iceberg lettuce leaves

1 large carrot, peeled and shredded

1 can (8 ounces) La Choy Sliced Water Chestnuts, drained

1 can (14 ounces) La Choy Bean Sprouts, rinsed and drained

La Choy Rice Noodles (optional)


1. Combine sauce and pork in resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.

2. Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Remove pork; discard bag and marinade. Sauté pork over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly pink in center and browned on both sides.

3. Fill lettuce leaves with equal amounts of carrots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, pork and rice noodles, if desired. Drizzle with extra sauce, if desired. Roll up tightly and serve.

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
For more delicious recipes and tips from Corinne Trang, visit www.LaChoy.com and www.The OtherWhiteMeat.com.