This One Change In Your Cooking Style Will Help You Eat Healthier, Better

It's a simple change.

IMAGE Riell Santos

Many of us are eating food that we cooked at home, now more than ever. The love for food during the most trying of times can be the reason why many of us are also eating less healthily.

Are you frying food more often than you normally do lately?  

Frying food is generally considered an unhealthy way of preparing food. You have to admit that frying food is a fast and easy cooking method to do. The effects of frying on food are all very tempting. The crunchy texture, the golden brown color, and the overall delicious flavor that is developed when you fry food is undoubtedly delicious and appetizing. 

However, this is also the reason why many of us are looking for ways to eat better, be more healthy in our cooking and eating habits now that we're more conscious of it.   

We have great advice for you. It's a simple one too that you can easily start using. The simple advice is this: Avoid frying food in oil. 


How do you avoid frying food? 

You can! In fact, did you know that you can eliminate frying in oil altogether? The simple way of doing this is to change the way you cook food. There are many ways to cook food that are better for you that requires you to use little to no oil. Instead of frying your food, you can use other cooking methods such as steaming, grilling, roasting, or simmering food into delicious, better-for-you dishes. While steaming and simmering dishes won't achieve any level of goodness that you're looking for in your fried food, grilling and roasting can.    

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This may sound like a dramatic change but changing this one thing about the way you cook your food will help you cook dishes that are better for you. Here's what you can do if you're craving your favorite fried food: 

Photo by Michael Angelo Chua

1 Bake your "fried" chicken. 

There is such thing as baked fried chicken. The trick to making sure that your fried chicken is as tender on the inside as it is crispy and crunchy on the outside is how you treat the chicken. You can brine and marinate your chicken just like you normally would with your favorite fried chicken recipe but the breading is where we have to switch things up a bit.

Instead of just using flour to coat your chicken, we suggest coating your chicken in an ingredient that's already golden brown and crispy: cornflakes. Crushed, these cornflakes will act as the crispy flour coating that you normally would enjoy in your fried chicken. Since we can't achieve the same level of crispiness that frying in oil can achieve, this shortcut to that will eliminate baking "fried" chicken that's pale and unappetizing.               

Photo by Majoy Siason

2 Roast your lechon kawali or crispy pata

If you've got an oven or even an air fryer, you will fall in love with using it for these pork dishes! Pork dishes like lechon kawalicrispy pata, or even chunks of pork belly that you were going to make into adobo can be "fried" or roasted in the oven. 

You can do the same thing with chicken, beef, and yes, even fish, seafood, and vegetables can be roasted in the oven. The trick to roasting these meats in the oven is to baste the meats. All meat have a certain amount of fat in it and you can use its natural fats and juices to your advantage. Since you don't need to add oil to these already fatty cuts, you can instead allow the oven to help the meat release its fats. Then use a spoon or a brush to baste the skin and cracklings to achieve super crispy pork. 


With fish, seafood, and vegetables, you will need to either lightly toss these cuts in a little oil or spraying the chunks with oil using a bottle made for oil like this one so you can minimize the amount of oil that's used. 

Photo by Riell Santos

3 Poach your "fried" eggs. 

What's the best thing about fried eggs? We think it's the runny yolk and tender whites that make us want to have it on buttered toast every morning! If you're one with us on this breakfast special, then this suggestion will be an easy cooking swap. Poaching eggs is definitely healthier but although not easier. However, dare we say it does become easier the more often you poach your eggs? Practice really does make perfect. 


Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

4 Grill your burgers, hotdogs, liempo, and more.        

Burgers, hotdogs, steaks, and the liempo are natural choices for the grill but there are so many more other meats and food you can grill that you may not have thought of putting on the grill! Did you know you could grill watermelon or bananas for a great refreshing snack, vegetables for a unique pinakbet recipe or even a simple sandwich, or potatoes for a smoky and delicious grilled potato salad? Use the grill for an authentic grilled cheese sandwich with any of all of the cheeses you want stuffed into it instead of in the frying pan! 


All this means is that you can be as versatile on the grill as you are when using the frying pan. 

Do you think you'll be missing your favorite fried food with these great cooking hacks to help you make your dishes healthier? We think a little effort on your part to cook and eat healthier dishes is worth the change. Make the swap! Your body may thank you later.   



Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here!

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