Whole30 Char Siu Hiyashi Chūka
Asian food is my lifeblood, but as I’m sure you know, it ain’t easy finding Whole30-compliant dishes from the land of my peoples. It’s not that the cuisines of Asia aren’t rooted in real, whole foods. (Remember our hand-harvested, on-site farm lunch in Northern Thailand?) But especially over the past few generations, industrialized food production—which has helped feed billions—has also led manufacturers down the path to using hyper-processed ingredients that are adulterated with all sorts of badness.
Need an example? Behold: Fried Gluten with Peanuts (“Also for Vegetarians!”):
Years ago, I resigned myself to the fact that there were some Asian dishes (and many family recipes) that I’d never be able to make Paleo, let alone Whole30-friendly. Many of these dishes required non-compliant ingredients like wheat, soy, sugar, and terrible oils and fillers. For instance, many soy sauce brands contain gluten, and store-bought hoisin sauce contains gluten, sugar, and other chemical weirdness. But I’ve never stopped trying to make Paleo and Whole30-friendly versions of the Asian dishes from my childhood that I especially loved.
If you’re like me, you don’t want to set aside Asian food entirely just because you’re doing a Whole30, right? Lucky for you, I have lots of Asian favorites in my free Recipe Index, including:
- Paleo Chicken Chow Mein!
- Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice!
- Cantonese Egg Custard with Minced Pork!
- Paleo Chawanmushi (Savory Egg Custard)!
- Simple Egg Drop Soup!
- Bò Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew) and Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Bò Kho!
- Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs and Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Korean Short Ribs!
- Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Chicken Phở!
But there are two Whole30-friendly recipes in particular I want to share with you today: Paleo Char Siu (a.k.a. Chinese BBQ pork) and Paleo Hiyashi Chūka (Cold “Ramen” Salad). Why? Because once you make the former, the latter is easy to throw together later, making these dishes a perfect one-two punch during the week. So who’s ready for some Whole30 Char Siu Hiyashi Chūka?
My Paleo Char Siu is my version of Cantonese roasted pork—the bright red hunks of meat hanging in the display windows of Chinatown BBQ joints. Trust me when I tell you that this stuff tastes just as good—if not bettter—than the real deal.
Once you have some Paleo Char Siu at the ready, you can easily whip up some Paleo Hiyashi Chūka! This is a bright and refreshing Japanese cold “ramen” salad served with a variety of toppings and seasoned with a sweet, chilled sauce. This version is entirely Paleo and Whole30-friendly, so check it out!
A note to my Nomsters: This is one of a series of daily blog posts I’m writing in the month of January 2018 to help those doing a Whole30 to kick off the New Year. Not sure what the Whole30 is, or want info on how to get started? Read my Whole30 prep post—and then come back to Nom Nom Paleo every single day for recipes to inspire, delight, and sustain you on your Whole30!
And remember: Throughout January 2018, I’m partnering with Whole Foods Market nationwide! In all Whole Foods Market stores, you’ll find my personally curated Nom Nom Paleo Picks on the shelves, a rotating menu of ready-to-eat Nom Nom Paleo dishes in the hot bar, and even my famous Magic Mushroom Powder available for sale!
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!