Welcome back to part two of the Asian Kidney Friendly Vegetables series!
There are eight more Asian kidney friendly vegetables to review. Here we will go over how they taste, how to use it, and their nutrition.
Find the first Top 10 Asian Kidney Friendly Vegetables in part one.
1. Carrots 紅蘿蔔
While carrots are very popular in American cuisine, they also lend themselves well to many Chinese dishes including soups and stir-fries. You can also find them with pickled daikon radish in Vietnamese cuisine. Carrots are naturally sweet, making them delicious to eat raw and provide balance in dishes.
How to use it: Cut & enjoy raw, add to congee, add to stir-fries, soups, stews,
Nutrition specs: Per 100g serving, approximately 1 ½ large carrots
2. Cauliflower 花椰菜
Cauliflower has become a household name in recent years with its adaptability to be made into rice, pizza crust, and everything in between. Cauliflower has a mild, slightly nutty taste. Gobi Manchurian is a popular Indochinese dish consisting of battered and fried cauliflower tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. To decrease the fat content, opt for steaming the cauliflower if you are making your own. u8
How to use it: Make Gobi Manchurian, use riced cauliflower in rice-based dishes (try substituting with a 1:1 ratio rice to cauliflower), use as a low-protein* substitute in sticky sesame chicken recipes
*Low protein intake is often only required of Chronic Kidney Disease patients in stage 3 or higher. Follow the guidance from your medical provider on your protein intake.
Nutrition Specs: Per 100g serving, approximately 1 cup chopped cauliflower
3. Chinese Leaf Celery 芹菜
Chinese leaf celery is smaller than most celery found in US grocery stores. The inside is hollow and boasts a stronger flavor. It is not as common to eat raw as many do with stalk celery. When cooked, it develops a sweeter, mellow flavor. It is most popular in Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisines.
How to use it: Add flavor to stocks & soups, dried & ground into seasoning salt, add to dumpling filling
Nutrition Specs: Per 100g serving, approximately ¾ cup
4. Chayote 佛手瓜
Chayote is a popular type of squash in both Latin and Southeast Asian cuisine. It has a mild taste that is slightly sweet and has a crisp apple-like texture when eaten raw but cooks down like a typical squash. While the entire squash is edible, it’s most often recommended to peel and remove the seed before consuming.
How to use it: Stir fry with dried shrimp, add to soups & stews
Nutrition Specs: Per 100g serving, approximately half a squash
5. Cucumber 黃瓜
Cucumbers come in many different varieties, including Japanese cucumbers! Japanese cucumbers have thin skin and smaller seeds, similar to that of an English cucumber. While mostly enjoyed raw in Asian cuisine as marinated salads, cucumbers can also be found cooked in the traditional Thai pork stuffed cucumber soup.
How to use it: Smash & use in a Sichuan-style salad*, add to vegetable rice wraps, chop & toss in sesame oil, rice vinegar, & coconut aminos for a simple side dish
*Be wary of Sichuan-style salad recipes as they often call for large amounts of added salt and sugar
Nutrition Specs: Per 100g serving, approximately ⅓ of a (8”) cucumber
6. Taro 芋頭
Taro is a root vegetable most popular in Southeast Asia. In the US, it’s well-known as a flavor for bubble tea. In China it is commonly used to make taro dumplings for dim sum, while in Korea you can find it used in yukgaejang (spicy beef soup with vegetables). Taro has a sweet and slightly nutty taste to it, making it perfect in both sweet and savory recipes. If buying taro to enjoy at home, remember that it must be cooked before consuming!
How to use it: Thinly slice & bake into chips, steamed, baked
Nutrition Specs: Per 100g serving, approximately 1 cup sliced
7. Yam/Sweet Potato Leaves 地瓜葉
Yam and sweet potato leaves have a mild flavor comparable to that of spinach or water spinach. They can be eaten raw, but most recipes you find will be cooked. The leaves do not store long, only 1-2 days, so be sure you have a plan for them before buying on a whim! It’s important to note in the nutrition specs below that cooking your sweet potato leaves significantly decreases the potassium and phosphorus content, making it a more kidney friendly vegetable for those limiting their potassium and phosphorus intake.
How to use it: Kangkung belacan (Malaysian stir fry dish), sinabawang talbos ng kamote (Filipino soup), braise in coconut milk, add to stir fries
Nutrition specs: Per 100g serving, approximately 3 cups chopped raw
Nutrition specs: Per 100g serving, approximately 1 ½ cups steam cooked
8. Yellow Chives/Green Chives 韭菜
Chives are often confused with green onions and scallions, however, they are their own category. They are much thinner and more delicate than green onions or scallions, do not have a bulb, and have a mild onion-garlic flavor. Yellow chives come from the same plant as green chives but are grown in low-light conditions, causing a lack of chlorophyll that normally makes them green.
How to use it: Add to stir fries, add to scrambled eggs, pair with seafood dishes,
Nutrition specs: Per 100g, approximately 2 cups chopped
While you might be familiar with some vegetables on this list, they can be used in many traditional Asian dishes and you may find a new favorite way to enjoy them! Asian vegetables can be kidney friendly when properly measured and prepared in the correct way according to your needs. Use the nutrition specs of each vegetable to help guide you on how to balance them in your day.