Cooking with vegetables that are currently in season is a great way to enjoy the true taste of fresh vegetables, as well as benefit from their healthy properties when they are at their peak. In the month of April, both asparagus and lettuce are two vegetables that are used in abundance in Japanese cuisine.
Consider these tips when shopping for fresh vegetables in April, and then try some of the easy and delicious recipes detailed below!
Tips for Choosing the Best Asparagus in Season
The freshest asparagus will appear bright green and firm, with no evidence of shriveling up. There may be a tinge of purple on some of the tips. Avoid any that appear to be mushy. The end of the asparagus will likely be thick, and you can cut off and discard about an inch before preparing the rest. Many who enjoy asparagus claim that the thicker spears are sweeter than thinner ones.
There are many health benefits of asparagus, including aiding in digestion, fighting tumors, controlling diabetes and more. It also contains many vitamins and minerals. Try the following recipe using fresh asparagus:
Mashed Tofu and Asparagus Salad
Made with tofu, carrots, and asparagus, this simple yet delicious vegetarian recipe is packed with a lot of vitamins and minerals, not to mention flavor! It’s a great recipe to whip up when you’re on the go. Pack it in some Tupperware and take it with you to the office to have for lunch, or enjoy it during a nice spring picnic in a local park!
Tips for Choosing the Best Lettuce in Season
Although you can get lettuce all year round, it is actually in season in April. To choose the freshest lettuce, select heads that appear fresh, and avoid any with wilted leaves. The root area should also be somewhat moist, not dry.
Consuming lettuce aids in weight loss, and it also contains a wide variety of important vitamins and minerals. Additionally, it offers a number of health benefits, such as helping to lower cholesterol, and even possesses antioxidants. Try this amazing recipe with some fresh lettuce:
Tofu & Pork Steamed Dumplings in Lettuce
This Japanese recipe is very easy to prepare but looks like you’ve spent a great deal of time working on it, making it a great appetizer for dinner or cocktail parties. They are definitely something to consider when hosting your own Japanese-themed dinner party, as they are sure to be quite the delicious hit! You can always substitute the pork with another ingredient as well if you prefer, and while soy sauce makes a great dipping sauce, you can try other sauces and tare as well!