300-Calorie Asian-Inspired Recipes

Every diet begins with watching what you eat. Counting calories is key whether you’re maintaining a healthy weight or working to shed a few pounds. Fortunately, there’s an easier way to go about the math than tracking down nutritional info and logging every bite: build a strong portfolio of delicious low-calorie meals and let it do the work for you. We’ll get you started with this collection of Asian-inspired recipes that are short on calories but big on flavor. The only arithmetic you’ll be responsible for is subtracting pounds.

Sesame Shrimp with Smashed Cucumber Salad

A bright and tangy Asian cucumber salad makes a crisp compliment to quick sauteed shrimp. Gently smashing fresh cucumber slices helps them absorb more vinaigrette, almost as if they’ve been marinating overnight. It’s a popular technique in many parts of Asia because cucumbers take on sweet, sour, and spicy flavors so well.

Curry-Poached Cod with Snap Pea Slaw

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While a lot of curry paste makes a fantastic marinade, just a little can make a light, fragrant poaching liquid for delicate cod fillets. A crunchy, colorful slaw makes this a refreshing summer main.

Easy Sesame-Hoisin Salmon

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This just might become one of your go-to weeknight mains. It’s incredibly easy to make, near foolproof, and a guaranteed family pleaser. It works especially well with sustainable farmed salmon, which is oilier than wild salmon. The sweet-nutty-salty sauce is a perfect match for the rich fish and tames any sort of fishy flavors the salmon might have. Be sure to top the fillets with any remaining sauce in the baking dish—you don’t want any of that goodness to go to waste. Serve with steamed green beans and brown rice or quinoa for an easy, well-rounded meal.

Chicken, Mushroom, and Bok Choy Bowls

If ground turkey is a staple protein in your kitchen, try ground chicken—the blend of light breast and rich thigh meat is just as flavorful and quick-cooking. A cast-iron skillet helps with browning, but any large skillet will do. True to most stir-frying techniques, we separate the tough stems of the bok choy from the tender leaves and cook them first so that everything has just the right doneness. One large bok choy can stand in for the baby ones; be sure to trim off the wide, fibrous ends and cut the stems into thin slices. Serve with Scallion-and-Cilantro Barley to make a hearty grain bowl.

Mongolian Beef

“Just like takeout, but healthier (and much less expensive)!” —CARACOOK
Serve this slightly spicy dish over wide rice noodles to catch all the garlic- and ginger-laced sauce