Kitchen Tips

10 of the Best Summer Ingredients to help you keep you Cool

Beat the heat this summer by serving 10 of the best summer ingredients with cooling properties. These fresh vegetables are all at their best during the summer months, so add them to salads and stir-fries for a refreshing feast. Plus, we’ve tapped into the wisdom of Chinese medicine to share proteins, fruits and drinks that are also known for cooling the body.

Asparagus

Crunchy asparagus is ideal in salads and stir-fries. Try using a vegetable peeler to shave it into thin strips, then adding to your favourite salad. Find more of our top asparagus recipes here.

Stir Fried Asparagus with XO Sauce

Cucumber

You’ve heard the term ‘cool as a cucumber’, well now you know why! Cucumbers are 96% water, so they hydrate from the inside out. Keep your cool with this soba noodle salad with cucumber, celery and teriyaki chicken.

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Celery

Celery is another vegetable that has a whopping water content, at 95%. Snack on celery sticks between meals, or toss sliced celery through this Vietnamese rice vermicelli salad.

Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli Salad

Eggplant

There’s a reason eggplant is eaten across Asia and the sun-kissed countries of southern Europe – it’s brimming with cooling properties. Serve it simply chargrilled with a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkle of spring onions, or try this Japanese recipe for wasabi miso eggplant.

Eggplant

Leafy Asian greens

Now’s the time to add leafy Asian greens to everything! Thinly sliced raw bok choy and wombok cabbage add texture to spicy Asian coleslaws and salads, or choose peppery Asian leaves such as mizuna to toss through this teriyaki swordfish salad.

Teriyaki Sword fish Salad

Lettuce

Nothing says summer dining like a salad bowl brimming with lettuce, but we also love using the leaves as wraps for everything from Korean barbecued beef ribs to Chinese san choy bow.

san choy bow

Seaweed

It should come as no surprise that something that grows in water would be utterly refreshing. Seaweed makes our top 10 of cooling ingredients, thanks to its water content and ‘yin’ qualities. To beat the heat, whip up this tofu and wakame udon dish.

Tofu and Wakame Udon recipe

Tomato

Like eggplants, tomatoes are devoured in warm countries across the globe. They’re a no-brainer for summer salads, but for a seriously chilled supper, why not try this tangy cold soba noodle salad?

Tangy Cold Cha Soba Noodles

Water chestnut

When it has water in the name, you know you’re onto a winner! We love adding water chestnuts to dumplings, san choy bau and these beef patties with sweet and sour sauce – believe it or not, chilli helps to cool the body too.

Beef and Water Chestnut Patties in Sweet & Sour Sauce Recipe

Watercress

Growing in waterways, this peppery cress is packed with good-for-you chlorophyll and hydrating aqua. Add it to this Vietnamese-style stir-fried beef with lemongrass to add pep to your summer salad repertoire.

Stir-fried beef with lemon grass

For more ways to keep your cool this summer, follow these Chinese medicine tips:

Cooling proteins

Clam
Eggs
Crab

Cooling fruits

Apple
Banana
Grapefruit
Kiwifruit
Lemon
Orange
Strawberry
Watermelon

Cooling drinks

Peppermint tea
Green tea
Chrysanthemum tea

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