Friday, May 20 2022


Every year, we undertake diets, detoxes and cleanses with the best of intentions. How about cooking up 2019 with some healthier tweaks to the dishes we already love? To help you out, we asked four chefs in Shanghai to create lighter versions of their tastiest dishes.

1. Icelandic cod from Bina Yu with sweet and sour Szechuan pepper sauce

Images courtesy of Together (left) and Cristina Ng / That’s (right)

As executive chef of Together, Bina Yu combines her experience in French cuisine with Asian ingredients in a way that constantly fascinates us. In restaurants, the fish is dipped in cornstarch and fried, but for its lighter version, Yu cuts calories and carbs by steaming it. With a hint of Szechuan pepper and a bunch of fresh herbs adding a touch of flavor, you’ll hardly notice the reduced amount of butter in the sauce.

Click here for the full recipe. See listing for Ensemble.


2. “Tia Nuly Eggplant Relleno” by Jonathan Ynsensé

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Images courtesy of Maya

Mexican cuisine has a long history of stuffing chili peppers with an extensive repertoire of toppings. Inspired by this, Maya Chef Jonathan Ynsensé has started serving an eggplant variation with roasted vegetables and breaded and fried goat cheese. In this lean version, he does away with the breadcrumbs and draws inspiration from flavors learned from his beloved Mexican-Lebanese aunt Nuly.

Click here for the full recipe. See the listing for Maya.


3. Anthony Zhao’s Shanghai Bighead Shrimp

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Image courtesy of Mi Xiang Yuan (left) and Cristina Ng / C’est (right)

As a chef and partner of Mi Xiang Yuan (aka The Rice Garden), a popular Chinese lunch spot, Anthony Zhao draws on his Shanghai background and gastronomic background to modernize local dishes. One of her daughter’s favorites, this tasty shrimp is an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. While it uses traditional flavors such as soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, regular cooking oil is replaced with olive oil and grass-fed butter while honey replaces processed sugar.

Click here for the full recipe. See the listing for Mi Xiang Yuan.


4. Sean Jorgensen’s hipster poutine

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Images courtesy of The Cannery (left) and Cristina Ng / That’s

The cannery Sean Jorgensen has been providing decadent comfort food in Shanghai for years. When we asked him to give one of his most popular dishes a makeover, he decided it would be a lot of fun to tackle a Canadian national treasure, poutine. The potatoes are baked, the cheese is low in fat, the sauce is vegetarian and the flavor is divine. As for the name, it’s plant-based (unless you add beef jerky) and it’s junk food, does it get more hipster than that?

Click here for the full recipe. See the cannery list.

[Cover images courtesy Maya (top right) and by Cristina Ng/That’s]


We know you don’t always have time to cook, so we asked Health Coach Sharon Raccah Perez to help us navigate the menus at these restaurants. See her top picks here.

See the whole series of healthy and delicious restaurant recipes here. For more restaurant recipes click on here.


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