This is a mild dish but I love the Asian flavours of lemongrass, ginger and chilli. Not in the same league as a curry by any means, but it’s light, and an easy way to get in a good chunk of vegetables.
I thought I’d talk a little about ginger. It’s used a lot in South East Asian, Indian and Chinese cooking, and is renowned for its aromatic and medicinal properties. I use it often with clients who have digestive issues, such as bloating, as ginger has what is known as “carminative properties,” helping to eliminate trapped wind. It can also be helpful for travel sickness.
In a small study, participants were given either ginger, a commonly used over-the-counter and drug prescribed for motion sickness or placebo. They were then blindfolded and led to a concealed mechanical rotating chair, spun around and asked to report their feelings of nausea every 15 seconds while they performed mental tasks. (Imagine that!) The test was stopped when the participant either asked for it to be stopped or threw up. Those who received ginger remained in the chair for an average of 5 1/2 minutes, while those on the drug withstood it for 3 1/2 minutes and the group on placebo lasted for 1 1/2 minutes. It is thought that ginger slows down the feedback mechanism between the stomach and the nausea centre in the brain. I know which group I’d have wanted to be in!
Ginger is also used to treat nausea associated with pregnancy. Simply make a ginger tea using 1-2 slices of ginger about 1/2 inch or 1 cm thick, steeped in a mug of hot water. I remember this being used as a “medicine” when I was a child, and I loved it, but perhaps it was also the brown sugar that it was steeped with that I liked. Shhh!
Finally, ginger has active compounds in to, called gingerols, which are anti-inflammatory. A number of studies have found ginger to help with reducing pain and improving mobility in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, by inhibiting the formation of inflammatory messaging chemicals by the immune system.
What’s not to like about ginger?
Oh, yes, by the way, here is what I use for grating ginger. I like it because it’s finer than chopped ginger and you get the juices too.