Besides being a favorite of foodies who crave its subtle, briny flavors, did you know that caviar boasts a variety of other potential health benefits? Sure, many think of caviar as something reserved for special occasions, such as when enjoying Chili House SF’s very popular Peking Duck and Caviar banquet menu. However, don’t overlook some of the many health benefits of caviar listed below.
1. Major Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Some fish, such as sturgeon and salmon, are the best natural sources of omega-3s. And omega-3s, particularly DHA and EPA, have been linked to cardiovascular and brain health, as well as many chronic diseases.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help you achieve optimal heart health by consuming just one gram of caviar daily. These acids can lower the risk of blood clotting, help reduce your chance of a stroke or heart attack, and protect your arteries from hardening. Even the American Heart Association approves of this fishy egg.
2. Rich in Selenium
Caviar also contains high levels of selenium, an essential antioxidant that works with Vitamin E to protect your cells from free radical damage. This makes it an excellent tool for disease prevention.
Selenium is known as a vital trace mineral, having several health benefits, including support of a healthy immune system and increased cognitive function. Researchers have also discovered that selenium is essential for healthy thyroid function.
3. Loaded with B12
Caviar is loaded with B12, and can even help you meet the recommended daily requirements for this essential vitamin. B12 produces red blood cells in your body and also help your fatty acids work properly. B12 deficiency can result in fatigue, depression, anemia, reduced brain function, and tingling and numbness in the limbs.
4. Other Vitamins and Minerals
Caviar is also packed with a long list of other vitamins and minerals that can help your body and mind stay healthy and sharp. Among them are Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E, all of which can help boost your immune system. Likewise, there are high daily-value percentages of zinc, calcium, magnesium, and iron in caviar.
5. Healthy Source
If you care about where your food comes from, caviar is an excellent choice. You can choose a sturgeon or salmon caviar that is organically grown. You’ll get food that has no added hormone or antibiotics, and no pesticides used in cultivation.
6. Other Health Benefits of Caviar
Some of the other potential health benefits of caviar may not be scientifically proven, but they are certainly worth examining. First, caviar has been recommended for people suffering from depression due to the high omega-3s, so it might help boost your mood.
Speaking of moods, some believe that caviar can act as an aphrodisiac. It has been called a “natural Viagra” by some doctors, and it doesn’t have any troubling side effects.
While there are many health benefits of caviar, you should eat it in moderation like anything else. It is known for its relatively high levels of sodium and calorie content, so it’s better to balance your intake of this delicacy with lean protein and fresh vegetables. Once you acquire a taste for it and realize its many benefits, caviar will make an excellent addition to your regular diet.
Holidays could be a lonely time for the first Chinese immigrants to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1870s. Not only were the missing loved ones thousands of miles away, the holiday traditions themselves were like nothing the Chinese immigrants had experienced back home. This prompted many to develop traditions of their own that they passed on through the generations. Nearly 150 years later, some Chinese Americans embrace their dual cultures by incorporating traditions of both countries into their Thanksgiving celebrations.
Making Thanksgiving Their Own
In an effort to fit in and do things the American way, some Chinese families found themselves eating bland turkey, potatoes, and stuffing on Thanksgiving Day that bore no resemblance to the traditional foods they knew and loved. This caused some Chinese to dread Thanksgiving. It wasn’t that they weren’t grateful for the opportunities they had in America, they just couldn’t enjoy food that was so different from what they ate on a day-to-day basis. Many families began to put their own cultural twist on Thanksgiving after realizing that they just couldn’t keep eating food they found so unpleasant.
One idea to make the Thanksgiving turkey more palatable to Asian families is to glaze it with Teriyaki sauce and stuff it with rice. Adding a lot of garlic and butter to mashed potatoes made them taste more like they came from the home country as well. Others swap out the turkey entirely for a the historically significant Peking Duck instead. Some other possibilities for a more “Chinese” twist on Thanksgiving include:
Fish cake soup
Gravy made from shitake butter
Mochi and pumpkin pie
Mongolian hot pot
Roast duck stuffed with sticky rice
Stir fried green beans
Sushi and sashimi
Sweet potato tempura
While some Chinese American families enjoy the same combination of dishes from both cultures every year, others found that they liked to continually expand their Thanksgiving day meal. For example, one Chinese immigrant who has called the United States home since 1982 started out with a more traditional American meal of turkey and fixing and evolved to his current recipe:
Start with a turkey breast weighing 8 to 10 pounds and add a few pinches of rosemary and one cup of soy sauce.
Use the tip of a knife to prick the turkey breasts and then add the rosemary underneath the skin of the breast. The cook should then remove the skin and place it in storage bag while adding the soy sauce at the same time. The bag now needs to go inside of a bowl in the refrigerator where it should sit for four to six hours to marinate. The cook should be certain to turn the bag containing turkey skin and soy cause over several times during that timeframe to ensure that it marinates evenly.
Now it’s time to prepare the fillings for the turkey. Some popular options include Chinese preserved sausage, shitaki mushrooms, dried shrimp, and sticky rice with chestnuts.
The cook should now set the temperature of the oven according to how much the turkey weighs. As the oven preheats, the cook should place the fillings inside of the turkey. Once the cooking is halfway complete, he or she can coat it with olive oil and apple honey and place back in the oven. Surrounding the turkey with regular potatoes or sweet potatoes is a nice touch before serving it.
As the popularity of Thanksgiving grows, some Chinese locals have chosen to celebrate it in their birth country. Similar to the United States, natives of China often put their own twist on the foods they choose to serve and even the name of Thanksgiving itself. In some Chinese provinces, people refer to the holiday associated with giving thanks as Friendsgiving as they gather to celebrate love and friendship.
The Best Local Restaurant to Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Chinese Flavor
As an award-winning Chinese restaurant popular with natives of San Francisco and tourists alike, Chili House is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This includes Thanksgiving. With the American holiday just a few weeks away, now is the perfect time to make alternative plans to celebrate it without having to spend days cooking and preparing to serve guests. Instead of the traditional turkey dinner eaten by millions of Americans, those who want to stay close to their Asian roots can enjoy a feast of Peking duck and other dishes served family style and in generous portions.
Chili House San Francisco has catered to large family groups for years. The staff loves to celebrate family and community and looks forward to preparing a Chinese Thanksgiving to remember for guests this 2019 holiday season.
Peking duck has long been a popular and revered dish in China. Chefs create this famous dish by allowing a duck to hang overnight and then pumping air under its skin. This helps to pull the fat out more during the roasting process, which results in extremely crispy skin on the outside and warm tender meat on the inside. Another reason the dish is so delicious is that chefs coat it in spices and sweet syrup after taking it down from its hanging position. From there, the Peking duck goes immediately into an oven containing fruit wood.
After removing the Peking duck from the oven, chefs immediately bring it to the diners’ table to carve in front of them. They then serve the skin with small pieces of meat still attached along with small flour pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce. The remaining duck meat goes into a stir-fry and the carcass creates a duck broth soup.
The Start and Spread of Peking Duck’s Popularity in the United States
In 1972, President Richard Nixon visited China hoping to improve a strained diplomatic relationship between the two countries. Back at home, Americans watched a nightly review of Nixon’s speeches on television while feeling equally as interested in what he ate while in China. Nixon played the part of the Chinese guest well, sitting down nightly to huge feasts served with potent baijiu liquor.
The United States had many Chinese restaurants prior to President Nixon’s 1972 visit. However, the chefs transformed the food into a highly Americanized version more recognizable to the palates of Westerners. Due to the intense media coverage of Nixon’s trip and its focus on what he ate while in China, Americans began to emulate his eating habits by trying more adventurous food and using traditional Chinese chopsticks to eat it. Within 24 hours of one of Nixon’s dinners, a restaurant in New York replicated it and served it to curious American diners. Other restaurants soon followed suit, spurring an authentic Chinese restaurant boon.
President George H.W. Bush Also a Big Fan of Peking Duck
George H.W. Bush occupied the office of vice president for eight years from 1980 to 1988 and then president from 1988 to 1992. During that time, he visited a 300-seat Asian restaurant called Peking Gourmet Inn in Falls Church, Virginia more than 50 times. Peking duck was his absolute favorite thing on the menu. He loved it so much, in fact, that he rarely looked at a menu and the staff already knew just what he wanted.
The entire Bush family became regulars and then friends of owner George Tsui and his co-owner brother. It seemed only natural, then, that George H.W. and Barbara Bush invited Tsui and his staff to the Bushes home in Houston to help cater their 50th wedding anniversary celebration on January 6, 1995. The love for authentic Chinese food started with Nixon and extended to Bush and later his son George W. Bush, who was President of the United States from 2000 to 2008. Today, people across the country enjoy Peking duck and other Asian delicacies thanks to the notoriety these dishes gained from American presidents.
Since it’s opening, Chili House SF has taken a extraordinary amount of pride in our Peking Duck offerings. From the sourcing and preparation of the duck, to how it is carved and served to diners at their tables, the utmost care is taken to ensure quality and a memorable experience. Today, Chili House is a favored location among tourists, San Francisco and Bay Area locals, and even food bloggers and critics for top-notch Peking Duck.
To bring a contemporary Chinese twist to this otherwise traditional classic, Chili House SF is now offering Peking Duck with Caviar. While the say that gluttony is a vice, the experience of this new house special is an exquisite indulgence. From one plate diners can enjoy a perfectly served Peking Duck in it’s traditional form, with steamed pancakes, sweet bean sauce, spring onions and cucumber.
From the other plate, diners delight in bite-sized, caviar-topped slivers of crispy duck skin, shining with a oh-so-thin layer of fat on a layer of toast. The soft caviar blends with the crisp duck skin to create an incredible combination. You’ll definitely know you’re eating duck, but the subtle highlights will leave you wanting more. Ask about this extraordinary new dish on your next visit to Chili House SF!
**Please note:Supplies of Peking Duck are limited to 20 per day to ensure freshness. Please call for reservations in advance if you wish to order Peking Duck.