Nutrition Month: recipes from SEA Games champions for a fit body


MANILA, Philippines — Athletes have a tight meal plan that hinges on their rigorous training. Foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins are staples in their diet. The results are finely sculpted bodies and a healthier immune system.

The Kachimeshi (Winning Meals) program aims to achieve good nutrition with easy-to-cook meals that match one’s fitness goal. Meals are accompanied by aminoVITAL Jelly Drink, a drink based on branched-chain amino acids, which helps muscle recovery and reduces fatigue in people who engage in intense physical activity.

The Kachimeshi meal program is led by the Ajinomoto food brand. The concept aims to help elite athletes build winning physiques for peak performance.

It is part of the partnership between Amino Science, Ajinomoto Co, Inc (AJICO) and Victory Project. Launched in 2003, the partnership supports the conditioning of high performance athletes in Japan and conducts nutritional support activities using the power of amino acids.

Project Victory has been rolled out to six Ajinomoto Group companies in the ASEAN region, including Ajinomoto Group Philippines Corporation (APC).

One of the Filipino athletes entered into the program was karate athlete Junna Tsukii who won a gold medal in the women’s 50kg kumite event at the 2019 SEA Games.

Another athlete who signed up for the program is Ariana Evangelista, a four-time national mountain bike champion and two-time Asian mountain bike champion. She recently participated in the biennial SEA Games.

Here are some of the dishes from Ariana’s winning Kachimeshi meal plan:

Mushroom and Tofu Rice Bowl

High in protein, this dish is packed with health benefits, including the ability to help build muscle.

1/2 cup (125 ml) cooking oil
1/4 kg (250 g) tofu cut into cubes
2 rooms. (125g) red onion, sliced
1 cup (250 g) canned shiitake mushrooms, shredded
1 package (30g) Sarsaya Oyster Sauce
1/4 tsp. (0.6g) black pepper
2 tbsp. (10g) margarine, unsalted
1/4 kilo (250g) carrots, strips
1/4 kilo (250 g) baguio beans, trimmed and cut on the bias
1/4 kilo (250 g) mung bean sprouts
1pc. (50g) red bell pepper, strips
1/2 cup (50g) spring onion, chopped
5 pieces. (300g) fried egg, sunny side up
1 C. (3g) white sesame seeds
7 1/2 cups (1200g) finely ground white rice, boiled

Frying pan. In a hot pan, pour cooking oil to fry the tofu. Bake until golden brown. Drain excess oil by placing the tofu on a paper towel. Put aside.
Blow. In the same skillet, reduce the used oil to leave only 3 teaspoons of oil for sautéing then browning the onion, mushrooms and tofu.
Season. Add oyster sauce and ground black pepper and set aside.
Blow. In the same skillet, add the margarine and sauté the carrots, baguio beans, mung bean sprouts, red pepper and green onions. Put aside
Assemble and serve. In a bowl, take 1 1/2 cups of rice and garnish with the sautéed tofu, mushrooms and vegetables. Add the fried egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Cooking tips:
You can fry the tofu at 180°C for 10 minutes or until golden. You may have boiled instead of a fried egg.

Beef and Vegetable Rice Bowl

This dish features flavored rice, mixed with seasoned beef and vegetables in a single pot. Topped with a serving of boiled eggs, it’s another high-protein meal your lean muscle will thank you for.

2 tbsp. (30ml) cooking oil
1/2 cup (80 g) red onion, sliced
1 tbsp. (25g) ginger, grated
2 tbsp. (20g) garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups (150 g) beef sirloin, cubed
2 tbsp. (30ml) soy sauce
2 cups (250 g) corn kernels
1 1/2 cups (200 g) carrots, cubed
2/3 cup (100 g) red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups (150 g) button mushrooms, sliced
2 1/2 cups (150 g) kangkong leaves, chopped
1/4 cup (60ml) water
5 cups (800g) cooked rice
1/2 tsp. (8g) white sugar
1 packet (11 g) Ajinomoto Umami seasoning
5 hard-boiled eggs (300 grams)
1 tbsp. (5g) spring onion

Jump and blast. In a skillet, heat the oil then sauté the onion, ginger and garlic. Add beef and sauté until cooked. Season with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add corn and carrots. Cook until tender. Add peppers and continue sautéing for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sauté for another minute.
Simmer. Add the marsh cabbage leaves and water. Simmer 30 seconds. Add the cooked rice.
Season. with soy sauce, sugar and Ajinomoto. Mix well.
Assemble and serve. Pour a portion on a plate, garnish with hard-boiled egg and sprinkle with spring onions. Serve with 1 slice of mango.

Cooking tips:
Boil the eggs for 9-12 minutes then immediately place them in ice water or running water to stop the cooking.

Lean beef nilaga

Perfect as a pre- or post-workout meal, it’s a filling, hearty dish that’s also considered a comfort food by many.

7L (7000ml) of water
1 1/2 kilo (1500g) round beef, cut into portions
3/4 cup (100g) red onion, quartered
1 teaspoon (3g) whole peppercorns
3 pieces. (700g) yellow corn on the cob, cut into 3 pieces
3 1/2 cups (500 g) potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
4 tbsp. (60ml) fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp. iodized salt
1 packet (11 g) Umami seasoning
2 cups (200 g) baguio beans, trimmed
1 head (530 g) cabbage, medium, cut into wedges
4 packets (240g) pechay, leaves separated
1 cup (70 g) onion leeks, cut on the bias

Boiling. In a pressure cooker, pour water and add the beef. Carefully close the pressure cooker and let boil. Once the pressure cooker whistles, continue cooking the meat for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the steam escape, before carefully opening the pressure cooker.
Boiling. Turn on the heat and add the red onions, whole peppercorns, corn and potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are tender.
Season. Add fish sauce, salt and Ajinomoto. Mix well.
Boiling. Add the remaining vegetables – baguio beans, cabbage, pechay and leeks to the onion. Cook for 1 minute.
Serve. Transfer the lean Nilaga beef to a bowl, then serve with 1 1/2 cups rice and 1 banana.

Cooking tips:
When buying fresh lean cuts of beef, make sure the meat is bright red in color and does not have an unpleasant odor. Avoid beef that has streaks or edges of white fat to reduce fat intake

Fish fillet with sweet and sour sauce

The great thing about fish is that it’s packed with protein, but not calories.

3 tbsp. (45ml) water
1 1/2 tbsp. (22.5g) cornstarch
1/4 kilo (250 g) lapu-lapu fillet, cut into cubes
1 package (20 g) crispy fried fish breading mix
1/2 cup (125 ml) cooking oil
1/2 cup (80 g) red onion, sliced
2 tbsp. (10g) garlic, minced
1/4 cup (25 g) green bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup (25 g) red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 cup (200 g) carrots, cut into strips
1 cup (200 g) baby corn, sliced
1 1/2 cups (250 g) broccoli, young stems and florets
1/8 tsp (0.6g) iodized salt
1/4 tsp. (0.6g) ground black pepper
1 sachet (200 ml) Sarsaya sweet and sour sauce


To mix together. In a bowl, combine the water and cornstarch to create a mush. Put aside.
Coat. Dry the fish fillet and coat it with Crispy Fry Fish.
Frying pan. In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the breaded fish fillets until golden brown. Drain excess oil by placing them in a colander or on a plate with a paper towel. Put aside.
Jumped up. After frying, reduce the oil in the pan and leave only 2 tablespoons of oil. Saute onion, garlic, green pepper, red pepper, carrots, baby corn and broccoli. Cook until the vegetables are half cooked.
Season. Add salt, pepper and sweet and sour sauce. Add the porridge. Continue cooking until the sauce becomes thick. Add the breaded fried fish and mix well. Serve hot with 1 cup of rice and 1 pc of banana.

Cooking tips:
Once the porridge is added, be sure to bring the sauce to a simmer before serving.

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