A healthy make-your-own chinese takeaway

Both Lau and I are huge fans of Chinese food, but sadly we can’t seem to find a decent one that will deliver in London. We keep trying new delivery places in the hopes that we’ll find the one, but so far no luck. So when I stumbled across a healthy version of a sticky ginger chicken dish in my well-loved Fay’s Family Food cookbook I knew I’d need to give it a whirl. And the result? The most simple and delicious, relatively healthy (compared to a takeaway anyway) chicken dish I’ve ever made. I loved it so much that I think it’ll become a speciality for me. So if you fancy a scrumptious Chinese meal, follow this recipe!

3tbsp of diced ginger in syrup
3 tbsp of runny honey
3 tbsp of light soy sauce
8 skinless chicken thighs
3 garlic cloves crushed
2 limes – the zest of both and the juice of one
1 head of broccoli
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds (we used dried coriander as that’s all we had)

All you do is pop the chicken in an over proof shallow dish and marinade in the ginger, honey, soy sauce, garlic and lime and leave for a few hours in the fridge.

Then once you’re ready to eat just pop it in the oven on 210°C for 30-40 minutes until the chicken’s cooked.

It’s best served with rice and the best broccoli I’ve ever eaten:
Pop the florets of broccoli in an oven-proof dish, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with coriander, mix it up and pop in the oven for 20 minutes at 210oC. I honestly can’t tell you how scrumptious this brocolli was!

I guarantee you’ll love this meal and want to cook it all the time rather than ordering a takeaway! If you make it let us know what you think of it!

– Fi x

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Sweet and Sour Pork

Last weekend I had a craving for Chinese food. But as Fi and I still haven’t found a decent Chinese takeaway – seriously how hard can it be to find a good chinese takeaway in London – we decided to cook some ourselves. So after a bit of an internet trawl we settled on sweet and sour pork – basically because we had pork in the freezer! Also the recipe didn’t look too confusing! Here’s the recipe we decided to go with in the end, from the BBC Good Food website. I won’t type it all out here as we pretty much followed it exactly apart from with the rice, we just went with wholegrain brown rice, although we plan to try the egg fried version soon. What I will say is that a few things didn’t quite turn out how we expected…

Firstly, we don’t have a deep fat fryer, so we used the saucepan method. While this worked fine, I did freak myself out by reading something online that included the word ‘combustion’. Needless to say I was then panicking all through the cooking process in case the oil got too hot and exploded – this didn’t happen, but I think I’d be happier cooking in a deep fat fryer next time. Just for my own piece of mind! But frying the pork was fine, really easy, once you got used to how long the meat needed. We did cut up the first few pieces just to check that they were properly cooked.

The actual problem we had with this recipe was the sauce. The problem happened when we started to stir the sugar – apparently you’re not meant to stir sugar while melting it – oops! Anyway once the sugar finally melted we went to add the next ingredients and this is where things went wrong. As soon as the juice, wine and soy sauce were added they reacted with the sugar, causing steam and sizzling which left us with a hard clump in the middle of the pan – eek! I don’t really know what happened, maybe we added them too quickly or maybe things were too hot – but whatever happened was very weird and certainly not the way the recipe was meant to go. We managed to salvage the sauce by removing the odd clump of hard stuff and luckily the rest of the sauce was okay, so after decanting to a new pan we finished the sauce instructions without further issues -phew! We did however burn the pan beyond repair!

Luckily, as I said we did salvage the sauce and we were able to finish the recipe and served up a delicious meal of sweet and sour sauce and rice. The verdict – it was delicious, the perfect amount of crispy batter paired with beautifully cooked pork and a delicious sweet and sour sauce. Honestly I’d definitely make this again – I’d quite possibly look for a different sauce recipe or (dare I say it) just pick up a jar from the supermarket!

If anyone has any explanation as to what we did wrong, do share, as I hate not knowing!

Lau xxx

Chicken Satay

Now I don’t know about you but chicken satay is always top of the list whenever we have chinese or thai food, so when we found this recipe we just had to make it! And since then we’ve become a little bit obsessed with this recipe, I think we’ve eaten it about 3 times in the last two weeks. But it’s so delicious and so easy to make, with mostly store-cupboard ingredients tdoes we just keep making it!! This is best served with rice and naan bread and lots of extra sauce, in my opinion but I know Lau likes it with noodles. It’s also equally good with pork or turkey.

The below recipe serves four people and only takes half an hour, bonus!

What you’ll need:
1/2tbsp ground corriander
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
500g chicken, cut into strips
400g vegetables, we like to do mangetout and baby sweetcorn
2tbsp medium curry paste
2tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1tbsp soft light brown sugar
100ml coconut milk
100ml chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon

Fry the garlic and ground corriander for 30 sec.
Add the chicken and fry until cooked.
Add the vegetables and fry for 3 minutes. Then set the meat and vegetables aside.
Add the curry paste, peanut butter and sugar to the empty pan and cook for 1 minute.
Add the coconut milk and stock and stir until smooth.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the veg is tender and the meat is cooked through.
Stir in the lemon juice and serve.

– Fi