Want to make your favourite takeaway recipes at home? It seems great minds think alike – Eat Well For Less? presenter Chris Bavin, The Medicinal Chef Dale Pinnock and Chinese food aficionado Kwoklyn Wan have all just released cookbooks that revolve around the idea of making takeaway food at home.
So if you’re looking to cut down on ordering in, save a little cash and maybe boost the nutritional value of your go-to comfort food, these tried and tested ‘fakeaway’ options might be worth your while.
Ella Walker tested: Healthy Baked ‘Scampi’ from Fakeaway by Chris Bavin
I am very partial to a takeaway. Crispy chilli beef and chow mein from the Chinese, a mild chicken dansak, mushroom rice and onion bahji from the Indian. Szechuan pepper ribs and triple cooked pork slices, pad Thai, fish and chips – is it even Friday night if no one says the all-important words, ‘Shall we…?’ while swerving the kitchen and dialling for takeout?
Making what would presumably be a sub-standard version at home is not really my thing, however, Chris Bavin’s ‘healthy baked scampi’ appealed. A cross between coconut shrimp, deep-fried scampi and tempura prawns – a Chinese-Fish-and-Chipshop hybrid if you will – they seemed worth a go.
Healthy Baked Scampi
40g plain flour
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
120g dried breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
20g desiccated coconut
400g peeled raw king prawns
1tbsp olive oil
Lemon wedges, to serve
For the tartare sauce
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1tbsp capers, finely chopped
2 large gherkins, finely chopped
1tbsp chopped dill
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6).
- Put the flour, paprika and lemon zest in one bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Put the beaten eggs in another bowl and mix the breadcrumbs and coconut in a third bowl.
- Individually dip the prawns first into the flour, then into the egg and then in the breadcrumbs to coat. Then place on the lined baking tray.
- When you have coated all the prawns, drizzle over the oil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until cooked and crispy.
- Serve with homemade Tartar Sauce (just mix all the ingredients together, season and serve) and lemon wedges.
Lauren Taylor tested: Kung Pao Chicken from Fakeaways by Dale Pinnock
The trick with a fakeaway recipe is it has to be simple and fast, with ingredients easy to source from whatever shop is nearest your house. If I’m in the mood for a pad Thai delivered to the door, I’m not in the mood to spend an hour-and-a-half at the stove with a work surface full of stuff and a long recipe. That’s why Dale Pinnock’s Kung Pao Chicken was such a hit – very few ingredients, half of which were already in the cupboard, the other half just a five-minute walk away.
Kung Pao Chicken
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
3 dried red chillies
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 heaped tbsp runny honey
2tbsp soy sauce
1/2tbsp rice wine vinegar
2tsp ground black pepper
Sauteed greens and brown rice, to serve
50g unsalted peanuts, to garnish
- In a pan, saute the garlic, ginger, spring onions and chillies in a little olive oil, with a pinch of salt, over a medium heat for three to five minutes.
- Add the diced chicken and saute for five to seven minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Add the honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and black pepper. Simmer for four minutes.
- Sprinkle the peanuts over as a garnish.
- Serve with sauteed greens and brown rice.
Prudence Wade tested: Udon Noodle Curry Soup from The Veggie Chinese Takeaway Cookbook by Kwoklyn Wan
Udon noodles, curry, soup – those are three of my favourite things, so choosing this recipe was a no-brainer. Luckily, it well and truly lived up to expectations. It was simple to make, even if it took a lot longer than the half-hour Wan specifies. Total cooking time was closer to an hour, but admittedly a fair amount of this was down to me re-checking the instructions every two seconds.
Udon Noodle Curry Soup
2tbsp oil (vegetable, groundnut or coconut)
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/2 large portobello mushroom, cut into thin strips
750ml vegetable stock
250ml curry sauce (see below)
1tbsp light soy sauce
1/4tsp salt (or to taste)
2 nests fresh udon noodles
2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
For the curry sauce:
1tbsp oil (vegetable, groundnut or coconut)
2 onions, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
2tbsp plain flour
1 and a half tbsp curry powder (use your favourite: mild, medium or hot)
600ml vegetable stock
1.5tbsp soy sauce
1 bay leaf
1tsp garam masala
- For the curry sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan, then add the onions and garlic and cook until softened. Stir in the carrots and celery and cook over a low heat for 10-12 minutes. Add the flour and curry powder and cook for one minute. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring constantly until combined, then add the honey, soy sauce and bay leaf. Slowly bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens but is still of pouring consistency. If your sauce is too thick, add a splash of water to loosen it. Stir in the garam masala, then strain the curry sauce through a sieve and set to one side.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the onion and carrot and fry until lightly browned. Add the beansprouts and mushrooms and fry for a further minute.
- Add the stock, curry sauce and soy sauce and mix well until smoothly combined. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat to a low simmer. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the fresh noodles and cook for about 90 seconds. Drain and place into serving bowls. Pour over your curry soup, garnish with spring onions and serve.