Asian, cheap, Chicken, Chinese, Fakeaway, Freezer challange

Sweet and Sticky Chilli Chinese Chicken Fakeaway Stir fry (89p per portion) – The Freezer Challenge

Freezer challenge 

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’m doing a bit of a freezer challenge, as we got way too much random stuff in the freezer that needs using up. I would like to get as much of it used before the baby arrives. However, I do think I have started way too late to achieve this, but never mind.

My husband was away yesterday for a business meeting, so only needed to cook for myself and Toddler “Blip”, however, I still ended up cooking for 4. At least I can freeze the portions and I got some ready meals for when the baby arrives.

Now, you may ask what is a Fakeaway? In my opinion, it is exactly the same as a takeaway, except that it is made at home and it resembles a takeaway. I always, like to cook from scratch, one, it is cheap, two, I know what goes into the food and three I know how fresh it is.

In the freezer, I had quite a bit of chicken, 2 drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs. In general, I like to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for stir-fries, it got more taste and it is much cheaper. I must have been lazy when I froze the thighs, (or just pregnant) as I froze them with skin on and bones in. But never mind, I defrosted it and removed bones from thighs and drumsticks and there was almost 450g of meat. Which is a perfect amount for 4. But you can use more/less as it fits with your family, don’t forget you can always bulk it out with more vegetables.

Now, with the skin and bones, don’t throw it away, instead debone them and remove the skin then put it in a separate freezer bag and keep in the freezer, until you got quite a large portion. Why you may ask? Because it makes a fantastic stock (almost for free). I will post the recipe for that another day.

I served the Fakeaway with rice which Toddler “Blip” loves. He tried the chicken and vegetables but wasn’t keen, but at least he tried it.

Also, because I cook it wanting my son to eat it, I don’t add the chilli, but use my special chilli oil instead.

Sweet and Sticky Chilli Chicken Stir-fry

Serves 4

Ingredients

450g chicken thighs (bones and skin removed) cut in chunks
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Cloves of Garlic (finely sliced)
2 Cm Ginger finely cut (finely sliced)
2 Hot Dried Chillies (or 2 teaspoons hot chilli flakes or to taste)
1 Medium onion (cut into wedges)
2 Medium carrots (cut into slices)
1-1/2 bell peppers cut into bite size pieces (I used a combination of red, yellow and green, but you could choose just one colour)
3-4 Medium Mushrooms (quartered)
Handful Sugar Snap Peas
2 Spring onions (diagonally sliced)
1/2 tin pineapple pieces (reserve juice for Marinade)
Handful Salted Cashew nuts (optional)

Marinade

All the juice from the Pineapple tin
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Corn flour
Served with rice for four, approx. 240g

Method:

This dish is really best if you can let the chicken marinate for a few hours or overnight. I marinated it for 6 hours. However, even if you just marinated it for half an hour it would still taste amazing.

Start by mixing all the ingredients for the marinate, leaving the corn flour out, this needs to be added at the last minute when cooking. Then cut the chicken into bite size pieces and combine with the marinate. Leave covered in the fridge until needed.

Because this is a quick cook, you need to prepare all your vegetables before starting to cook. You won’t have time to do it as you go along.

Slice the garlic and ginger and place in a bowl with the chilli. Then cut the onion and carrot, and bell peppers and place together with the mushrooms and place in a different bowl. Then wash the sugar snap peas and place it in a bowl with the spring onions.

Have the pineapple pieces ready and the cashews if using them.

The cooking

Cook rice as per packet, or your preferred method (I use a rice cooker)

In a none stick wok, add the oil, and bring it up to high heat, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry it for around 30seconds to 1 minutes. Now, with a slotted spoon remove the chicken from the marinate and place in the wok (reserve the marinate, we need this later). Now stir-fry the chicken for around 2-3 minutes until its coloured all over. If you find that a lot of marinate came into the wok, then pour it off back into the reserved marinade.

Now add the onion and the carrot to the wok and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the bell peppers and mushrooms cook for another minute. Then add the pineapple pieces and pour in the reserved marinade (except for 2 tbsp worth), give the mixture a good mix and cook for around another 2 minutes, until it starts slightly reducing. Then mix the corn flour into the last bit of marinade and pour it into the wok give it a good stir. At this point add the Mangetout and spring onions. Cook until it got a sticky consistency, shouldn’t take long.

Serve, with the cashews on top, with steamed rice on the side. Prawn crackers goes well with it.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Chicken thighs 99p
Vegetable oil 3p
Garlic 9p
Ginger 10p
Dried Chillies 5p (bought at Asian Grocer)
Medium onion 10p
Medium carrots 5p
Bell Peppers 46p
Mushrooms 20p
Sugar Snap Peas 35p
Spring onions 10p
Pineapple pieces 30
Cashew nuts 20p

Marinade

Ketchup 5p
Tomato puree 5p
Brown sugar 5p
Ginger 10p
Garlic 6p
Soy Sauce 10p
½ tsp salt 1p
Pepper 1p
Corn flour 3p
Rice 11p

Total price: £3.59  (per portion 90p)  

 

 

Chinese, Noodles

Very spicy Chinese hot pot style soup/noodles (A bit like Japanese Ramen)

For a while I have been craving Chinese style noodles, (being pregnant might have something to do with that). So today it was time to have it!


(A bit like Japanese Ramen) we serve it the day after having had a Chinese hot pot, and it’s kind of a leftover dish. But this time I made it from scratch. (Stock can be frozen). You could also cheat and use the finished stock bases.

As baby blip wasn’t impressed by the spicy part, he had plain noodles, carrots and cucumber and tried the peanuts (disgusting he said to the nuts). He also ate a pear, jubiii healthy!! And a yoghurt. -oh well one day he will enjoy mummies food (I hope).


It’s really hard to price this dish, as if using spices from supermarket it’s more expensive. The stock base it self can be made for around 27p per person (assuming you use the spices from Asian stores). The finished stock from Tesco is even cheaper £1.00, so around 12.5p per person but it doesn’t pack the same punch. 

With the toppings, I really can’t give you a price as it’s up to you what you put on and got available- I listed a whole range of things, just as a suggestion (I wouldn’t use all at ones, so pick and choose).

It Serves 6 -8

Home made-Stock ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable or groundnut oil (2p)

3-4 long dried Sichuan chillies or long dried chillies (10p)

1tbsp whole Sichuan peppercorns (10p)

1 tbsp chilli bean sauce (available from Asian grocers) (30p)

1 tbsp chilli sauce (20p)

3 pints hot water -more if you want it weaker.

1 lamb, vegetables or chicken stock cube (10p)

2 whole star anise (10p)

1 cinnamon stick (can be left out) (20p)

4 cloves garlic (12p)

2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger finely sliced (20p)

2 red chillies, de-seeded, sliced (20p)

6 dried Chinese mushrooms (can be left out) (30p)

2 tbsp chilli oil (can be left out) (20p)

The leftover bone from leg of lamb (can be left out). -not calculated into the main price, as not needed.

(£2.14 total cost) -this was difficult to calculate as I use spices from Asian shops so much cheaper than super markets

Soup base per person for 8= (£2.14/8)= 27p

+ whatever you want to put in the soup!

Soup ingredients

– this can vary depending on what you got in/fancy. I listed a whole range, but wouldn’t normally use it all together 
2 bok choy

1 red onion finely sliced

1 handful coriander finely chopped

3 spring onions (green and white part chopped)

1 block tofu

1 handful chopped peanuts

1 large carrot julienned

1/4 cucumber finely sliced

Noodles for 6-8 people

Chopped chilli for decoration

Boiled eggs

Leftover lamb meat

Finely sliced radishes

Daikon julienned

Spinach

Prawns

Etc etc.

Method:

  1. For the stock, add the oil in a pan then add the chillies and Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon stick (if using) and stir fry for a few seconds, or until fragrant.
  2. Transfer to the slow cooker, now stir in the chilli bean sauce and chilli sauce and then pour in the stock. Add the star anise, Chinese mushroom (if using), garlic and ginger, chillies, chilli oil and the bone from the leg of lamb if using, now leave on high for 4 hours.
  3. Cook the noodles according to packet (if using). Then add to a bowl, put the spicy stock over and add The soup ingredients to top. In whatever way you like.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said!

Another hot pot stock that could be used

Chinese, Tofu

Mapo Tofu

I’m pregnant again and unfortunately been suffering from HG (Hyperemisis Gravidarum) since week 6.. I’m now, 33 weeks pregnant and near the end!! 

Initially I lost 7kg. However, with medication I have been feeling slightly better. 

Not long ago I really fancied / Craved Mapo Tofu..a Chinese dish.. one thing is to fancy something another is to eat it, when suffering from hg..

But here is the recipe…
Mapo tofu – for 4 portions around 63p a portion. I have tried costing it, but difficult to do accurately due to the fact that I buy the Chinese ingredients in a Chinese supermarket and in big portions xx

Ingredients

150 ml chicken broth (3p value Tesco cubes)
1 teaspoon cornstarch (3p)
2 teaspoons soy sauce (5p)
1 teaspoon sugar (5p)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (10p)
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced (6p)
2 teaspoons minced ginger (5p)
4 green onions white part only, minced (20p)
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (5p)
100 g ground pork or beef (Morison £2.00 for 500) 40p
2 teaspoons doubanjiang (chili bean paste) (10p )
Approximately 340g of silken tofu, drained and cut into 2 cm cubes. (£1.30 from local Chinese shop).

= £2.42
+basic rice 10p

Total £2.52 which is 63p per person..

green part of green onions minced for garnish

1. Add the chicken stock, cornstarch, soy sauce and sugar to a small bowl and stir to combine.

2. Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot. Add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger and green onions and stir-fry with a spatula until fragrant. Add the Sichuan pepper and continue stir-frying.

3. Add the ground pork and use the spatula to break it up into small grains (you don’t want clumps of meat). When the pork is cooked, add the doubanjiang and stir to distribute.

4. Add the tofu, and toss to mix (if you stir it, the tofu will lose its shape).

5. Give the stock mixture a good stir to incorporate anything that may have settled, and then pour it over the pork and tofu. Toss to coat, then boil until the sauce thickens.

6. Garnished with the green parts of the green onions, then serve with hot rice.

mapo tofu

 

Bon  Apetit