There are few things better than a night in with a Chinese takeaway, your best friend and a load of chick flicks.
For us fodmappers, takeaways are pretty much a no go. Meats, fish and pizzas are often covered in sauce and since starting the FODMAP diet, I’ve realised that pretty much every sauce contains garlic, onion, honey or wheat – all serious triggers of IBS symptoms. I’ve even had to wave goodbye to my beloved Heinz ketchup, which used to be a staple part of pretty much every meal I ate.
Don’t fret – there is a simple solution to this: Homemade Chinese. These recipes promise to save you money and time spent looking longingly out the window waiting for your delivery.
I started off by preparing all my herbs, spices and vegetables – they are key to creating the delicious authentic flavour (who needs onion and garlic!). This is the most time consuming part of the process but stick with it – it only gets easier from here.
Beef Stir Fry
- Red chilli
- Mange tout (in small quantities to avoid high FODMAPs)
- Bok choy
- Garlic oil
- Soy sauce
- Wok oil
Chop the beef into small pieces. Heat one teaspoon of wok oil in a wok (or large frying pan), then add the beef. Be careful not to overcook it or it’ll become too chewy. Take the beef out the wok when it appears to be cooked to your satisfaction and put aside.
Add peppers, red chilli, mange tout, ginger and bok choy to the wok, making sure they are all chopped into small pieces (especially the chilli!). Add more oil if necessary.
After 3-4 minutes, add the beef back in with the vegetables. Add a drizzle of garlic oil – this is an amazing low FODMAP substitute to garlic. Then add soy sauce (about two tablespoons). Soy sauce is low in FODMAP making it an exception to my earlier sauce observation. This may come as a surprise as soya beans contain high amounts of Oligos and fructans. (It’s still worth checking the ingredients as some varieties may contain onion or garlic, and most are not suitable if gluten-free). Soy sauce can be substituted with tamari to be gluten-free.
Once the beef has soaked up the soy sauce and the vegetables are slightly browned, add some final seasonings,
remove from the wok and dish one is complete!
Chilli and Coconut Rice
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 red chili
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
Start by cooking the rice. Unless you’re being lazy and using microwavable rice, this usually involves boiling it in a saucepan. When the rice is cooked through, take it out the pan and put aside.
Put into a food processor a handful of chopped coriander, two thumbs of ginger, the sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice, coconut milk and half the chili. Blend until fully mixed together into a thick liquid substance that smells amazing!
Pour the mixture onto the rice until its truly soaked in it and garnish with the leftover coriander and sliced chili. This makes a colourful and delicious side dish that’s full of flavour!
Chicken Chow Mein
- 2 chicken breasts
- Bean sprouts
- Spring onion (green bits only)
- Rice noodles
- Soy sauce
- Wok oil
- Sesame oil
- Chili flakes (optional)
- Peanuts (optional)
Cut the chicken breasts into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add two tablespoons of soy sauce, one thumb of ginger (peeled and chopped), salt, pepper and chili flakes (optional). Put this in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes so the chicken can soak up all the flavour.
While you’re waiting, add the broccoli and rice noodles to a saucepan and boil until cooked through then put aside.
After the 30 minutes are up, heat up a teaspoon of wok oil in a wok (or large frying pan). Add the chicken and cook thoroughly on a high heat until browned. To check it’s fully cooked, cut the largest piece in half and make sure it looks far from pink! Remove the chicken from the wok and set aside.
Add another teaspoon of oil to the wok and add the pepper, beansprouts and broccoli. Stir and cook until slightly browned. Add the ginger, spring onion and another dash of soy sauce for extra flavour.
Add the noodles and chicken and mix it all up together. Add a splash of sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of sherry and simmer on a low heat until all the flavour is absorbed. Then pour into a bowl, sprinkle with peanuts and eat up!
And there you have it: DIY Chinese Takeaway free from FODMAPs and free from that horrible feeling of regret that usually comes soon after every takeaway! Eat with chopsticks for an even more authentic experience.