Low fodmap Chinese takeaway style crispy chilli beef

I do love a Chinese takeaway. A tasty Friday night treat after a long week.

But, as always, it’s pretty hard to find any food on the menu that doesn’t have those pesky fodmaps hidden somewhere. The main culprits in Chinese food are gluten and garlic, although there are options you can go for that are safe after a few easy alterations.

It’s still a risk though, so I’ve been busy experimenting, trying to work out low fodmap Chinese takeaway style recipes that hit the spot.

The spring rolls are my current nemesis, but after playing with some different flour mixes, I think I’ve almost cracked it (once I’ve figured out how to make it stop sticking to the table!!).

In the meantime, here’s one of my more successful recipes: crispy chilli beef. Completely devoid of nearly all nutritional goodness, but delicious and a yummy treat all the same! Enjoy!

Ingredients

4 servings

  • 300 g steak
  • 100 g cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon chinese 5 spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 litre oil, for frying
  • 2 red chillis (you can use 1 tsp chilli paste if you prefer)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 spring onion (green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 25 g ginger, thinly sliced (you can use 1 tsp ginger paste if you prefer)
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic infused oil
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce (some brands have garlic in them, but Lingham’s is low fodmap)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup (here’s a link to some low fodmap ketchup)
  • spring onion (green parts only), to garnish
  • red chilli, to garnish

Method

  1. Slice the steak into really thin strips and pop into a bowl along with the cornflour, five spice, salt and pepper. Give it all a good mix until the steak is well coated.
  2. Carefully heat the oil in a deep saucepan or deep fat fryer until it reaches 190°C. If you’re using a saucepan, please make sure you keep an eye on it constantly and keep all pan handles pointed in a direction that they can’t be knocked. If the oil starts to smoke, immediately take it off the heat.
  3. Very gently, place the coated beef strips into the oil, making sure to keep your fingers far away from the hot oil. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until they’re crispy and golden brown.
  4. Use a metal spoon or spatula to remove the beef strips from the oil and lie them,on some kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil.
  5. In the meantime, pour the garlic infused oil into a frying pan. Fry the carrots, chilies/chilli paste, spring onion, peppers and ginger/ginger paste over a medium heat until they start to soften, but not fully cooked.
  6. In a mug mix together the soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, red wine vinegar, and tomato ketchup and then tip into the saucepan along with the beef strips and stir until it starts to thicken.

Garnish with spring onion and red chilies and enjoy!

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Really good low fodmap gravy

 

Now gravy is a very important piece of my happiness pie. There’s no such thing as too much gravy and the idea of a dry roast dinner is just wrong. Wrong.

But since going low fodmap, gravy is pretty much out of bounds.

Most people make it using flour as a thickener or granules for their quick gravy fix. But due to the wheat content (and usually the onion or garlic powder mixed in) this is a no no for us fodmappers.

But I have a solution! My dad always made gravy for our Sunday roast using a bit of stock, the meat juices and some cornflour. You could really taste the true flavour of that meaty goodness. It was (and still is) delicious and more importantly low fodmap!

For my recipe, I’ve added a splash of wine and a knob of butter for a bit of extra richness, not that I’m trying to improve on perfection!

Now you never have to suffer a dry roast again!

Ingredients

  • 500ml low fodmap stock (there’s a recipe for this a few blog posts down) 
  • Meat juices if you’re cooking a roast (optional – leave out if veggie)
  • A splash of red or white wine (optional – red for red meats, white for white meats)
  • A knob of butter
  • 1tbsp cornflour

Optional: depending on the flavour I want I sometimes add a teaspoon of tomato purée or yeast extract to give a richer flavour. (If you buy the shop’s own brand yeast extract it’s usually barley free but branded marmite isn’t low fodmap).

Method

  1. Pour stock, wine and meat juices into a saucepan ( I prefer a wide, shallow saucepan as it helps the gravy reduce faster) and simmer until slightly reduced. You can reduce the wine first but as we’re only adding a splash it’s not too important.
  2. Mix the cornflour with 2-3 tbsp of water and mix until lump free. Don’t worry too much about quantities as you can always add a bit more if your gravy isn’t thick enough.
  3. Wait until the stock has reduced slightly and is simmering then pour in the cornflour mixture whilst continuously stirring to avoid lumps. It’s important that the stock is hot enough otherwise the cornflour won’t be absorbed.

Melt in a small knob of butter for richness then serve!

Low fodmap butternut squash and sweet potato soup


Since starting my low fodmap diet I’ve felt amazing. In only two weeks I’ve gone from looking 9 months pregnant to maybe around 4 months (I’m not actually pregnant in case you hadn’t already guessed). For the first time in years I’m not going out covered in a massive cardigan and scarf to hide my tummy. My body is looking so much more in proportion and the blinding pain is disappearing rapidly.

I feel the best I’ve felt in a very VERY long time.

I’ve also learnt to trust carbs again. They’ve always been a bit of a fear food for me as everyone tells you not to eat them. But since going low fodmap, potatoes have become a big part of my life again. They don’t hurt me, they don’t make me ill and they take away all those horrible cravings I would have on low carb diets. The way I see it everything in moderation. And before you ask, upping my carbs hasn’t made me put on weight, the opposite in fact!

I’m a big fan of low fodmap. Yes, it is very restrictive but after years of trying different diets out in a vain attempt to fix myself, the fodmap diet hasn’t been too intimidating.

Once you figure out what you can have and stop focussing on what you can’t it becomes much easier to manage.

The main downside however, to the fodmap diet is that it’s impossible to buy readymade food. The onion and garlic restriction is a huge bummer. Grabbing a pot of soup from the supermarket for a quick lunch is now a thing of the past. So I decided to come up with a recipe of my own and, as my husband always says as he steals a few chips from my plate, sharing is caring! So here you go:

Ingredients

1 Butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped

The green tops of 6 spring onions (only the green bit is low fodmap)

A big bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1 chilli, de-seeded and chopped

1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

250g passata

1-2 tbsp garlic infused oil (the only garlic thing allowed on fodmap)

2 tbsp lime juice, more if you like it sharp!

1 tin of coconut milk

Fodmap friendly stock or if you can’t get any/make any just use water and make sure to season with salt and pepper

Method

Gently fry the veg in the garlic infused oil until slightly softened. Pour over in the coconut milk and passata and then top up with enough stock/water to cover the veg. Chuck in the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer gently until the veg has softened.

Blend and it’s ready to serve. This can be kept in the fridge for a few days and is great for lunches or a quick dinner.