When the weekend rolls around, your favourite dishes from the takeaway menu call louder than ever. After a week of cooking, the craving for a delivery of delicious hot food may sound tempting, but it’s not the only option…
If you’re determined to stay on track, there’s no need to miss out on an epic feast of all the best Chinese-style dishes. While it’s easy enough to pick up the phone and order from a restaurant, our trusty recipes can be on the table so much quicker – some are ready in under half an hour! That means all of the flavour you crave for a fraction of the calories, and they’re cheaper too.
To help you put together the tastiest menu for your next Chinese-inspired fakeaway night, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite recipes. Which will you be trying this weekend?
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Snacks and Sharers
Crunchy, sesame-topped prawn toast is a must-have appetiser when you order from the takeaway. Deep fried and golden, it’s far from slimming friendly (but oh-so-delicious nevertheless).
These crispy triangles of Sesame Chicken Toasts offer a much lighter alternative, giving a similar, satisfying crunch for only 22 calories. Instead of prawns, we’ve topped our toast with a savoury paste made from chicken, water chestnuts, spring onions, ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked until golden, these little bites are perfect for nibbling while you dish up your main course.
If you like a light starter that leaves plenty of room for the rest of your meal, you need to ladle yourself a bowlful of our Chinese Style Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup. Inspired by the salty soup that you’ll find on the takeaway menu, our version is far more generous with the chicken and sweetcorn.
Too good to save for fakeaway night, we love to rustle up a pot of this as a warming lunch on a chilly day. A typical serving comes in at 220 calories, but you can serve a smaller bowl if you’re tucking in for starters before your main course.
Planning your menu earlier on in the day will mean you can leave these Salt and Pepper Ribs to cook low and slow in the oven. They need a good 4 hours to get beautifully tender, and they’re worth every minute.
You might notice a few unexpected ingredients in the list, but trust the process! The diet cola and orange juice add sweetness, cooking down until the ribs are sweet, sticky and ready to be spiced up with the salt and pepper seasonings.
These are a little more indulgent than other starters, although they’re much lower in calories than the ones you’d get from the takeaway. Serve a smaller portion if you fancy cutting down the calories even more!
We can’t get enough of the nutty, rich flavours of satay sauce. Made from peanut butter, it’s usually fairly high in calories…unless you know our secret! These little Chicken Satay Skewers are a delightful way to kick off your Chinese-style feast, and they’re even served with a pot of peanut-y dipping sauce.
The secret ingredient is powdered peanut butter, which mixes with a non-dairy coconut drink to make a creamy, nutty sauce that won’t disappoint. At 38 calories per serving, we wouldn’t judge you if you went back for a second helping!
If you’re struggling to find powdered peanut butter in the supermarket, you can also order it online from Amazon.
Choosing a main dish is hard, but choosing a side can be even more difficult. Rice, noodles, chips, or (our favourite) a bit of everything! Once you see how few ingredients and how little time it takes to make these Salt and Pepper Chips, we have a feeling they might just be your new favourite side dish.
Healthier than the takeaway version, our oven-baked spuds can be customised to be exactly as spicy as you like them – ideal if you prefer them a little on the milder side.
If you have an air fryer, you can even crisp up your chips in it – our handy guide includes a conversion chart so you can work out how long they’ll need.
Although this Fakeaway Fried Rice can be a side dish, it can also be a main course all on its own. Loaded up with chicken and veggies, it’s versatile and so easy to throw together. Ready in under half an hour, your takeaway driver could never get to you so speedily!
Flavoured with soy sauce and oyster sauce, this reliable recipe always brings that savoury taste that you want from your rice, without needing to be fried in loads of oil. Try halving the portion size and serving this with your favourite main dish.
If you’ve gone for a really filling main course, you might not need much on the side. When we order from the takeaway, it’s hard to resist adding a couple of crunchy spring rolls to nibble on. Like all the best-tasting food, they’re usually deep-fried and therefore not the healthiest option. For a slimming-friendly alternative, why not try our Veggie Filo Crackers?
While we typically save them for Christmas buffets, they add a crispy crunch to Fakeaway night, especially dipped in this low-calorie Sweet Chilli Sauce.
Classic Main Courses
When it’s time for the main event, you won’t want to feel like you’re missing out. Luckily, we test and tweak our slimming-friendly recipes until they taste like the real deal. This Chinese Chicken Curry is a prime example, delivering the flavour you expect, for only 215 calories.
If that’s not tempting enough, this recipe is made in your slow cooker, so you can leave it to simmer away while you get on with your day. Throw everything in and you’ll know it’ll be ready when you are (no waiting around for the delivery driver!).
We’ve used Mayflower Chinese Curry Sauce to get the right flavour for this dish, without needing a list of ingredients as long as your arm! You can pick this up in various shops, or order it online from Amazon.
One of our most popular recipes ever, it’s not a feast without this Crispy Chilli Beef on the table. You need a few bits to rustle up this one, but a lot of them are cupboard staples that you’ll use time and time again.
Getting the beef crispy is a really important step (try it in the air fryer if you have one!) and you don’t want to ruin the crunch by adding the sauce too soon. Wait until right before serving to toss it in the sweet, sticky, spicy sauce. If you think it looks good, just wait until you taste it!
Looking for a vegetarian option to pop on the menu? These Bang Bang Noodles are a meat-free treat, and so quick and easy to make. Our stir-fry of halloumi, crunchy veggies and noodles is coated in a homemade sauce that’s layered with flavours – sweet, sour, spicy…it has it all going on!
You can make this dish as fiery or as mild as you like it. We’ve deseeded the chillies to tame the heat a little, but leave the seeds in if you’re feeling brave.
A Chicken Chow Mein is a classic Chinese takeaway order for a reason. Stir-fried chicken, veggies and noodles in a salty, savoury sauce just makes so much sense. Our slimming-friendly recipe comes in at only 359 calories, and it’s on your plate in just over half an hour.
With noodles included in the dish, this one is filling enough to not need a side dish – which means you can go back for that last piece of Sesame Chicken Toast!
What’s on the menu for your next Chinese-inspired Fakeaway night?
We want to hear all about it! Let us know if you’re planning a slimming-friendly Chinese-style meal soon, especially if you’re feeling inspired by these recipes.
Head on over to our Facebook group to tell us what you’ll be making. It’s the place to be for recipe inspiration and slimming motivation. Plus, you can always scroll through our Gallery if you’re looking for more ideas of what to make for dinner tonight.
Don’t forget you can submit your own photos, hints or tips to the gallery for a chance to win some EPIC Pinch of Nom SWAG!