Better than takeout

Better than takeout

Asian dishes at home are easy and can be personalised according to what ingredients you have available. Recipes courtesy of

On busy weeknights, it can be easy to opt for Asian staples like beef and broccoli. Instead, try making your own cuisine at home with quick-cook noodles, from udon to lo mein.

“Popular takeout dishes and noodle bowls can be high in salt and unhealthy fats, but when you make it at home, you can opt for unsalted stocks and add flavour from herbs and spices,” says Wendy Bazilian, McCormick’s corporate dietitian.

“It’s also easy to personalise with whatever fresh veggies you have in the fridge, from mushrooms to broccoli.”

For example, try Ginger Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry or Pot Sticker Noodle Stir-Fry for fool-proof crowd pleasers. Or go rogue with your own noodle creation: pick a noodle, customise with broths and sauces, flavour with herbs and spices, add lean protein like chicken or shrimp and top with your favourite fresh or sauteed vegetables.

Ginger Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 5

½ cup beef stock
2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp crushed red pepper
1 500g flank steak, thinly sliced
½ package (from 400g box) noodles
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1½ cups broccoli florets
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 tbsp cornstarch

In a medium bowl, mix stock, soy sauce, honey, garlic powder, ginger and red pepper until well blended. Reserve one-third cup of marinade. Place sliced flank steak and remaining marinade in large, re-sealable plastic bag; turn to coat well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain. Spread noodles on sheet pan. Set aside.

In a large skillet on high heat, heat two tablespoons of oil. Remove beef from marinade. Discard remaining marinade in a bag. Add beef to skillet; stir-fry for three minutes, or until beef is no longer pink. Using tongs, remove beef from skillet. Add remaining oil, broccoli and onion; stir-fry for three to five minutes, or until tender-crisp. In a small bowl, mix reserved marinade and cornstarch until smooth. Add to theskillet, stirring constantly. Bring to the boil on medium heat and boil for one minute. Return beef and noodles to skillet. Cook and stir until heated through.

Tip: Place raw flank steak in freezer 30 minutes to make it easier to slice.

Nutrition information per serving: 395 calories, 15g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 58mg cholesterol, 577mg sodium, 38g carbohydrates, 2g fibre, 27g protein.

Pot Sticker Noodle Stir-Fry

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5

⅓ package (from 400g box) udon noodles
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 pound ground pork
½ cup unsalted chicken stock
2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
⅛ tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup shredded green cabbage
2 tbsp finely chopped green onion

Cook noodles as directed on package. Drain. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add ginger; cook and stir for 30 seconds to one minute or until fragrant. Add ground pork; cook and stir until no longer pink. Drain fat.

Stir in stock, soy sauce, garlic powder and red pepper. Bring to a gentle boil. Add noodles and cabbage; cook and stir for five minutes, or until heated through. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with green onion.

Nutrition information per serving: 321 calories, 17g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 61mg cholesterol, 480mg sodium, 22g carbohydrates, 1g fibre, 20g protein.

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