5 Meals, 5 Nights, No Waste: We're Already Obsessed With These Vietnamese Steak Wraps

5 Meals, 5 Nights, No Waste: We're Already Obsessed With These Vietnamese Steak Wraps

    By Joanne Gould Posted on 12 Oct 2018

    Shopping list

    400-500g chicken thigh fillets

    2 skinless salmon fillets

    200g sirloin or fillet steak

    Extra firm tofu (Tofoo is the best we’ve found, from Tesco)

    Small log soft goats cheese

    Baby corn

    Spring onions

    150g mushrooms (about 6)

    Baby gem lettuce

    Bean sprouts

    Small punnet cherry tomatoes

    2 red onions

    Pak choi

    Thumb sized piece ginger

    Lemongrass (fresh or squeezy tube of paste)

    2 limes

    Red chillies

    Small bunch basil

    Small bunch rosemary

    Small bunch mint

    Small bunch coriander

    Garlic

    1 tin coconut milk

    1 tin tomatoes

    Red wine (optional)

    Small jar black olives

    Crunchy peanut butter

    Fish sauce

    Rice vinegar

    Sugar

    Sesame oil

    Soy sauce

    Dried crispy onions

    Rice

    Straight to wok medium noodles

    8 tortilla wraps

    2 crusty rolls

    Monday – Crispy stir-fried peanut tofu, 20 mins

    Try this once even if you think you hate tofu; crispy peanutty tofu is genuinely tasty - even if you’re not vegans.

    Get everything ready by roughly chopping 3 spring onions, 2 cloves of garlic and the pak choi, then get your rice on. Now take a large wok, pour in about a teaspoon of sesame oil and get it really hot. Pat the tofu dry with a tea towel or kitchen towel and press it slightly to get rid of any excess moisture. Cut into bitesize chunks and fry in the hot pan for about 4 minutes each side. Whilst the tofu is crisping up, make the sauce by mixing together 2 heaped tablespoons of peanut butter with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce (light soy ideally), 2 teaspoons sesame oil and 2 teaspoons or so of water. Stir to combine. When the tofu is golden and crispy throw in half a pack of beansprouts with the prepped garlic, spring onions and pak choi and let cook for 2 minutes before adding the peanut sauce. Mix well then serve with the rice.

    NOTE: Almost any veg goes with this – cabbage, broccoli, mange tout etc are all great. Feel free to add chilli if you like too. If you hate tofu, Quorn pieces are acceptable, or if you insist on meat then chicken or prawns work well.

    Tuesday – Chicken cacciatore, 40 mins

    The classic Italian ‘hunter’s chicken’ but one that doesn’t take hours to make

    Take two or three thighs out of the pack and put them back in the fridge for Friday’s quesadillas. Brown the remaining thighs, whole, in a large non-stick pan on a medium heat using a small amount of olive oil (about 3 mins each side). Roughly chop a red onion, the mushrooms and four cloves of garlic and add to the pan, frying for a few minutes. If using, pour in a small glass of red wine, turn the heat up high to burn off the alcohol for a few minutes then add the tin of tomatoes, a teaspoon of sugar, 3 sprigs of rosemary, the olives and turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes or so. Remove the rosemary, stir in most of a pack of torn basil, season and serve up with crusty bread and parmesan if you fancy.

    NOTE: Make vegetarian / vegan by using big chunks of fried aubergine in place of chicken. This recipe is easily doubled up and keeps well in the fridge or freezer for another day.

    Wednesday – Vietnamese steak lettuce wraps, 15 mins

    Light, bright and incredibly zingy, these fragrant lettuce wraps are the perfect weeknight steak vehicle

    Make the dressing by muddling together 4 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons of flavourless oil (groundnut, avocado or similar), the juice of a lime, a teaspoon of sugar, a finely chopped red chilli, spring onion and garlic clove with a big handful each of chopped mint and coriander. Set aside. Heat a frying pan until its extremely hot and sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Cook the steaks for 2 minutes each side then set aside to rest. Turn the pan down slightly and cook off the rest of the beansprouts for a minute. Spoon the beansprouts into upturned lettuce leaf boats, top with finely sliced steak and spoon over the sauce. Add crispy onions if you like.

    Thursday – Salmon coconut curry noodle bowl, 20 mins

    Light a red Thai curry but lighter, quicker and healthier. Don’t skimp on the veg.

    Sear the salmon in a hot frying pan for about a minute each side (you’re not looking to cook it through at this point) – you shouldn’t need any oil. Set aside. Finely chop the ginger, two cloves of garlic, the peeled bottom part of the lemongrass if using, the remaining spring onions and or two red chillies. Fry off in the salmon pan using the oil it left behind for 2 minutes then pour in the coconut milk. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Add a few splashes of fish sauce, the juice of half a lime, the noodles, the salmon fillets and a handful of halved cherry tomatoes and cook for another few minutes. Serve scattered with plenty of coriander.

    NOTE: Swap the salmon for chicken, prawns or any firm white fish if you prefer. Chuck any veg you’ve got hanging around that needs using up too.

    Friday – Chicken, olive and goats cheese quesadillas, 30 mins

    There’s nothing Tex-Mex about these quesadillas but we like them anyway

    Preheat the oven to 180C. Pop the remaining tomatoes into an ovenproof dish along with a sliced red onion and a few sprigs of rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 25 mins.

    Cut up the chicken into small pieces and fry in a small amount of olive oil until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside. Take four of the wraps and spread a quarter of the goats cheese over each. Add a handful of olives to each, equal amounts of chicken, a scattering of chopped red chilli and once the tomatoes and onion are cooked, these too. Press a wrap over the top of each, then cook in a dry saucepan for a minute or two each side until the wraps have started to brown. Serve with a dip of mayo or crème fraiche with the rest of the basil and a big squeeze of lemon stirred through.

    NOTE: Leave out the chicken if you’re veggie; try swapping for mushrooms, cannellini beans or thin slices of fried aubergine instead. Hate goat’s cheese? Anything soft will do so try brie, boursin or straight up cream cheese.

    PS. If you have any rosemary left over, it makes an excellent stirrer for a G&T, and mint frozen into ice cubes is v nice in a vodka, lime and soda.

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