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It’s been a while since I did an ‘Every Budget’ post. I’ve been trying a lot of new things recently and haven’t been falling back on some of my usual dishes as much as normal. That said, there’s always space for some familiar oriental inspired recipes. It’s probably my favourite type of cuisine. Chinese, Japanese, Thai etc – I could actually eat this kind of food day, in day out without ever getting tired.


Firstly, my obsession with tofu. It all started when I went to Wagamama’s and changed my usual order (Katsu curry, obviously) to Amai udon. Good decision me! It’s now my top dish there. As much as I love prawns, peanuts and lime, the main star of the dish for me is actually the tofu. I don’t know how they manage to get it so deliciously crisp and soft at the same time. I’ve been trying to recreate it at home, but after a few attempts, I haven’t quite got it right thus far. Any tips are more than welcome!

Instead, I have two options I usually take when making tofu at the moment – 1/ getting rid of the excess water out of the tofu, dry frying and then adding the sauce at the end. Or 2/ getting rid of the excess water, marinating overnight (or as long as possible), dry frying and then adding the sauce back in. This is a pretty good tutorial on how to do it. Both work, it just depends how much time you have.

This is a budget version of Wagamama’s sweet noodle dish. This is a quality frugal meal while being pretty healthy at the same time. Plus you can also chop and change the veg depending on what you have in, but I would always recommend having some red onion in there.

Tofu amai udon


Chicken satay is such an easy dish to make and leaves you so satisfied at the end. It’s a brilliant way to move away from your regular stir fry dishes, as they can tend to become a bit boring. Especially if you do sometimes cheat, like I do occasionally and use one of the Blue Dragon Stir Fry sauces. Admittedly, they are good value – especially when you’re cooking for one – but they’re not the same a creating something from scratch.

Chicken satay takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and about 10 – 15 minutes to cook. And serve it with a shredded Japanese salad to cut down on the higher than average fat content of the peanut butter. Yum yum.

Chicken satay


I’ve featured this recipe before, but I couldn’t resist doing it again. It’s one of my favourite things ever and although duck is quite expensive on average, you can cut down on costs by making the pancakes as I do and buying duck legs. Also, they actually withstand this method of cooking a lot better. Breasts are too juicy and fatty. You want crispy duck, remember?

I’ve included a link to making the pancakes from scratch in the recipe. Seriously, I really recommend it!

Crispy duck and pancakes