Recipes: Light bites from ITSU

Scallop salad, from Itsu: the cookbook by Julian Metcalfe, published by Mitchell Beazley, �15.99
Scallop salad, from Itsu: the cookbook by Julian Metcalfe, published by Mitchell Beazley, �15.99
0
Have your say

The indulgence of St Valentine’s Day is over and now it’s back to healthy eating, What better way than trying itsu, the cookery book by Julian Metcalfe,

Metcalfe, founder of global success Pret A Manger, is now dedicated to building his healthy food chain, itsu. Years of listening and reacting to Pret’s customers resulted in itsu, a fresh, skinny solution providing a low-fat, low-calorie menu for the upbeat and active.

Now he has written a cookery book, featuring 100 Asian-inspired recipes all less than 300 calories so that you can try the itsu way at home without having to travel to London.

Hot & sour lemon grass chicken soup

222 calories

2.3g saturated fat

Serves 4

Ingredients

1.5 litres chicken stock

1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar

4cm fresh root ginger, sliced

1 lemon grass stalk, chopped

2 shallots, sliced

4 lime leaves

1 tsp tamarind paste

2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 hot red Thai chilli, deseeded

and roughly chopped

small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Method

Put the stock into a saucepan with the sugar, ginger, lemon grass, shallots, lime leaves and tamarind paste. Bring to the boil, then add the chicken and simmer for 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the stock and set aside to cool slightly. Strain the stock, discarding the solids, then return it to the saucepan.

When cool enough to handle, shred or slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the stock with the lime juice, fish sauce, chilli (if using) and coriander. Ladle into bowls to serve.

Mini Thai pork burgers

182 calories

3g saturated fat

Serves 4

Ingredients

200g minced pork

½ lemon grass stalk, finely chopped

2 lime leaves, shredded

½ garlic clove, grated or crushed

10g or 2cm fresh root ginger, grated

1 hot red Thai chilli, finely chopped

zest of ½ lime

small bunch of coriander, chopped, plus extra sprigs to garnish

½ tsp salt

1 free-range egg, whisked

flour, for dusting

1 tbsp light oil, such as groundnut, for frying

1 quantity sweet chilli sauce

black pepper

Method

Put the minced pork into a bowl and add the lemon grass, lime leaves, garlic, ginger, chilli, lime zest, coriander and salt. Season with black pepper and, using a spoon, or your hands, mix together thoroughly.

Pour in half the whisked egg to bring the mixture together, adding the remainder if the mixture seems a little dry.

Form the mixture into 12 little balls, then flatten them into fat discs. Put them on a plate and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle some flour on a saucer and season with salt and pepper. Dust the burgers on both sides with the seasoned flour.

Heat a large frying pan and add the oil. Fry the burgers 4–6 at a time, depending on the size of your pan, for 3–4 minutes on each side. Transfer the cooked burgers to a warm plate and cook the remaining burgers in the same way.

Serve the burgers garnished with coriander sprigs with the sweet chilli sauce for dipping.

Sweet chilli sauce

48 calories

0.2g saturated fat

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp palm sugar, brown sugar or sugar alternative

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp lime juice

1 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp grated fresh root ginger

½ hot red Thai chilli, finely chopped

tsp sesame oil

Method

Put the fish sauce into a bowl, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and stir again. Use the sauce immediately, or store in a screwtop jar in the fridge until needed.

Scallop salad with chilli, spring onions & crisp garlic

117 calories

0.6g saturated fat

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 tsp light oil, such as groundnut, for frying

1 garlic clove, finely sliced

100g scallops (2 large or 3 medium per person)

1 hot red Thai chilli, finely sliced

1 large spring onion, sliced

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 handfuls of rocket or mixed peppery salad leaves

2 handfuls of bean sprouts

1 tbsp Yuzu-style Dressing

Method

Heat a frying pan or wok until really hot. Add the oil, then stir-fry the garlic for a few seconds, until golden. Transfer to a plate, making sure you get all the bits out so there are none left to burn.

Add the scallops to the pan and fry for just 1–2 minutes on each side.

Add the chilli and spring onion and cook for another minute to soften slightly. Pour over the soy sauce, give it a quick stir and remove from the heat.

Mix the leaves and bean sprouts in a bowl with the dressing.

Toss well and divide between 2 plates. Place 2 or 3 scallops alongside each pile of leaves, add some of the spring onion and chilli, and sprinkle the crisp garlic over the top.

Nutritional tip: Scallops are a source of zinc, which helps maintain a healthy immune system.

Yuzu-style dressing

35 calories

0.4g saturated fat

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp mandarin or orange juice

1 tsp lime juice

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp sesame oil or other light oil

black pepper

Method

The Japanese fruit called ‘yuzu’ looks like a small, knobbly grapefruit and tastes tart but sweet.

You can buy yuzu juice from specialist Japanese suppliers but the combination of juices listed above makes a yummy alternative.

Stored in a screwtop jar, the dressing will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.

Put all the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk well.

Use immediately, or store in a screwtop jar in the fridge until needed.

Nutritional tip: Full of vitamin C from the citrus juices and made with no added salt, this dressing is a really healthy option.


• Itsu: the cookbook by Julian Metcalfe, published by Mitchell Beazley, £15.99 www.octopusbooks.co.uk