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Wagamama Inspired Yasai Itame

My favourite Wagamama dish recreated! Beansprouts, red and spring onions, bok choi, green pepper, shiitake mushrooms and chillies in a spicy coconut, ginger and lemongrass broth, garnished with fresh coriander and lime. I adapted the Coconut Ginger Recipe from the Wagamama book and, for a less starchy option, used extra beansprouts in place of rice noodles – though you could add rice noodles if you wish. The cashews are optional, leave out if you’re going for a light, cleansing dish, otherwise, include them for a more substantial main meal.

Recipe

Yasai Itame

Portion: 2

Coconut Ginger Lemongrass Broth: 

  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 4 lemongrass stalks 
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh chilli (ideally green)
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Couple pinches of Himalayan salt

Vegetables (alter as you like):

  • 300g of bean sprouts (half if you use rice noodles)
  • 1 green pepper 
  • 125g mushrooms (ideally shiitake)
  • 1 bok choy 
  • 1 red onion 
  • 2 spring onions 
  • 1 red chilli 
  • 1/2 lime 
  • A handful of fresh coriander (a must)
  • Optional: rice noodles, a handful of cashews and a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Instructions:
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  1. To make the coconut ginger broth Cut the ends off the lemongrass stalks (4) and remove the outer leaves. Peel the garlic (4 cloves) and ginger (2-inch piece). Finely chop all of the above plus the chilli (1). The finer you can chop the better since the lemongrass is tough and the ginger stringy!
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  2. Add 2 tbsp of coconut oil to a deep set frying pan, or ideally a wok. Heat the oil (low-medium) then add the broth ingredients (lemongrass, garlic, ginger, chilli) and saute for 8 minutes.
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  3. Boil the kettle (500ml worth) and add 500ml of hot water to the pan (warning: make sure the pan is on low heat, otherwise the water will sizzle and turn to steam as you pour it in). Simmer for 20 minutes until the water has reduced by half.
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  4. Prepare the vegetables: slice your veg thinly and at an angle to maximise surface area, allowing you to cook quickly and retain crispness. Vegetables to slice are as follows: 1 green pepper, 2 spring onions, 1 red onion, 125g mushrooms (shiitake ideally), 1 red chilli and 1 bok choy.
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  5. Add 200ml coconut milk to the broth along with a couple pinches of Himalayan salt and simmer for a couple minutes further before removing from the heat.
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  6. Optional: I personally find lemongrass to be quite tough, even when finely sliced (my slicing is not on par with the chefs at Wagamama’s!) so I blend the broth to make it smoother. To do so, remove the broth from the pan and pour into a blender cup. Fill a saucepan or mixing bowl with cold water and set the blender cup in there to cool the broth before blending.

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    If you want to use rice noodles, cook these now (a few minutes in boiling water).

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  7. Add 2 tbsp of coconut oil to your pan or wok (broth removed) and heat on a medium to high heat. Add the sliced veg and stir-fry for a few minutes until cooked yet crisp. Add the bean sprouts (300g without rice noodles or 150g with rice noodles) and stir in.
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  8. If you have cooled the broth to blend, either heat it up in a saucepan or add it to the wok with the vegetables and bring to simmer. Ideally, heat in a separate pan to keep the veg as crisp as possible, though no worries if you want to save on washing up! 
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  9. Add a good handful of chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime juice. Garnish with sesame seeds if you’d like.

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