Asian Food Expert Fiona Uyema Shares Her Top Tips To Save Money, Waste Less Food And Still Eat Well


We’re all feeling the pinch as the price of residing disaster deepens, and so making an attempt to economize in terms of cooking could make an enormous distinction.

By purchasing and cooking cleverly, the common household within the UK may save round £720 a yr1, waste much less meals however nonetheless eat healthily.

Asian cooking can work significantly nicely when making an attempt to be frugal. Assume large flavours on small budgets with minimal meals waste. Having lived in Japan and travelled throughout Asia, I realized you can make actually thrilling dishes with just some retailer cabinet staples and no matter occurs to be within the fridge.

In Japan, for instance, it’s frequent apply to make use of dinner leftovers or ‘nokorimono’ in Japanese, for meals the next day. The Japanese think about leftovers a treasure to have, because the flavours develop making them even tastier the following day. Throughout my homestay expertise as a scholar in Japan, dinner leftovers had been usually used for breakfast the next morning.

Later, whereas working as an English trainer in a Japanese Junior Excessive College, I noticed the significance of meals training as a part of the curriculum, and with an emphasis on decreasing meals waste. College youngsters are inspired to document and current meals waste in a graph every month and in the event that they don’t like one thing served for lunch on a given day, they’re inspired to commerce it with one other scholar with a recreation of ‘rock paper scissors.’ It truly is superb!

Between my experiences in Asia, as a mom and prepare dinner, I’ve compiled my Prime Ideas that can assist you lower your expenses and waste much less meals, BUT nonetheless consuming nicely.

1. Plan Forward

On the subject of decreasing meals waste and getting probably the most worth out of your meals, it’s all within the planning. So earlier than you store, take into consideration recipes you’ll prepare dinner for the following few days, the way you’ll use the leftovers and make a purchasing record in step with your meal plan. Then, commit to purchasing what’s in your record and keep away from costly impulse buys and pointless two-for-one provides.

2. Take A Shelfie

Didn’t have time to make a listing? Take some fast ‘shelfies’/photographs of what you have already got within the cabinets, fridge and freezer – that is such a easy strategy to keep away from shopping for what it’s possible you’ll have already got at house.

3. First In, First Out

This easy rule means to make use of up what you’ve purchased, before you purchase additional or use more energizing substances. It’s really easy to place older meals to the again of the fridge when including new groceries. An efficient hack is to label a ‘Use Me First’ field or tupperware in your fridge. Put issues that look lower than contemporary on this field and make it your first port of name when making a meal. The trick right here is versatile cooking; if a recipe requires broccoli and you’ve got inexperienced beans in your ‘Use Me First’ bin, then use these in as a substitute.

4. Go Veggie

Going vegetarian, vegan and even pescatarian for a few meals per week can save as much as a 3rd off your meals invoice. Nonetheless, purchasing good continues to be important, as branded prepared meals and meat and dairy alternate options might be costly. Prioritise cooking from scratch utilizing budget-friendly fundamentals like beans, chickpeas, lentils, and add frozen edamame for a protein-packed stir-fry.

5. Inventory Up Your Retailer Cabinet & Freezer

Dried, bottled and tinned items received’t spoil rapidly and are an inexpensive strategy to make wholesome, flavoursome meals rapidly. Frozen veg is affordable and simply as nutritious as its contemporary counterparts. For Asian cooking, staples like soy sauce, dried rice, tinned lentils and beans, and coconut milk type the idea of so many scrumptious recipes. With these at hand, you can also make a meal from the leftover meat and contemporary, frozen or cooked veg you could have.

6. Cook dinner As soon as, Eat All Week

It can save you cash on meals and power payments by batch-cooking a number of elements to make use of as constructing blocks for per week’s value of meals. For instance, roast a complete hen, use half for dinner, add to a Thai hen salad for lunch the following day, and glaze the thighs with a sticky honey soy sauce. Curries and soups are good for batch cooking. You can even make a double or triple batch and freeze it in parts for these weeks.


I can assure you that no matter you’ve in your fridge and kitchen cabinets proper now can in all probability make a bowl of scrumptious fried rice. I’ve divided the substances into ‘necessities’ and ‘versatile,’ so you should utilize no matter you have already got at house that can assist you lower your expenses. Leftover roast hen, diced bacon, barely wilted veg, frozen peas, half-empty bottles of fish sauce – no matter you’ve bought, benefit from it with this unbelievable budget-friendly recipe.

Time: half-hour

Serves: 2

Should Haves: 

  • 1 tbsp most popular oil
  • 2 parts freshly cooked or leftover rice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Versatile Elements: elective; use some or all relying on what you’ve

  • 1 egg, overwhelmed
  • 2 parts of protein of selection: contemporary meat, leftover cooked meat, seafood or fish (contemporary or frozen), tofu, chopped into bite-sized items, or serve with a fried egg on high.
  • 2 parts greens, contemporary or frozen, chopped into bite-sized items
  • 1 tsp garlic, contemporary, frozen or floor
  • 1 tsp ginger, contemporary, frozen or floor
  • 1 tsp chilli, freshly chopped or chilli flakes
  • 1 spring onion, or onion, shallot, leek
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce, so as to add umami taste
  • 1 tbsp rice wine, lemon or lime juice, so as to add acidic taste
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil, so as to add ending style


  1. Warmth oil on a non-stick wok/frying pan on medium-high warmth.
  2. If utilizing an egg, add to the wok. Cook dinner till simply scrambled. Put aside.
  3. In the identical wok, stir garlic, chilli, ginger, spring onions – no matter you’ve.
  4. Subsequent, when you have raw meat, add these now, searing within the sizzling seasoned pan.
  5. Add the chopped blended greens. Stir fry till cooked.
  6. Add the seasoning sauces you’ve; fish sauce, rice wine, or lemon juice.
  7. Add the cooked rice and scrambled egg to the wok, tossing with the remainder of the substances you warmth it by.
  8. Lastly, add the soy sauce and cooked meat. Combine every part collectively.
  9. To serve, divide fried rice into two bowls, topped with fried eggs when you have them. If desired, add extra soy sauce, sizzling sauce, chilli oil or chilli flakes to style.




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