Keep your gut happy with these tummy-friendly recipes from Rebecca Seal and John Vincent.
Kale, pak choi and broccoli with garlic fried rice
Fried rice is a stir-fry standby that never fails to disappoint. This version uses crispy garlic and fries everything else in the garlic-infused oil.
Intriguingly, the carbs in rice (and potatoes) change when they are cooked and cooled, turning into resistant starch – the kind our gut microbes love. Always cool cooked rice quickly, transferring it to the fridge as soon as possible, or less-friendly microbes may colonise it.
- 1 large head garlic, cloves peeled and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 8-10 spring onions, light green and white parts thinly sliced, green parts thinly sliced and reserved to serve
- 100g kale, stalks removed, roughly chopped
- 100g tenderstem broccoli, sliced into even-sized batons
- 1 pak choi, thick stems removed, sliced the same size as the broccoli
- 800g chilled day-old rice (start with 265g uncooked rice)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce/tamari (choose GF if needed)
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce/tamari
- 1 tsp sugar
- sesame oil
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Sriracha (optional, but encouraged)
- To make the crispy garlic, lightly season the chopped garlic with salt. In a small pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and fry until very slightly browned and crispy, 2-3 minutes. The garlic should be gently bubbling, not spitting – reduce the heat if needed. Keep watch as the garlic can easily burn and turn bitter. Once the garlic is crispy, drain immediately, reserving the oil. Transfer the garlic to a plate lined with kitchen paper, to cool.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the garlic oil in a large wok or frying pan over a high heat. When smoking hot, add the spring onions, kale, broccoli and pak choi. Season lightly with salt. Stir fry, tossing constantly, until softened and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add more garlic oil as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer to a plate.
- Add another tbsp of garlic oil to the same pan. Add the rice and break up any clumps with a wooden spoon. Stir fry until the rice is broken up and softened, 1-2 minutes. Return the vegetables to the pan and add the soy sauce/tamari, dark soy sauce/tamari and sugar. Toss to combine and fry for a further minute.
- Divide between 4 bowls and top generously with crispy garlic and sliced spring onion greens. Serve with a drizzle of sesame oil, lime wedges and Sriracha.
Soba noodle, tofu and kimchi soup
Soba noodles are quick to cook and have a nuttier flavour than wheat-based noodles. We don’t think there’s anything wrong with wheat noodles, but good gut health is down to eating a wide variety of plant-based foods, and soba noodles are made with buckwheat – a seed – or a mixture of wheat and buckwheat.
- 200g soba noodles
- 500ml hot water
- 2 tsp mirin (or a pinch of sugar)
- 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce, or more, to taste (GF if needed)
- 1 head pak choi, stalks and leaves separated, large stalks chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp flavourless oil (such as rapeseed)
- 2 eggs
- 100g silken tofu, drained and gently sliced into small cubes
- 100g unpasteurized Kimchi (see page 143), chopped
- toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, then plunge in the soba noodles and cook for 4½ minutes. Drain and rinse the noodles in cold water, then set aside.
- To make the broth, pour the measured hot water into a large pan. Add the mirin (or sugar), then the tamari/soy sauce and bring up to a gentle simmer. Taste – you can add a little more tamari/soy sauce, if needed, but the kimchi will add salt later. Add the pak choi and spring onions and cook until the pak choi is just wilted, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, set a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. When hot, crack in the eggs and fry until cooked to taste.
- Divide the cooked soba noodles between 2 wide soup bowls. Add the cubed tofu. Divide the broth and pak choi between the bowls, then top each bowl with a fried egg.
- Arrange the kimchi on top of the eggs and finish with a pinch of toasted sesame seeds. Eat immediately, breaking the yolk and stirring it into the broth.