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Budget food with Richie Wilson - Chinese

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Every Thursday in January Richie will have the challenge to create 4 meals for under a tenner and do even better by making 4 mains for under 5 euro! Week one he made a meatball recipe and a salmon recipe and in week two, lambs liver recipe and a risotto. This week he will make some Chinese inspired recipes!

Richie Wilson head chef at the Morrison

Tips for keeping food shopping under budget:

1. Make a list with all the meals for a week you like to cook. That makes shopping quicker and cheaper.
2. Try not to cook more than you need for the meal.
3. Always try to grow as much of your own stuff as possible especially herbs and garlic.
4. Never throw leftovers away. In the fridge or freezer you can store them for at least a few days and create new recipes with them.
5. Go to the supermarket half an hour before it closes, - on the one hand, because there are no queues at the checkout - and on the other hand, fresh products like fruit or vegetables or meat, which they can't sell the next day, are also about 50 % cheaper.
6. Cook less expensive cuts of meat and offals. They often give more flavor anyways - just need to be cooked differently.
7. Never shop when you are hungry!!!!

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

4 portions


4 Chicken Breast 4.76 Tesco

100g Plain Flour 0.13 Tesco
50g Corn Flour 0.12 Tesco
0.5tsp Baking Powder
225ml Water


200ml Tomato Juice 0.15 Tesco
1can Pineapple Chunks 0.59 Tesco
50g Brown Sugar 0.12 Tesco
50g Corn Flour 0.12 Tesco
100ml White Vinegar 0.42 Tesco
1Medium Onion 0.11 Lidl
0.5 Green Pepper 0.28 Lidl
0.5 Red Pepper 0.28 Lidl
0.5 Yellow Pepper 0.28 Lidl
25ml Soy Sauce 0.21 Tesco
1pinch Ground Ginger

Fried Rice
500g Long Grain Rice 0.97 Tesco
2 eggs 0.26 Tesco
25ml Soy Sauce 0.21 Tesco
10g Corriander 0.17 Lidl
Sesame Oil

Total €9.18


1. Begin by draining the pineapple chunks but keep the juice to one side. Pour the vinegar, tomato juice and half the pineapple juice into a pot.
2. Stir in the salt ginger and cornflour.
3. Place the pot over a moderate heat and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring all the while. Once the sauce begins to thicken, lower the heat and add in the roughly chopped peppers, onion and pineapple chunks.
4. Allow this to simmer for just 5 minutes, heating the vegetables through but still retaining their crunch. Turn off the heat and add the soy sauce.

Battered Chicken
1. In a large bowl mix the flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt. Now add the water and whisk to a smooth batter.
2. Dip each piece of chicken into the batter one at a time before gently placing into the deep fat fryer at 170 degrees for 5 minutes (ensure the chicken pieces are not too big or the outside will burn before the inside cooks, about a quarter inch cubed should be right or thin strips if you prefer.
3. When the chicken is cooked, place onto kitchen paper to dry.

Fried Rice
1. Cook the rice in a large pot of boiling water for 15 minutes, strain and cool under running water.
2. Break the eggs into a bowl and the soy sauce, whisk this well.
3. Drizzle a hot non stick pan with the sesame oil before pouring in the egg mix. Once the eggs begin to cook add the rice and fry until hot through, stirring all the while ensuring the eggs get mixed well through the rice.
4. Add the chopped coriander when you are ready to serve.

To Serve
1. Spoon the hot rice into a portion size cup, pressing it in firmly until is completely full. Now turn the cup upside down onto one side of your serving plate.
2. Shake the plate and cup together until the rice comes loose and you can remove the cup.
3. Place the chicken pieces around the plate and pur plenty of the sauce and vegetables all over. Garnish with a little sprig of coriander.

Chow Mein

4 portions

250g Egg Noodles 1.99 Tesco
200ml Chicken Stock (1 Cube) 0.08 Lidl
10g Oyster Sauce 0.06 Tesco
25ml Soy Sauce 0.21 Tesco
50g Corn Flour 0.12 Tesco
Stir Fry
0.5 Red Bell Pepper 0.28 Lidl
0.5 Yellow Bell Pepper 0.28 Lidl
1 Medium Onion 0.11 Lidl
3 Pak Choi heads 0.76 Asian Market
200g Bean Sprouts 0.40 Asian Market
50g Mushrooms 0.49 Lidl
1Garlic Clove 0.02 Lidl
Sesame Oil

Total €4.80


1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt. Remove the pot from the heat and place the noodles into the hot water.
2. Allow to sit in the hot water for 5 minutes but do not return to the heat. Once soft strain and set to one side.

In a large jug simply mix al the ingredients for the sauce together and set to one side until you are ready to add it to the stir fry.

Stir Fry
2. Cut the peppers into thin strips (julienne). Cut the onion into quarter inch dice. Separate the Pak Choi into leaves.
3. Slice the mushrooms and crush the garlic.
4. Place a wok or large pan over a high heat.
5. Drizzle in a little sesame oil and add the mushroom, tossing quickly in the heat for just a minute. Now add in the peppers and onions and continue cooking for another 2 minutes before adding the garlic.
6. Now pour in the sauce mix stirring all the time over a high heat.
7. Once the sauce begins to thicken add the pak choi leaves and cook for a further minute before adding the noodles and mixing well. Once the noodles are hot serve up in hot bowls.

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When trying to cut expenses, food is a great place to start because there are so many opportunities to save.