This chicken pita recipe is perfect if you fancy a nice warm lunch over the weekend (which I often do..) or for a light and healthy midweek evening meal. I know I have said this before, but it really is one of the quickest recipes I know, using ingredients that I always have around because I cook Asian food so often. We had these chicken pitas the other night following an evening gym session, which are hard to plan for food-wise if you want to eat before 9pm. We were back by 7.45 and it was ready by 8.20, and I even had a shower. You can’t get much quicker than that (shhh Jamie Oliver).
This is another recipe from my lost low fat cookbook that I constantly change to try and get it just right. This version uses a quick stir fry of carrots and chicken, with a salad of raw cabbage, red onion and toasted sesame seeds. Usually I stir fry some cabbage along with the carrots and chicken, but I thought a bit of crunch would add a nice contrast of textures this time. If you want to forget about the salad, you can just add more veg to the stir fry; such as cabbage, peppers or beansprouts. This will make the recipe even quicker because you wont have to worry about making the salad dressing (although this only takes about 2 mins 🙂 You can also substitute the chicken for another protein such as prawns, white fish or beef, or keep it veggie.
See what you think about this version, but don’t be afraid to try out your own combination of ingredients until you find your favourite. It is basically just a very simple stir fry stuffed into pita bread, so you can’t get much easier or healthier.
Just a quick warning, do not make this recipe if you don’t like ginger! Ginger really is the core to this recipe, and I use absolutely loads. It gives it a wonderful spicy, aromatic kick. Often when I have finished stir frying I will taste it, only to grate over some raw ginger right at the end…but you don’t have to go this far.
This recipe services two for lunch, but if you want to make a bit more for an evening meal increase the ingredients by a third. If you don't have Chinese rice wine (which you should, it's brilliant!) you can use dry white wine.
- STIR FRY INGREDIENTS
- 2 Chicen breasts - skinned, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot - peeled and sliced into juliennes
- Garlic - 1 clove, crushed
- Ginger - About a tablespoon, peeled and grated finely
- Light soy sauce - 1 tablespoon
- Chinese rice wine (optional) - 1 tablespoon
- Vegetable oil - drizzle
- SALAD INGREDIENTS
- 1/4 white or sweetheart cabbage - shredded
- 1/4 red onion - very thinly sliced
- Sesame seeds - 1 tablespoon
- SALAD DRESSING
- Ginger (again!) - 1 teaspoon, peeled and grated finely
- Rice vinegar - 2 teaspoons
- Light soy sauce - 1 tablespoon
- Garlic - 1 clove, crushed or grated finely
- Sesame oil - 1/2 teaspoon
- pinch sugar
- Sweet chilli sauce (optional) - a dollop
- OTHER INGREDIENTS
- 4 white pitas
1. Put a wok on a medium heat. Toast the sesame seeds for a couple of minutes until golden. Put into a bowl and set aside. Put the wok back on the heat, turn it up high and pour in the vegetable oil (to be even healthier, use spray oil)
2. Add the ginger and garlic to the oil and stir for a minute or so until it starts to colour. Be careful not to burn it. Add the chicken and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Pour in the wine. Keep cooking the chicken for another 3 minutes or so until it starts to brown. Add the soy sauce.
3. Add the carrot and keep stirring it all around frequently.
4. Combine all the salad dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Tip in the cabbage and red onion and toss until covered with the dressing. Sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds.
5. Toast the pitas lightly.
6. By now the stir fry should be nearly done. Test the carrot to see if it is nice and tender, but still has a bit of a bite. Now is your chance to add some more freshly grated ginger if you want a bit more of that ginger flavoured kick! Grate some black pepper over the top.
7. Cut the toasted pitas in half and open up each pocket (careful not to burn your hands, the pitas will be very hot straight out of the toaster). Spoon some of the stir fry mixture into each pocket, remember to leave enough room to stuff in some salad right at the end.