Dinners with less than 5$

Full of fresh, zingy flavours, these impressive dinners all come in at less than 5$ a serve.

1- TERIYAKI MUSHROOM STEAKS WITH RAMEN NOODLES
SERVES 4
PREP 15 MINUTES
COOK 15 MINUTES
3 x 150g packets shelf-stable ramen noodles
2 tablespoons white miso paste
¼ cup mirin
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 tablespoon sesame oil
12 medium portobello mushrooms
¼ cup teriyaki marinade
2 tablespoons cooking sake
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 baby pak choy, halved lengthways
410g can baby corn, drained
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
1 Place noodles in a heatproof bowl.
Cover with boiling water. Stand for
2 minutes. Separate noodles with a fork.
Drain. Combine miso paste, mirin, ginger
and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl.
2 Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan
over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms.
Cook for 3 minutes each side or until
golden. Add teriyaki marinade, sake, garlic
and ¼ cup water. Cook for 5 minutes,
turning halfway, or until sauce thickens
slightly and mushrooms are tender.
Transfer mushrooms and pan juices to
a heatproof bowl. Cover to keep warm.
3 Add pak choy and corn to pan. Cook,
tossing occasionally, for 2 minutes or until
starting to wilt. Add noodles and miso
mixture. Cook, tossing, for 2 minutes or until
heated through and pak choy is just tender.
4 Divide noodle mixture among serving
bowls. Top with mushrooms and chilli. Serve.
NUTRITION: (per serve) 1603kJ; 8.8g fat;
1.5g sat fat; 16g protein; 46.8g carbs;
11.3g fibre; 0mg chol; 1192mg sodium.
MONGOLIAN CHICKEN
SKEWERS WITH SUPER
SPEEDY FRIED RICE
SERVES 4
PREP 20 MINUTES COOK 20 MINUTES
YOU’LL NEED 4 X 30CM-LONG PRE-SOAKED
BAMBOO SKEWERS FOR THIS RECIPE
¹⁄³ cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons salt-reduced soy sauce
2 tablespoons shao hsing (Chinese
cooking wine)
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 (125g each) chicken thigh fillets,
trimmed, halved lengthways
4 green onions, cut into 6cm lengths,
plus extra, sliced, to serve
1 tablespoon peanut oil
450g packet 2½-minute microwave
jasmine rice
400g packet fresh family vegetable
stir-fry mix (see note)
¼ cup oyster sauce
1 Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced.
Line a large baking tray with sides with
baking paper.
2 Combine hoisin, soy sauce, shao hsing,
five spice and garlic in a small jug. Reserve
2 tablespoons sauce mixture. Combine
remaining sauce mixture and chicken in
a large bowl.
3 Thread 3 pieces of chicken and 4 pieces
of onion alternately onto skewers, starting
and ending with onion. Place on prepared
tray. Bake for 20 minutes, brushing with
reserved marinade every 5 minutes, or
until chicken is cooked through.
4 Meanwhile, heat a wok or large deep
frying pan over high heat. Add oil. Swirl
to coat. Add rice. Stir-fry for 2 minutes
or until lightly toasted. Add vegetables
and oyster sauce. Stir-fry for 2 minutes
or until heated through.
5 Serve fried rice topped with skewers
and extra onion.
NUTRITION: (per serve) 2505kJ; 18.3g fat;
3.9g sat fat; 43.4g protein; 60.8g carbs;
6g fibre; 148mg chol; 2039mg sodium.
Cook’s note:

  • This stir-fry mix contains red cabbage, green
    cabbage, corn, onion, spinach and carrot.
    You could use any fresh stir-fry mix you like.

SWEET AND STICKY
KOREAN BEEF WITH QUICK
KIMCHI AND NOODLES
SERVES 4
PREP 20 MINUTESCOOK 15 MINUTES
¼ cup brown sugar
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled,
finely grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
600g lean beef mince
200g green beans, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lime juice
200g packet dried egg noodles
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
¼ cup fresh coriander leaves
Quick Kimchi
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Sriracha chilli sauce
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 green onions, thinly sliced
¹⁄³ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ Chinese cabbage (wombok),
roughly chopped
2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 Make Quick Kimchi Combine fresh chilli,
chilli sauce, sesame seeds, onion, vinegar,
sesame oil and soy sauce in a large bowl.
Season with pepper. Add cabbage and
cucumber. Toss to combine. Set aside for
15 minutes to allow flavours to develop.
2 Meanwhile, combine sugar, ginger,
garlic, soy sauce and 2 tablespoons water
in a small jug.
3 Heat a wok over high heat. Add peanut oil.
Swirl to coat. Add mince. Cook, breaking
up mince with a wooden spoon, for 6 to
8 minutes or until mince is well browned.
Add soy mixture and green beans. Stir-fry
for 3 minutes or until beans are tender
and sauce thickens. Stir in lime juice.
4 Cook noodles following packet
directions. Drain. Refresh under cold
running water. Drain well.
5 Combine dried chilli flakes and sesame
seeds in a small bowl. Divide mince
mixture, noodles and kimchi among
serving bowls. Top with coriander and
sprinkle with sesame seed mixture. Serve.
NUTRITION: (per serve) 2367kJ; 18g fat;
4.6g sat fat; 44.8g protein; 51.8g carbs;
6.3g fibre; 123mg chol; 1795mg sodium.
COCONUT CARAMEL CHICKEN
WITH STAR ANISE RICE
SERVES 4
PREP 15 MINUTES
COOK 35 MINUTES
¹⁄³ cup dark brown sugar
270ml can coconut milk
¼ cup salt-reduced chicken stock
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 skinless chicken thigh cutlets, bone in
1½ cups jasmine rice
2 star anise
150g snow peas, trimmed,
halved diagonally
1 small red capsicum, cut into
2cm pieces
Fresh mint sprigs, to serve
1 Combine sugar, coconut milk, stock,
fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic and vinegar
in a jug. Set aside.
2 Heat oil in a large heavy-based
frying pan over medium heat. Add
chicken. Cook for 5 minutes each
side or until golden brown. Add sugar
mixture. Cook, turning chicken halfway
through cooking, for 20 minutes or
until chicken is cooked through and
sauce has thickened.
3 Meanwhile, place rice, star anise
and 2¼ cups water in a medium
saucepan. Bring to a simmer over
high heat. Cover. Reduce heat to low.
Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until rice
is tender. Remove from heat. Stand,
covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a
fork to separate grains.
4 Sprinkle snow peas and capsicum
over chicken mixture. Cook, covered,
for 3 to 5 minutes or until snow peas
are just tender.
5 Sprinkle chicken with mint sprigs and
serve with star anise rice.
NUTRITION: (per serve) 2656kJ; 18.9g fat;
11.8g sat fat; 27.5g protein; 86.4g carbs;
4.2g fibre; 79mg chol; 1019mg sodium.
THAI YELLOW PORK CURRY
SERVES 4
PREP 15 MINUTES
COOK 25 MINUTES
1 tablespoon peanut oil
500g pork sirloin steak, cut into
2cm pieces
1 brown onion, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
6 kaffir lime leaves
600g orange sweet potato, peeled,
cut into 2cm pieces
1 red capsicum, chopped
¹⁄³ cup yellow curry paste
400ml can coconut milk
¾ cup salt-reduced chicken stock
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime
halves, to serve
Steamed jasmine rice, Thai basil leaves
and fried shallots, to serve
1 Heat half the oil in a large, deep frying pan
over medium-high heat. Add pork. Cook,
stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until
browned all over. Transfer pork to a plate.
2 Heat remaining oil in pan. Add onion,
cinnamon and kaffir lime leaves. Cook,
stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until
onion starts to brown. Add sweet potato
and capsicum. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
Add curry paste. Stir to combine.
3 Add coconut milk and stock. Bring to
a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until sweet
potato is almost tender. Return pork to
pan with fish sauce, sugar and lime juice.
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until pork is
cooked through.
4 Divide curry and rice among serving
bowls. Sprinkle with Thai basil and fried
shallots. Serve with lime halves.
NUTRITION: (per serve) 3328kJ; 24.4g fat;
16.9g sat fat; 42.5g protein; 95.7g carbs;
10.3g fibre; 60mg chol; 1365mg sodium.