Growing up, my parents would shudder at the thought of ordering chips from the Chinese takeaway. Nope. We were only allowed plain ol’ boiled rice. And we had to make it at home. (Queue the Kevin Bridges “hoose rice” joke – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google it and I’m 97% sure you will be able to relate).
When I was a teenager on late-night drives with my friends, I finally had the chance to sample the delicacy that is salt and pepper chips. I got what all the fuss was about.
They were delicious. Those fantastic crispy, chunky chips, salty with soy sauce. That great crunch of green and red pepper strips. The sweetness of the onions (and possibly the added sugar?). And the final hit of heat from the red chilli and pepper seasoning. They were addictive – though that could have been the msg!
Regardless of how good they taste, they’re not all that healthy when you get them from the takeaway, so it’s not exactly going to make its way into your weekly meal plan. I remember Chinese takeaway salt and pepper chips being absolutely laced with oil.
But there’s no need to wait until you’re having a binge day to tuck into a plate of these. What if I told you I’ve got a low-calorie recipe here that you could eat every single day?
“Oh, but I/my friend/my child can’t eat your recipe – salt and pepper chips contain gluten-y soy sauce!” Don’t worry. As annoying as it is eating Chinese out when you can’t eat gluten, it’s so easy to make it at home with one simple switch: swap out soy sauce for tamari. Buy the stuff in bulk and don’t ever let yourself run out!
The entire time Michael and I have been together, we have never had a Chinese takeaway together. There’s just such an awful risk of cross-contamination with Chinese restaurants that totally outweighs the risk with every other cuisine. There are a couple of Chinese restaurants in Glasgow with a gluten-free menu, but I’ve not seen any featuring salt and pepper chips. So I decided it was time to whip up another recipe from scratch again!
Now when you’re making a “fakeaway”, you want something that is as close to the real deal as possible. You don’t want limp, sad, tasteless chips. Fat is flavour so I’ve worked around this to make sure these chips are satisfying but won’t go straight to your hips.
This recipe is bursting with flavour without the ridiculous amount of saturated fat that comes with the takeaway version. Loads of people report that they gain weight on a gluten-free diet – not with this salt and pepper chips recipe!
This salt and pepper chips recipe makes great use of that classic salty and sweet food combo. Salty and sweet would normally bring a dessert to mind, but like many Chinese dishes, these chips are a savoury exception and it works so well.
There’s something about this unique blend of sugar, sea salt, and red chilli spice that makes these chips so more-ish. Teamed with nutty sesame oil and your obligatory healthy addition of red and green peppers, you’ll be holding yourself back from eating all four portions in this fakeaway recipe yourself.
Salt and pepper chips are technically a side dish, but sometimes I just make a big batch for my main when I’m having a cosy night in. To make them more substantial, you could make some extra seasoning and use it to stir fry some salt and pepper chicken or Quorn pieces. The recipe as it stands is completely vegan, but to bulk it out you could do the same with tofu.
I know it’s annoying not being able to call up your local Chinese takeaway and have tasty food delivered to your door without lifting a finger, but I really find making things from scratch much more enjoyable. You can customise everything to your own tastes, save a ton of cash and it’s almost always far kinder to your waistline.
Plus, this is a really easy salt and pepper chips recipe – you’ll probably be tucking in to it before your takeaway would even have arrived!
So, why not give this recipe a spin this Friday night and tell me what you think! If you’re in the mood for a full on Chinese fakeaway, you need to check out my gluten free vegan stir fry or Asian soy and ginger salmon too.
- 800g white potatoes, cut into wedges or chip slices
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 bell peppers (one green, one red), sliced
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
- Toss your sliced potatoes with 2 tbsp oil, salt and black pepper, and pop in the oven for around 30 minutes until crispy. Every 10 mins, flip the potatoes for even crisping.
- While you're waiting on the chips, mix all the spices, salt, pepper and sugar together and set aside.
- When your chips are ready, fry the onion and pepper in the remaining oil in a wok on a high heat. Cook until they're softened but still have a bite. If using dried red chillies, add in now and cook for 1 minute.
- Toss the chips in with the spice mix and combine well. Splash in the tamari and toss in the spring onion and keep cooking until everything is heated through properly.
- Drizzle with sesame oil and serve!