It would appear the end is nigh for good old-fashioned fish and chips; the fat lady is singing for chicken tikka masala and chicken chow mein is facing the final curtain.
Say it ain’t so we hear you ask?
Well, whilst rumours of their demise may be greatly exaggerated, there is a new kid on the block when it comes to takeaway, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
That’s because it was revealed this week that vegan food has become the UK’s fastest growing takeaway, with orders of vegan meals growing by an amazing 388% between 2016 and 2018. And vegetarian orders rose by 137% according to research by the British Takeaway Campaign.
Online delivery platform Deliveroo have reinforced the figures by confirming that vegan orders have quadrupled over the past 2 years and that in the last 12 months the number of vegan restaurants on the app increased by 168%.
In July, the top-selling vegan dishes on the Deliveroo ‘menu’ were Wagamama’s vegatsu version of katsu curry and Pizza Express’ vegan margarita.
And with Greggs announcing recently that following the runaway success of its vegan sausage roll, it is now working on vegan versions of all its best-selling products and with Burger King about to roll out its Impossible Whopper, it’s safe to say that this is not a fad.
The best thing about the rise in vegan and vegetarian food in recent years is that it is just as much being driven by meat eaters who want to try something different, which is no bad thing. Let’s face it, if the quality of vegan/vegetarian food was the same as it was ten years ago, then we wouldn’t be writing this blog, but thankfully we are and that’s because it is now so damn good!
As chefs, whilst we hope fish and chips, chicken tikka masala and chicken chow mein are still here for many years to come, it’s great to see the rise and rise of vegan/vegetarian food because we want to work with as many different ingredients as possible and constantly be trying new things.
We’re like kids in a (vegan) sweet shop!
Here is this week’s recipe inspired by the Vegatsu:
Sweet potato fried in panko bread crumbs with rice and katsu sauce
Ingredients (for the katsu sweet potato):
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into slices
- 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
- 5 tbsp almond milk
- 75g panko breadcrumbs
For the katsu sauce:
- 1 white onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 gorund cinnamon
- 1/2 ground onion powder
- 1/2 mild curry powder
- 1/4 chilli powder 1 star anise
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 160ml coconut cream
- 250ml vegetable stock
- In a pan of boiling water, par-boil the sweet potato for up to 5 minutes and then drain and let dry. Coat potato slices in the seasoned flour, then dip in the almond milk before coating in the panko breadcrumbs.
- Using vegetable oil, fry the panko sweet potato on a medium heat until they are golden on either side.
- For the sauce, soften the onion and garlic for approx 5 mins in a pan. Turn down heat and add soy sauce, spices, brown sugar and star anise and stir to combine for around 1 minute. Then add the coconut cream bringing the pan to a light simmer before adding stock and bringing the sauce to a thick cream like consistency.
- Serve with boiled rice.