10 Great Meals For One

Cooking for one can feel like a chore. If you’re in need of some fresh inspiration, here are ten easy and delicious meals that make just one portion – from a frying-pan pizza to a healthy rice bowl.

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Tofu Katsu With Ginger Bok Choy

Serves
1
Total Time
35 Minutes
Ingredients
300g of steamed short-grain white rice
For the katsu sauce:
35g of ketchup
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of soy sauce
1 pinch of sugar
For the panko-crusted baked tofu:
100g of firm tofu
15g of all-purpose flour
1 large egg
15g of panko breadcrumbs
¼ tsp of fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For the gingery bok choy:
½ tbsp of sesame oil
½ garlic clove, sliced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 to 3 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
1tbsp of water
½ tbsp of soy sauce or tamari
1 spring onion, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Method
Step 1
Heat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the katsu sauce ingredients together.
Step 2
Pat the tofu dry with paper towels and cut into 3 equal pieces. On a large plate, spread out the flour. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg.
Step 3
On another large plate, stir together the panko, salt and several grinds of pepper. Coat each tofu piece on all sides with the flour, then dunk it in the egg, and then dredge it in the panko mixture, pressing to adhere the crumbs to all sides of the tofu. Place the coated tofu pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes more.
Step 4
When the tofu is almost done, make the gingery bok choy: in a large skillet with a lid, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the bok choy, water, and soy sauce. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes, until the bok choy is just tender.
Step 5
To assemble, make a bed of steamed rice in a bowl and add the gingery bok choy and baked tofu. Scatter the green onion on top and serve the katsu sauce on the side.
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Crispy Mustard Chicken With Puy Lentils & Watercress

Serves
1
Total Time
45 Minutes
Ingredients
100g of Puy lentils
½ onion, cut in half and peeled
Fine sea salt
For the watercress sauce:
45g of watercress (tender stems are okay to include, but no roots!)
¼ small shallot, coarsely chopped
1tbsp of fresh lemon juice
½ tbsp of red wine vinegar
45ml of extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp of fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For the crispy mustard chicken:
1 small boneless, skinless chicken breast
20g of all-purpose flour
¼ tsp of fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
½ tbsp of Dijon mustard
30g of plain dry breadcrumbs
10g of parmesan, finely grated
½ tbsp of unsalted butter
½ tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 handful of baby spinach leaves
Method
Step 1
First, make the watercress sauce: in a blender, combine the watercress, shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Blend until the watercress is finely chopped and the sauce is mostly smooth.
Step 2
In a medium saucepan, place the lentils and onion and add about 500ml of water and a few generous pinches of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 20 to 25 minutes.
Step 3
Meanwhile, put the chicken in a plastic bag or between 2 sheets of parchment paper and use a rolling pin or a meat tenderiser to pound the chicken to a little under ¼ inch thick. Don't be shy; this step requires a little muscle. In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and several grinds of pepper. In another shallow bowl, beat the egg and mix in the mustard. In a third shallow bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and parmesan. Coat the chicken breast with the flour mixture, then dunk it in the mustard-egg mixture, and then dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere the crumbs to all sides of the chicken.
Step 4
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the butter and olive oil and swirl the skillet to evenly coat the surface. Add the chicken breast to the pan and cook until browned on the first side, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the crispy chicken to a cutting board.
Step 5
When the lentils are cooked, drain them and discard the onion. Return the lentils to their pot and stir in about half of the watercress sauce, saving the rest to serve alongside the finished bowl. Add the spinach leaves, stirring them in, and allow the residual heat from the lentils to wilt the spinach a little. Slice the crispy chicken and arrange on top of the lentils and spinach. Spoon on the remaining sauce or serve it on the side.
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©FINE DINING LOVERS | CLAUDIA CONCAS

Korean Beef Bulgogi

Serves
1
Total Time
30 Minutes
Ingredients
1 small pear, mashed
150g of sirloin steak
2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tbsp of sesame oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp of sesame seeds, toasted
1 spring onion, finely sliced
½ piece of fresh ginger, grated
½ tbsp of gochujang
Method
Step 1
Wrap the steak in cling film or butcher paper and place it the freezer while you make your marinade.
Step 2
To make the marinade, combine dark soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, sesame oil, mashed pear and gochujang.
Step 3
After 15 minutes remove the meat from the freezer, unwrap, and cut into thin slices. The meat, cut so thinly, absorbs the marinade better and evenly, and will require a very short cooking time.
Step 4
Mix the meat and marinade well and marinate in the fridge while you prepare the side dishes – rice and lettuce wraps are traditional.
Step 5
Once your sides are prepared, cook the meat. First drain the marinade from the meat. Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a pan and when very hot add the meat. Cook the slices of meat for no more than one minute on each side. Serve the meat piping hot topped with the chopped spring onion and toasted sesame seeds alongside your chosen side dishes.

One-Pot Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Serves
1
Total Time
35 Minutes
Ingredients
10g of butter
50g of shallots, finely chopped
1 red chillies, chopped (to taste)
¼ tbsp of plain flour
100g of macaroni
¼ litre of milk
75ml of water (plus a little extra if necessary)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp of Dijon mustard (optional)
100g of extra mature cheddar, plus extra to serve
Method
Step 1
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat then add the shallots, cooking very gently for about 15 minutes until really soft but not coloured. Add the chilli and stir, cooking for another minute. Stir through the flour, blending it well into the buttery shallots.
Step 2
Tip in the macaroni and stir well then pour in the milk and water. Season well with salt and pepper and stir through the mustard if you are using. Bring up to the boil then reduce the heat to a steady simmer. Cook for about 12-15 minutes, stirring often (just like making a risotto) until the pasta is tender and the sauce thickened. It will still be a little liquid at this stage but will thicken with resting. If it seems a little dry add a splash of extra water.
Step 3
Turn off the heat and allow the macaroni to rest and cool for 5 minutes. Scatter over the cheese, stirring until its melted and serve immediately.
Step 4
Resting the pasta before stirring through the cheese is an important step so don’t be tempted to skip it. If you add cheese to the too-hot sauce, you run the risk of it turning a little granular, which will affect the texture.
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Chinese Broccoli & Mushroom Stir Fry

Serves
1
Total Time
2 Hours 20 Minutes
Ingredients
100g of Chinese broccoli or Tenderstem broccoli
5 dried beancurd knots
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
½ small carrot, around 25g
½ clove of garlic
5g of ginger
¼ tsp of salt
¼ tsp of white pepper
¼ tsp of sugar
A few drops of dark soy sauce
½ tbsp of rice wine
½ tbsp of oyster sauce
¼ tbsp of sesame oil
1 tsp of XO sauce
75ml of water (ideally the water used to rehydrate the mushrooms)
1 tbsp of light soy sauce
¼ tsp of cornflour
1 tsp of water
10g of vegetable oil for frying
Method
Step 1
Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms and beancurd knots in room temperature water for 2 hours. Once ready, remove everything from the water. Keep the flavoured water for later use. Squeeze out the extra water from the mushrooms. Cut their stems off and then slice the mushroom cups into strips. Slice the carrot into julienne. Finely chop the garlic and ginger.
Step 2
Using your index finger as reference, if the Chinese broccoli stems are too long or big, cut them in half so that they are easy to fry. Wash thoroughly.
Step 3
Place the broccoli in a saucepan filled with room temperature water. Bring the pan to boil and then blanch them for a minute. Remove the broccoli from the heat and then run under tap water for a minute to cool down. They should still feel firm when pressing. Keep the broccoli in a sieve to get rid of excess water.
Step 4
Mix the rice wine, XO sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl, set aside.
Step 5
Heat a wok until very hot. Add 10g of vegetable oil followed by the mushrooms. Fry them for 1 minute and then add salt, white pepper and sugar. Continue frying for another minute and then add a few drops of dark soy sauce for the colour.
Step 6
Add the carrot and beancurd knots. Fry for 2 minutes until you see most of the moisture is evaporated.
Step 7
Add the XO sauce mixture and then fry for 30 seconds. Add 75ml of flavoured water and then simmer for 2 minutes at low heat. Add the broccoli and then turn up to medium high heat. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
Step 8
Add light soy sauce and optional splash of sesame oil to taste. Mix the cornflour and water together and then add to the wok, this will thicken the sauce a bit. Cook for another minute and then it is ready to serve.
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Rayu Rice Bowl

Serves
1
Total Time
2 Hours
Ingredients
100g bag of peas
1 tbsp of pickled radish
1 tbsp of pickled cucumber
1 tbsp of kimchi
½ aubergine, cut into medium sized chunks
1 tbsp of miso
1 tbsp of Peanut Rãyu
¼ block of tofu
1 glug of tamari
1 glug of sesame oil
1 handful of sesame seeds
100g of rice (any short-grain, white rice)
1 handful of chopped chives, coriander and spring onion
Method
Step 1
Boil the peas for a couple of minutes, running them under cold water once boiled to stop them cooking more and ensuring they still retain a bit of a bite.
Step 2
Mix sliced radishes with rice or any clear vinegar, a sprinkling of sugar, some grated ginger and a few Sichuan peppercorns and wait – either a few hours or a few weeks, it’s up to you.
Step 3
Cucumber pickle is very quick to make. Finely slice a cucumber, ideally using a mandoline, sprinkle with salt, sugar and grated ginger and leave for 10 minutes or more to release its juices.
Step 4
For the aubergine, preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the aubergines into medium-sized chunks and arrange on a baking tray with low sides making sure it’s not overcrowded. Cover the aubergines in tons of olive oil. Add the miso, plus salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes. The chunks should be totally soft when pressed and the edges should be a little charred. Sometimes they need a good shuffle and a little longer in the oven. Taste to check if they need any more seasoning.
Step 5
For the tofu, it’s really key that all of the liquid is squeezed out of it. Wrap the block in a tea towel, stick it between two plates, then place a big, heavy object on top (we use a utensil jar). Leave it to be “squished” for a few hours, or overnight if you like it super dry. When it’s suitably dried out, marinate in some glugs of tamari and sesame oil. Season and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then roast in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes until nicely browned.
Step 6
Wash the rice a few times in a sieve, put it in a big pot, add some salt and the water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, pop a lid on, turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Step 7
Add the rice to a fairly high-sided bowl and assemble all of the above on top of your sticky rice. Keep the kimchi, rãyu, peas and cucumber apart. Pop your tofu on top, (fried eggs or salmon fillets also work well) and top with the chopped chives, coriander and spring onion.
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Friarielli Broccoli Pizza

Serves
1
Total Time
4 Hours
Ingredients
2 tsp of cooking oil
1 sausage
¼ can of San Marzano tomatoes
50g of friarielli broccoli
40g of mozzarella
For the dough (makes four portions):
500g of 00 pizza flour (or strong white bread flour)
7g of yeast
12g of salt
150g of whole milk
175g of warm water
15g of malt extract
10g of olive oil
Method
Step 1
Tip the San Marzano tomatoes and juice into a bowl, then use your hands to crush them. Discard the hard yellow stem from each tomato. Set aside.
Step 2
Mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the milk and warm water (it can be warmer than that you’d use for homemade bread, as the cold milk will cool it down), malt extract and olive oil. Mix well with your hands, squeezing the dough between your fingers to ensure everything is well incorporated. Cover with a plate and set aside for 20 minutes.
Step 3
Now, gently knead the dough while it’s still in the mixing bowl. Stretch one edge of the dough 10-20cm into the air and fold back over the centre. Rotate your bowl by 90 degrees and do the same again. Repeat 5-10 times. The dough will feel like it could easily break apart but will tighten up as you go. Cover and leave for 20 minutes.
Step 4
Repeat the lift and fold process 2-3 more times, 20 minutes apart. Each time you’ll notice the dough becoming more elastic and smoother to work with.
Step 5
Two hours after first mixing the dough, it’s time to shape it. Lift out of the bowl and, using a knife or dough scraper, divide into four equal pieces. Take your first piece of dough and fold any corners into the centre. It should look more circular. Flip each shaped dough piece over, so the smooth base is on top, and rotate gently between your hands to turn it into a sphere. Set aside on a piece of parchment and shape the next piece. When all four pieces have been shaped, cover with oiled cling film or a damp tea towel and set aside to rise for an hour.
Step 6
For the toppings, cut a slit down the length of the sausage and peel away the skin. Pour the cooking oil into a small frying pan and add the sausage meat. Cook over a medium heat, breaking up the meat as it fries – you should end up with just-cooked ‘sausage mince’.
Step 7
Stretch your pizza base into a circle, keeping it thinner in the centre and with more of a lip at the edges. Place onto a preheated oven-safe frying pan. Spread the tomato sauce, then top with the friarielli broccoli, cooked sausage meat and torn mozzarella.
Step 8
Cook under a searingly hot grill for 6-10 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the topping is bubbling.
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CAITLIN ISOLA

Mussel & Nduja Linguine

Serves
1
Total Time
15 Minutes
Ingredients
15ml of olive oil
½ garlic clove, chopped
90g of Grezzina courgette, sliced into chunky matchsticks
100g of linguine
10g of nduja
200g of mussels, cleaned
30ml of white wine
1 small bunch of parsley, leaves chopped
Method
Step 1
Warm the olive oil in a wide, deep pan (with a lid) and fry the garlic over a medium-low heat until it begins to colour on the edges. Stir in the courgette and once it starts sizzling in the hot oil, turn the heat down to low and leave to cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, to allow it to soften.
Step 2
Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the linguine to al dente according to packet instructions.
Step 3
Stir the nduja into the courgette and once it’s melted and the courgettes are coated in red oil, turn the heat up to medium-high and add the mussels and the wine. Cover with a lid and cook for 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until all the mussels are open (discard any that have not opened).
Step 4
Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Pour the cooked pasta into the mussel pan along with the parsley and toss well so all the strands are coated in sauce, adding a splash of pasta cooking water if you feel it needs it. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
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Pomegranate Chicken With Couscous

Serves
1
Total Time
30 Minutes
Ingredients
For the chicken:
100g of chicken fillets
¼ tsp of red pepper flakes
¼ tsp of garlic granules
¼ tbsp of pomegranate molasses
½ grated lemon zest
½ tbsp of olive oil
For the couscous:
50g of couscous
50ml hot vegetable stock
¼ juice of 1 lemon
¼ small red onion, finely chopped
¼ cucumber, cut into cubes
10g bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
10g bunch fresh mint, chopped
10g flaked almonds, toasted
30g of pomegranate seeds
For the dressing:
1 tbsp of natural yoghurt
½ tbsp of tahini
¼ tsp of honey
Method
Step 1
Place the chicken in a bowl with the red pepper flakes, garlic granules, pomegranate molasses and lemon zest. Season with salt and toss everything together well. Set aside while you prepare the couscous.
Step 2
Place the couscous in a large bowl and pour over the hot stock. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for 10 minutes. While waiting for the couscous, finely chop the onion and cut the cucumber into small cubes and finely chop the herbs.
Step 3
Make the dressing by mixing the yoghurt, tahini and honey with a pinch of salt and a splash of water to just loosen to make a smooth pouring sauce.
Step 4
Gently fork through the couscous which should have soaked up all the liquid by now and stir through the lemon juice, red onion, cucumber, herbs, flaked almonds and most of the pomegranate seeds, reserving some for garnish.
Step 5
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken fillets and cook for 3-4 minutes each side until golden and cooked through.
Step 6
Spoon the couscous into a serving bowl and top with the chicken and a drizzle of tahini dressing and extra pomegranate seeds to garnish.
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Dan Dan Noodles

Serves
1
Total Time
20 Minutes
Ingredients
For the sauce:
1 tbsp of Chinese sesame paste (substitute with smooth deep roast peanut butter if you can’t find it – but do not use tahini)
1 tbsp of water, at room temperature
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp of light soy sauce
¾ tbsp of black rice vinegar
¼ tsp of ground Sichuan pepper
1 tbsp of chilli oil, or more if you want more heat
1 pinch of caster sugar
For the topping:
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
½ tsp of minced ginger
½ tbsp of minced ya cai (fermented preserved mustard greens)
50g of minced pork
1 tsp of light soy sauce
1 tsp of Shaoxing wine
Chilli flakes, to taste
Chopped spring onions, to garnish
100g of dried noodles
1 handful of leafy greens, such as choi sum, bok choy and spinach
Method
Step 1
Loosen the sesame paste with a splash of water first. Combine all sauce ingredients and mix well until smooth, adding more water if necessary to achieve a runny consistency. Place the minced pork into a separate bowl and add in the soy sauce and Shaoxing wine. Stir to break up the mince.
Step 2
Heat vegetable oil in a hot pan, add ginger and stir-fry until fragrant.
Step 3
Add the ya cai and continue to stir-fry for a minute.
Step 4
Add in the minced pork and continue to stir-fry till the pork is cooked. Set aside.
Step 5
Cook your noodles in a pan of boiling water, adding in your vegetables for the last 2 minutes. Drain well and put in the bowl with the sauce in the bottom.
Step 6
Put the topping over the noodles, sprinkle over spring onions and serve. Mix well before eating.
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