NHS Supply Chain launches pan-Asian recipe range for NHS chefs


A new range of pan-Asian recipes for catering departments of NHS hospital Trusts has been launched by the culinary team at NHS Supply Chain: Food. The recipes have been developed to suit an NHS retail environment feeding staff and visitors and include nutritional analysis.

The range of recipes, titled ‘Bamboo’, pick up on the rise in popularity of pan-Asian food. According to research conducted by Mintel in late 2019, Chinese and Taiwanese food is the most popular ethnic cuisine in the UK to either dine in or order as a takeaway (55% of those asked had ordered it in the last three months, more than any other ethnic cuisine). Asian homecooked food is also identified in the Waitrose & Partners ‘food and drink report 2021’ as among the “10 lockdown food and drink trends that are here to stay.” 

The Bamboo range includes 19 main dish recipes, two side dish recipes along with a sauce recipe. Main dishes range from Japanese donburi bowls, to Chinese curries, to simple noodle dishes and banh mi sandwiches. They include the very popular chicken katsu curry, as well as both a vegetarian and a burger version of the recipe.

Nutritional analysis for each recipe is produced by the in-house dietetic team at NHS Supply Chain: Food. By making this information readily available, NHS catering teams can make informed menu choices and encourage healthier eating.

The recipes are mapped to products available through NHS Supply Chain’s multi-temperature distribution ordering, making it a simple process to discover a recipe that works and then order the ingredients. Recipes can also be scaled up or down using a tool provided to Trusts.

Nick Vadis, Culinary Lead at NHS Supply Chain: Food and Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs, commented: “Now is a great time for NHS chefs to be reviewing their menus as we move into Spring, and the colourful recipes that make up our Bamboo range allow you to travel to South East Asia with your palette. We know there is a big demand for Asian food so we’ve developed these recipes especially for the NHS. 

“It’s important we support teams in NHS kitchens to be the best they can be, and by sharing these recipes, with nutritional analysis included, we hope to  be providing added tools that create great food for staff and visitors in hospitals, and increase their sales.”

Bamboo is the second of six ranges of recipes to be released by NHS Supply Chain: Food over 12 months. The first was a range of Indian recipes called Khana Khana which launched in November last year.


Sample recipe from Bamboo

Firecracker Chicken Curry
Serves 10

40g Garlic puree

40ml Ginger puree

60ml Light soy sauce

40g Tamarind sauce

5g Crushed chillies

50ml Olive oil

200g Mange tout (topped and tailed)

400g Red peppers

400g Red onion

120ml Siracha sauce

10g Caster sugar

1500g Diced chicken thigh

600g Jasmine rice


Make a marinade by combining the garlic puree, ginger puree and half the soy sauce. Add the tamarind sauce and chilli flakes and mix together thoroughly. Add the chicken thighs and mix until well coated. Marinade the meat for a minimum of 2-4 hours or ideally overnight.

Prep the vegetables: peel and dice the red onion into 2cm cubes, dice the red pepper into 2cm cubes, cut the courgettes into 2cm cubes and slice the mange tout (cut each mange tout into 3-4 pieces).

Heat a large saucepan, add the oil and fry the marinated chicken over a high heat for a good five minutes.

Add the onion and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until softened. 

Add the peppers and mange tout and cook through for 2-3 minutes, then add the siracha sauce, the remaining soy sauce and sugar, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Ensure the core temperature has reached (75°C ENG 82°C SCOT).

Serve ideally in a bowl with jasmine rice (separate recipe can be provided by NHS Supply Chain: Food). 

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