Have you ever tried to make your favourite takeaway at home?how did it turn out?

@pandaeyes (2068)
March 4, 2010 11:32am CST
We used to have takeaway about once a month. I know that some people have it once a week or more but we couldn't afford to do that. Our favourite was Chinese takeaway which usually had chicken balls in sweet and sour sauce . My daughters birthday was coming up and I said what do you want for your birthday tea? Sweet and sour chicken she said which was rather alarming as that is quite pricey so ,I looked up how to do the sauce and made the little balls of chicken in batter at home. It wasn't bad. Much better than I had thought it would turn out. That encouraged me to try home made fish and chips which was another take away that we found expensive. I looked in a recipe book for how to do the fish and the chips were easy. It was yummy much to my surprise! I tried Pizza using the dough from the bread maker and we found that we preferred the home made version because we could have a big pizza and a good deep topping for about a 1/4 of the cost of the pizza shop. Have you tried making any of your favourite take-aways at home? How did they work out?
3 people like this
16 responses
@derek_a (10903)
5 Mar 10
Yes, we loved take-away too, Chinese food, Indian food and Pizza. But I agree it is expensive and we tend to make a lot of our own now. It's not quite the same because I think that there may be secret ingredients in the take-aways, but I do enjoy the home-made just the same. _Derek
2 people like this
@pandaeyes (2068)
5 Mar 10
It's a bit like any recipe I suppose, no two people will make the same dish exactly the same way. I remember ages ago reading that thy use MSG in Chinese food but I have never seen that for sale anywhere.
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@derek_a (10903)
6 Mar 10
Yes I believe they put MSG in Chinese food and I usually tend to get headaches if I eat and palpitations of the heart. It is not very good fo me, even though I like it and occassionally eat it. I would never put MSG in my home cooking even if I did find out where to get it. _Derek
@jassisid (25)
• India
5 Mar 10
it all started a year back , i met an accident and was not able to move out , as my leg got broke, so i decided to make my favorite burger my self, i tried missing some of my things while making the burger and in the end while i tried out, it was much better then my fav take away, so from that time i make my own take away, anybody intersted, it is called as extra spicy chicken, kabab burger :-)
2 people like this
@pandaeyes (2068)
5 Mar 10
Sounds yummy. I forgot about burgers. We have made them in the past too. We have one of those burger press things. It is circular and you push the burger meat into it then press it hard with a plunger and then empty it out and you get quite nicely shaped even thick circles like that.
@Loverbear (4929)
• United States
5 Mar 10
I did a stuffed crust pizza that turned out wonderful! I too use dough from my bread maker. I add Italian seasoning to the bread mix and it gives it a little bit more of the flavoring of the pizza shops. About the only thing I do like from the take out restaurants is pizza. I did go to Panda Express and kind of liked their food, but I am a Asian food snob as I lived in Thailand for 9 months and ate the local food. In fact I am going to go back to fixing my food the Asian way as it has less calories and is healthier since it is full of veggies. There are several books on how to fix food like the various restaurants, but I find that doing it myself is so much more fun than spending the big bucks for supporting someone else's take on recipes.
2 people like this
@pandaeyes (2068)
5 Mar 10
That's one thing I don't use enough of. Herbs ! My son will sometimes make Bolognaise and will liberally add herbs and it is definitely very tasty.
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
5 Mar 10
For me it's look like the same with the original so delicious also.
@pandaeyes (2068)
5 Mar 10
Yes I see, you can do just as well as the shop versions or restaurant versions. I think sometimes people go to restaurants just to have a rest from having to cook at home. I would be quite disappointed if they weren't absolutely scrummy if I was at a restaurant or even if we got take away.
@sulsisels (1685)
• United States
5 Mar 10
Hi Pandaeyes..I love to cook and am a recent grad of culinary school. I cook on a yacht for the owners and their guests and travel quite a bit throughout the Bahamas and the Carribean. I dont get to do too much on these trips as my day starts at 3am and ends well after the dinner hour. The pay is good however and I'm doing what I was trained to do. When out on the boat, obviously take out is not an option and sometimes I get cravings for this restaurant or that restaurant and something special from those places. I found a website that makes a lot of these cravings attainable. You can search almost any recipe from your favorite restaurant and it will give you the recipe (or so close to the recipe that you wouldn't know the difference)if they have it..I can almost always find what I'm looking for and am now able to make these things both at work and at home. Check it out..With the cost of living being what it is today, eating out is a luxury that I have to do without so I have found this to be the next best thing..Again, its Copycat.com..Good luck and happy cooking!!
2 people like this
@pandaeyes (2068)
5 Mar 10
I must have a proper look at that site. It sounds like you have an adventurous life. I think I would not be brave enough to cook for a living.
• United States
5 Mar 10
Now that I don't live in the USA anymore. I am forced to try to take my favorites at home. Thank God for copycat recipes online, I have been able to make my favorite General Tsao's Chicken, Paper Wrapped Chicken, even Long John Silver's Chicken and Hushpuppies. They taste a lot like the original so I try to do that once in a while. My family loves it too.
@pandaeyes (2068)
5 Mar 10
Oh yes I have seen sites that have copy cat recipes listed . I never tried one though. Wherever we live we have global favourites I suppose. I really like Marmite(yeast extract) but most other countries don't seem to manufacture it. Vegemite is the nearest I have seen mentioned and it tastes different. Our shops have their own equivalent that re not bad but Marmite is still unique I think.
• United States
5 Mar 10
Chinese is my favorite takeout, too. However, I have never gotten or made a good Chinese dish. Nothing has ever compared to restaurant-made dishes. Pizza though is a different story. When I visit one friend of mine and we have parties, we make four or so different pizzas. Roll out the crust, and put whatever people want on it. Inexpensive, and DELICIOUS.
2 people like this
@pandaeyes (2068)
5 Mar 10
They are very handy if you have to do last minute food for visitors. We use a bread dough from the bread machine but I have made them with scone dough too. You can even cook them in the frying pan(skillet)on the hob or in the microwave.
4 Mar 10
I got so fed up with the price hikes in our local chinese that I started to cook chinese food at home and have to say that the home cooked is definitely better than the takeaway. My partner cooks a mean curry so we don't need to go to the local curry house very often now and I can cook pizza using the pizza bases and our own toppings. Once in a while we will go to the takeaway but we prefer home made.
@pandaeyes (2068)
5 Mar 10
Usually if we are up visiting my son and daughter ,we will go out for a pizza but last time we actually bought a pizza from the supermarket as we were in rather a hurry and I was surprised to find that it was almost identical to the pizza house pizzas. At home we make a very large pizza as my late mum in law gave us one of those terracotta pizza dishes and it makes a lovely firm base from bread dough. My favourite pizza is bacon and pineapple but my daughter likes pilchard ,pineapple and cheese.
@ronaldinu (12454)
• Malta
4 Mar 10
I love Chinese food a lot especially sweet and sour pork and chicken with cashew nuts. Unfortunately in my country Chinese food and restaurants are rather expensive. So we only go there on special occasions. My wife learned how to cook the Chinese food and thus we can enjoy Chinese food at home. It is much cheaper and much healthier.
2 people like this
@pandaeyes (2068)
5 Mar 10
I think maybe I need to have another go at Chinese food. We do love it . I shall look for a library book about how to do it and go from there.
@irishmist (3843)
• United States
4 Mar 10
I have made Wendys spicy chicken patty and popyes biscuts, and also Boston Markets creamed spinich. They always come out really good.
2 people like this
@pandaeyes (2068)
4 Mar 10
I'll have to look some of those up i think. Spicy chicken patty sounds tasty.
@jesssp (2743)
• Canada
4 Mar 10
We make pizza quite often and I love doing that, it's so nice to be able to control what and how much goes on. One thing we tried a little while ago that worked quite well was recreating the KFC bowls. All they are is mashed potatoes, sweet corn, chicken, gravy and cheese. They were good and since we were doing it at home we could substitute light and low fat ingredients.
2 people like this
@pandaeyes (2068)
4 Mar 10
Don't know very much about KFC.I only ever ate in one once when we were out. We do buy their ice cream in a little tub with a spoon. When they did the cheese crust pizzas we found it was quite easy to copy by just squishing a trench around the edge,putting a slither of cheese in it and folding it over the top,all the way around.
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
4 Mar 10
I make restaurant food at home all the time...In fact we're having Chinese tomorrow LOL which for us consists of S&S chicken balls, kung pao chicken, fried rice, and beef w/snow peas and or sometimes I will make a stir fry with rice etc....I make "better than KFC mom" fried chicken....4 Cheese Spinach dip with fried pita (which use to be a FAV at our former fav restuarant Kelseys back home)..We make pizza at home all the time and homemade burgers and fries too are big here...Thats just a few things...and yes it is way cheaper to do it at home then to grab take out..
2 people like this
@pandaeyes (2068)
4 Mar 10
You are a lot more ambitious than me with your chinese menu. I found it was quite pricey with the oils. We have hardly anywhere local for any special ingredients.
7 Mar 10
I have tried to recreate restuarant meals at home, but they never quite taste the same do they? I have only had two sucessful attempts. The most recent was an italian chicken and pasta dish which I ate at Bella Italia at christmas. Last year I created my very own version of hot and sour soup which went down very well. Unfortunately I didn't write the recipe down as I went along so now I can't remember how I did it!
1 person likes this
@pandaeyes (2068)
8 Mar 10
Oh no! nothing worse than getting something right and then realising you cant remember what you did. My hubby likes to make cakes by just guessing and when he makes an extra successful one, he can't remember how he did it either!
@dorannmwin (36695)
• United States
7 Mar 10
There are certain things that I have tried at home and the majority of the time it turns out quite well, and a lot less expensive than the restaurant versions. I make homemade pizza all the time and the children love the days that I do that. I also like to make shreded pork barbeque. I've never been brave enough to attempt Chinese food at home, but it is something that I would like to give a try eventually. Also, I would love to find some good Italian recipes to try at home.
1 person likes this
@pandaeyes (2068)
8 Mar 10
My problem is herbs an spices, I just don't feel confident in adding them in case it spoils it for one of us. I think if I could get that bit right, it would make a lot of difference.
@skysuccess (8882)
• Singapore
5 Mar 10
pandaeyes, It is always better for us to make these menus ourselves as we can always have the best cut of meats, more of our favorite mixes, vegetables, or condiments to suit our own whims and fancies. So, the steak will always be the best premium cut, the pizza will always have our favorite chunkier meats, cheese toppings, quality ingredients and everything that will make our gastronomical experience a more satisfying and memorable one. So, yes I will always try to have my favorite orders home made and I even have secret recipes direct from well known chefs to make my dishes as authentic as possible.
@pandaeyes (2068)
5 Mar 10
That sounds intriguing (secret recipes LOL). I think we all add our little bits and pieces that we tried once and liked. We used to have a take away near to us and one day it was burgled. The thieves dropped some of the containers and just left them on the pavement and I was quite alarmed to find that they were ready meals in the cardboard sleeves like you can get in supermarkets. Well that was hopefully an unusual thing as that shop soon closed and there are different people there now. It does make you more suspicious though.
1 person likes this
@epicure35 (2822)
• United States
7 Mar 10
I make "restaurant" recipes often, and for the most part, they come out quite well. Of course, it's worth saving the cost of the restaurant price. My mom got some good Chinese food recipes from a well-known NY Chinese restaurant years ago and the dishes turned out quite well. I try to get recipes when I can and, if not, I approximate them the best I can. I do a refreshing salad my granddaughter loves from a restaurant chain; it's pretty easy. My best success came from duplicating a dish I ate at the Russian Tea Room, also in NY. Some ingredients are easy to discern and make; others are not so easy in both areas. Pizza is a good one to do at home. I used to make the dough, but I have bought the dough from a local Italian Deli as well; I like their dough better than mine, but my toppings are better (and more of them). I do try to find some restaurant recipes in books or on line as well when I can. Also, it's important to buy good ingredients.
@pandaeyes (2068)
7 Mar 10
Restaurants are lovely and very nice for trying new things. I wish we could afford to go out to eat more just for the experience but having seen a few series on TV with behind the scenes coverage, I find that a lot of the food is no better than we can serve at home and sometimes is awful like deep frying 'roast potatoes' or ready meal desserts.