Thursday, August 11, 2005

Gout-Friendly Cooking

I recently had to cook a gout friendly lunch and planning the menu was really difficult. I used to gripe about cooking for vegetarians, but I think making a gout friendly meal is even more difficult! No tofu, no beef, no prawns, no nuts, not too much cream, no this, no that, (it almost seemed like you couldn't eat ANYTHING) …, eeeeps! In addition to that, the guests that were coming to lunch were a group of true blooded Peranakans. They love their chillies and they have a rather rich food heritage, so the food that I was going to make had to be spicy, gout friendly and it had to be good. So after pouring over my cookbooks for recipes and inspiration, I served these two dishes for the gout-friendly lunch: Chinese Chicken Parcels and Pan Fried Red Snapper with a Clear Tom Yum Broth served with Rice Noodles and Snow Peas.

Chinese Chicken Parcels

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1 Savoy or Chinese cabbage
sea salt
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed
1 handful of fresh coriander
1-2 fresh chillies
1 tablespoon fish sauce
4 trimmed boneless chicken thighs, skin removed, roughly chopped
1 handful of water chestnuts
zest and juice of 2 limes
sweet chili sauce
soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


Wash and discard the core and outer leaves from the cabbage, separating the remaining cabbage leaves and place them in a pan of salted boiling water for 2 minutes to soften. Cool them in a bowl of cold water, drain and put to one side.

In a food processor, whiz up your garlic, ginger, spring onions, fresh coriander, chilli and fish sauce with a good pinch of salt. Then add the chicken, water chestnut, lime zest and juice and sesame oil and process until you have a minced meat consistency.

Place a heaped dessertspoonful of the flavoured mince on to one end of each cabbage leaf. Fold it up and tuck in the sides, then roll up.

Oil your steamer, colander or normal steamer with a little olive oil and place un the cabbage parcels. They may try to unfold but once you start putting them next to each other, they will stay rolled in place. When they’re all in, sit the steamer over a pan of boiling water, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the parcels and it is just the steam that is cooking them. Put a lid on top and steam for about 6 minutes until cooked. If you are worried about the cooking time, take one of the parcels out and cut it in half to make sure that they are cooked all the way through.

When they are done, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top and serve them in a bamboo steamer or plate with a dish of sweet chilli sauce and or soy sauce in the middle.

* Recipe source: Jamie’s Kitchen

Tom Yum Broth for the Pan Fried Red Snapper with a Clear Tom Yum Broth served with Rice Noodles and Snow Peas

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Serves 6-8

2 quarts chicken broth
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, sliced on a bias in 2-inch pieces
4 kaffir lime leaves
1-inch piece fresh galangal or ginger, sliced
2 red chillies, sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce, such as nam pla
1 1/2 teaspoons
2 limes, juiced
2 green onions, sliced
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped


Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chillies. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth.

Uncover and add the fish sauce and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss in the snow peas and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, green onions, and cilantro. Taste for salt and spices; you should have an equal balance of spicy, salty, and sour. Strain soup and set aside to serve.

To Plate Up:

Place a mount of rice noodles at the bottom of a bowl, place snow peas over the noodles, and then place the pan fried snapper on top of the peas.

Carefully ladle broth into the bowl so that the snapper doesn't get soggy before served.

* Recipe Source: Adaptation from Tyler Florence's Hot and Sour: Tom Yum Soup.


Blogger boo_licious said...

I like those cabbage rolls, they look so lovely and healthy too.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Joycelyn said...

hi june, only you could make gout-friendly food look so luxurious and delicious ;) cheers,j

11:49 PM  
Blogger joone! said...

boo: thanks!

J: those words coming from a lady who has been wowing the food blogging world, a bigggg thanks!! I personally thought gout friendly food would had been terrible to eat, but it isn't too bad, i think you have just got to scout around for the right things to cook.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just had my first ever attack of Gout, and have been recovering from it in the past few weeks. I have been off meat, poultry or fish of any kind since.

I was browsing around for gout food, and came across this. But your receipe above are with chicken and fish. Is this truly ok for Gout sufferers?

This is a good link for Purine contents:

9:27 PM  
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6:25 PM  

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