Tom Hill of restaurant Rawduck is here to show that it's possible to eat clean and tasty
Photo: Laura Martin
Treating your body like a temple can be a challenge, which is why we tracked down Tom Hill, executive chef at London's Rawduck and Ducksoup restaurants. Specialising in making food for both mind and body, Tom's mantra is cooking “nourishing and satisfying” cuisine using what he terms a "healthful" approach.
Their menu also focuses on a taste of the exotic with strong Middle Eastern and Asian influences, so a few sharing plates at dinner might include something like roasted squash, braised lentils with soft boiled egg, garlic yoghurt and dukka or fried squid with green onions and Szechuan peppercorns. See? Not a mung bean in sight.
While the cleaner eating trend seems to contradict our unending love for “dirty burgers” and the like, Tom says “the healthy eating thing came more as a change of life – we've all got a bit older and a bit more health conscious.”
Not that that means it has to be boring. In fact, we had a chat with Tom about the most interesting dishes he can think of to help us stay "healthful".
Now it's January, what should we eat?
"I love artichoke shaved raw in a salad, braised with a veal ragu, roasted with chicken livers, or deep fried with aioli," says Tom. "Or clementines. They are great juiced and added to salad dressings, or burnt and then squeezed over mozzarella with some toasted walnuts. If you really want change up your winter salad, blood oranges are great scattered over bitter leaves like rocket and watercress."
So what's the best thing Tom can suggest we cook at home to bring us back to life after a bit of a blow-out? An Asian broth, that's what.
Tom says: “After a period of indulgence I will always make a broth to cleanse the body. Kombu [kelp] and bonito dashi, shiitake, udon and fried tofu is perfect.
"The dashi broth has the umami-rich flavours of the kombu, a light smokiness from the bonito and a lovely depth of the shiitake mushrooms. With the addition of iron greens and tofu for protein leave you with a lean, clean dinner.”
Trust us, it’ll be worth it.
Kombu & bonito dashi, shiitake, udon & fried tofu
(Serves 2 as a main)
- 1litre water
- 20g sheet of kombu, cut into 10cm ribbons
- 30g bonito (smoked fish) flakes
- 160g fresh shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced
- 300g firm tofu
- 250g mustard greens cut into 10cm pieces (kale would do as a substitute)
- 4tbsp soy sauce
- 400g udon noodles (fresh if possible)
- Warm the water with kombu over a medium heat.
- When it just starts to simmer take out kombu and set aside.
- Allow the stock to cool slightly add the bonito and slowly bring up to a simmer, simmer for 30 seconds and the take off the heat and allow to cool.
- Strain the stock into a clean pan (you can save the remaining stock for another time).
- Add the soy to the stock and simmer with the shiitake for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile slice the tofu into half-inch (12mm) slices, dry on kitchen paper and pan fry until golden on each side.
- In a pot of boiling water cook the udon for 1 minute and drain. In the same water cook the greens for 2 minutes and drain.
- To serve, divide the noodles into the bottom of two ramen bowls, divide the greens, lay the slices of tofu to one side.
- Pour over the hot dashi and divide the mushrooms.
- Finish with a pinch of bonito flakes on top.
Carrot & ginger drinking vinegar
Tom says: "To give the body a good kick many swear by drinking vinegars, like this carrot and ginger one (Miranda Kerr’s a fan, FYI) the ginger contains anti-inflammatory gingerols and carrots for liver-friendly vitamin A. Try a small glass each day and see how you feel.”
- 450g carrots
- 30g grated ginger
- 225g unrefined sugar
- 250ml apple cider vinegar
- Wash and puree in a food processor, no need to peel.
- Mix with the ginger and apple cider vinegar then pour into glass or plastic container and store at room temperature for 2 days.
- After 2 days pass the mixture through a piece of cheesecloth, squeezing out as much juice as possible.
- Mix the liquid with the sugar and pour into a jar.
- Refrigerate and shake the jar until the sugar is dissolved.