You might be thinking it's counter-productive to search for fast food recipes you can try at home because, well, the point of this brand of cuisine is that it's fast and convenient — you won't have to wait a lot for your orders to be served. Still, as you've indulged in these selections we've all basically grown up with, have you really never wondered how these establishments created these flavours that are distinctly their own? Original fast food recipes never fail — they've stayed mostly the same since our childhood, so enjoying them is another nostalgic experience in itself. So which spices, ingredients, and cooking methods make them truly work? Attempt to capture the flavours you love in your own kitchen with the following fast food recipes that re-create iconic dishes.
IKEA's Swedish Meatballs
A run to IKEA isn't complete without a bite of their signature Swedish Meatballs. Who knew that the savoury meat and the sweetness of the jam work together perfectly when balanced with the cream sauce? Granted, you can just buy the ready-made ingredients for the dish, but those wanting to completely replicate the iconic dish at home would be glad to know that the Swedish brand actually released the official recipe card for their meatballs and cream sauce. Sadly, this doesn't include DIY instructions of their lingonberry jam (and it doesn't seem like these wild berries can be easily found in our warm region either). Still, you can always just grab a jar of it in their stores or use a different kind of jam that would give you a similar tartness to contrast the rich flavours. This way, you get to skip hours and hours of tedious simmering.
Tip: IKEA's recipe calls for an additional 250g pork mince on top of 500g beef mince. Make it halal by switching the pork with chicken or just going with pure 750g beef.
Sure, the Filipino fast-food chain has made available their marinated ready-to-cook chicken cuts since lockdown started in some areas of the Philippines — all you'll really need is to figure out its breading but a bite of meat has the distinct aroma of Chickenjoy. Still, won't you take on the challenge and try to capture the signature flavours of Jollibee from scratch? Food vlogger Erwan Heussaff had long tried to re-create everyone's birthday party fave. Follow his recipe and see for yourself if it's as close enough to the original as he says.
Tip: Former workers of the fast-food chain have commented below the video that they used to dip the chicken in ice-cold water for a few seconds before breading. Why not try their advice to see if that would really result in a crispier and juicier piece?
McDonald's Chicken McNuggets
Speaking of iconic fast food dishes, another great contender for one of the best chicken recipes is perhaps the one created for McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. Imagine taking a bite of this crispy treat, dipped in the smokey tangy flavour of barbecue sauce. Good thing is that this bite-sized treasure is completely easy to recreate at home; just follow Cooking A Dream's instructions on YouTube. Quick and fuss-free, all you'll need is a food processor (or simply grab a pound of ground chicken meat if you don't have one at home), celery, garlic, white pepper, and the perfect batter mix for your at-home McNuggets. The recipe calls for chicken breast, but if you can get ahold of it, try incorporating thigh fillets instead as they pack a richer flavour.
Tip: You can dip it in a classic barbecue sauce or the SG-favourite curry sauce, but for a twist, how about re-creating their limited-edition Szechuan sauce? Released back in 1998 to coincide with Mulan's premiere, the legendary sauce that accompanied McNuggets was made popular again a few years back with the dark comedy cartoon series, Rick and Morty.
We're dealing with fast food recipes, so obviously, how can we forget to include one for french fries? Most, if not all, fast food chains from all over the globe serve their own rendition of this staple — thin strips, wedged, dusted with fun flavours, or simply salted — you'll find that there are a hundred ways to cook these sides. Arguably one of the best is KFC's with their famous thickly cut fries that are generously seasoned. Of course, it's not likely that they'll be releasing the Colonel's secret blend of spices any time soon, but we have found an angel in the form of Kitchen Big Time's channel, which openly shared their copycat recipe for the famed spuds.
Tip: These chips are good enough as they are. Still, if you want to amp the flavours up, drizzle some KFC-style gravy and cheese on top à la poutine.
Those craving for burgers, on the other hand, can attempt to try MOS Burger in your own kitchen. The Japanese chain's number one burger dish is extra meatier thanks to its piping hot meat sauce. Not only does it pack more umami, but this signature sauce also incorporates carrots and tomatoes for a more balanced meal. Party Kitchen shared their own take on the burger. Sticking close to MOS' style, they topped the freshly grilled patty with raw white onions before pouring over the sweet and sour sauce. This ingenious combination of the sloppy joe and the classic burger makes this so totally worth the cop.
Tip: Swop the regular bread bun with MOS' famed rice patties. Simply mould steamed rice into buns and lightly toast them on sesame oil. Check out Cooking With Dog's recipe for more details.
(Cover photo from: ikea.com/sg)