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11 Takeout Favorites That Take Less Time to Cook than Delivery

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Up until a few weeks ago, there were several things I had never even considered making at home:

  1. The bacon, egg, and cheese bagel from my corner bodega (it's a gooey masterpiece).
  2. Orange chicken—my Panda Express love runs too deep, and do I really want to know how its made?
  3. The cold-busting Thai perfection that is Tom Kha Gai.

Each of these recipes, I reasoned, were too complicated and too delicious for me to go about ruining them and I was more than happy to order them in on special (too-lazy-to-put-on-pants-and-go-to-the-store) occasions and contribute to New York City's tradition of takeout. That is, until I made Tom Kha Gai last week.

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Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)
Thai Coconut Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

When I clicked on the recipe, expecting to find a tome's worth of spices and ingredients, what I instead found was a short list of produce and very few spices—all of which I already had in my pantry. The best part, though, was the 25-minute cook time. That's it. In less time than it would have taken me to wait for a (much more expensive) carton of lukewarm soup, I had a piping hot bowl of Tom Kha Gai, seasoned to my preferences, and just as delicious as any I'd had at Thai restaurants.

Within the week, I took advantage of my I-can-make-takeout-at-home epiphany to make orange chicken and the perfect BEC. Here are 10 other recipes that take less time than a delivery order (20 minutes tops, that is):

5 Minutes:

Egg in a Bagel Hole
Egg in a Bagel Hole
Garlicky Stir-Fried Pea Shoots (Da Dou Miao)
Garlicky Stir-Fried Pea Shoots (Da Dou Miao)

10 Minutes:

Spicy, Peanutty Udon with Kale
Spicy, Peanutty Udon with Kale
Grilled Tofu with Vietnamese-Style Dipping Sauce
Grilled Tofu with Vietnamese-Style Dipping Sauce
Chinese Broccoli Salad with Sesame Sriracha Dressing
Chinese Broccoli Salad with Sesame Sriracha Dressing

20 Minutes:

Homemade Takeout: Orange Chicken
Homemade Takeout: Orange Chicken
Tahini Noodles
Tahini Noodles
Weeknight Soy Sauce-y, Peanut-y Tofu
Weeknight Soy Sauce-y, Peanut-y Tofu
Kimchi Fried Rice
Kimchi Fried Rice
Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles
Citrus Ginger Tofu Salad with Buckwheat Soba Noodles

What is a go-to takeout order you wish took less time to cook at home? Tell us in the comments below!


Tags: takeout