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The most cost-effective world cuisine to cook at home

With UK food inflation prices continuing to rise many of us will be looking to find the most cost-effective meals to cook at home for the family, without compromising taste, flavours and authenticity.
Written by: Kelly Choi
The most cost-effective world cuisine to cook at home

What is the most cost effective cuisine to cook at home? 

This study was conducted by Kelly Loves, Asian drink, snack and sushi kit specialists. If you’d like to use graphics or data from the study, please get in touch.

With UK food inflation prices continuing to rise many of us will be looking to find the most cost-effective meals to cook at home for the family, without compromising taste, flavours and authenticity. The price of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 17.4% in the year to June 2023, according to ONS and their latest consumer price index.

This was down from 18.4% in May and from a high of 19.2% in March, which was the highest annual inflation rate for over 45 years.

As it was found that more than half of adults (51%) in Great Britain said they were buying less food when food shopping in the past two weeks. We wanted to find out the most cost-effective cuisines to make at home. We took 5 of the most popular, global dishes in the UK, from each cuisine and looked at the average price of the ingredients needed to recreate the recipes at home. 

According to our data, Korean food is the most affordable, with a dish on average costing £2.69 per portion and £10.79 for a family of four - over half the price of the UK’s favourite Chinese dish - the chow-mein.

This is great for fans of Korean cuisine - which has risen in popularity over the past few years due to its pop culture influence and experiential dining with its street-focused offering.

Key Tasty Takeaways 

These were the top 5 cuisines and their most popular dishes based upon the categories available from takeaway giants Deliveroo and UberEats

  • Korean dishes including fried chicken, green onion pajeon, bibimbap, bulgogi and tteokbokki, were found to be the cheapest to recreate at home at £10.79 for a family of four (£2.69 per portion).
  • Japanese dishes such as sushi, ramen, chicken katsu curry, yakitori and soba are the second most budget-friendly to make at home at an average of £3.24 or £12.98 for four.
  • Mediterranean recipes are middle of the range at approximately £3.41 per person or £13.66 for four portions of pizza, moussaka, fish and chips, gyros or fettuccine alfredo. 
  • Indian cuisine may be a little more on the pricey side, with meals such as chicken tikka masala, chicken korma, lamb rogan josh, madras and jalfrezi, setting you back around £4.39 per person or £17.57 for a family of four. 
  • Chinese food was found to be the most expensive, at £21.57 (£5.39 per portion) for the likes of chow mein, sweet and sour pork, Peking duck, kung pao chicken, and dim sum. 

After we found that Korean food was the most cost-effective cuisine to make at home, we wanted to determine which particular dish was the cheapest to make at home. We analysed five dishes across each cuisine to find out the top ten dishes and their cost to make for a family of four.

Pizza was the most budget-friendly dish to create from scratch at £1.10 a portion, due to the use of simple ingredients such as flour, eggs, tomatoes and cheese. This was followed by Korean green onion pajeon (£1.76), Japanese yakitori (£1.97) and finally Chinese favourite, chow mein (£2.11). 

Katsu curry cost a mere £3.64 per portion, making it three times cheaper than paying for the same dish at popular Japanese restaurant, Wagamamas, which costs £9.75 a dish.

At the other end of the scale, Chinese dim sum was the most expensive dish at £8.14 per portion - 8 times more expensive than pizza. This was followed by Chinese kung poa chicken (£6.95), Indian classic, lamb rogan josh (£6.58) and finally Greek favourite moussaka (£5.70). All of these dishes include fish or more expensive meat, such as lamb, as their key ingredient. 

Please find some of the most popular Korean recipes to recreate at home here: https://kellyloves.com/blogs/recipes

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