Food & Drink

Former "Fat Chef" Gordon Ramsay Tells Us How to Cut Calories But Not Flavor

Former "Fat Chef" Gordon Ramsay Tells Us How to Cut Calories But Not Flavor
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Gordon Ramsay—renowned chef, author, TV personality, and lover of vulgar language—has a new favorite toy: the airfryer. For those unfamiliar, this kitchen appliance rapidly circulates hot air around your food of choice, effectively searing the outside and leaving the inside tender. It has the same effect as roasting or pan-searing, but eliminates the need for fats, like olive oil. 

Last night, Ramsay teamed up with Philips, the company behind his favorite airfryer ($200; williams-sonoma.com), to show a few lucky foodies how to master the machine. "I was a fat chef," explained the now-svelte Ramsay, who whipped up a hearty veggie salad followed by a tiger shrimp and glass noodle dish. In between chiffonading mint and whisking a ginger marinade, Ramsay gave his top tips for maintaining amazing flavor without overdoing it on fat and sodium. Below, his top three tips. 

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1. Add citrus, skip the salt. Ramsay advises adding lemon and lime juice and zest to veggies, like beets, cauliflower, and carrots, instead of adding more salt—which helps maintain all of the flavor without the sodium. His daughter Tilly (one of four children, with a fifth on the way!) likes to dry citrus zest and grind it into a powder for seasoning.

2. Pour some honey on it. 
Since honey is a thickening agent, Ramsay suggests adding it to marinades in order to eliminate the need for more oil. Plus, it adds a nice natural sweetness to any dish.

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3. Butterfly your shrimp. 
"To get shrimp less rubbery, we butterfly them, and they cook twice as quickly," says Ramsay. The speedy cook time yields the perfect exterior sear and a tender interior, which means the tiny crustaceans require less flavor in the form of unhealthy fats like butter. Ramsay marinades his shrimp with a bit of espelette oil ($16; surlatable.com), lemon, and lime zest, and just a touch of salt and pepper.

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