Friday, June 14, 2013

jamie oliver's koh samui salad

I once again caught an episode of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Minute Meals where he made the most delicious looking Thai street food inspired salad he calls Koh Samui Salad. I quickly jotted notes on how much of what he used and felt like this was definitely something we would all really enjoy trying. The plan was to initially have this as a weeknight dinner, but since most of the ingredients have longevity in the fridge, I had to keep putting it back - eventually until this past Sunday.

In order to make this salad I had to stop around the local Asian grocery for dried kaffir lime leaves and also picked up the basil and mint here as well (since they sell huge bunches for a buck). I also decided that I needed to give Jamie another chance on his claim of being able to make these meals in fifteen minutes. My last attempt at making his 15 Minute Chicken Fajitas found me in the kitchen for 3 times that amount of time. This time I decided to get everything mise en place, the way Jamie begins each episode. I noticed Jamie just whacks all his produce into his recipes (stems and all), and I can't really cook like that. I need to wash and scrub all my produce thoroughly and prep ingredients till I'm satisfied. I eventually had everything together in the kitchen for this meal in half an hour. Once the kettle came to a boil I started the 15 minute timer and got to work.

Things were looking really promising, I got as far as finishing the noodles, the dressing and the sliced veggies when the clock sounded. One snag that delayed the time limit was that there was just too much food to find a proper platter to mix everything. I ended up finding a huge catering platter which fit the bill, but be forewarned, this recipe yields a ton of food. I'd say this feeds 6 people - not 4.

Because we were going to eat this dinner for a picnic I mixed the dressing over the noodles and sliced carrots, cucumber and radishes and left it to marinade in the fridge. I kept the cabbage and fennel
in a separate container. Then in a third container I had the tofu and cold shrimp marinating in the chili sauce. And in a small zip top baggie I had the crunchy topping of sesame seeds and peanuts. This dinner was quite ideal for dining outdoors/picnicking because we found it was best made ahead to be served cool or room temperature.

Now, I used one very tiny Thai red chilli (thin & 1 inch long) and upon tasting the dressing it had some real heat. Honestly, this dinner was way too spicy for Owen. The flavours did mellow over time but we opted to pick up a slice of Hawaiian pizza for Owen just in case.

Once complete this salad was delicious. Every little detail and element of this salad was just perfect together. Of course, any time you cook a Jamie Oliver recipe you can expect to use more ingredients than usual and spend more time in the kitchen than you may be used to. To be honest, this meal took 2 hours from start to finish (from prep to complete clean-up). But the big pay off is in the flavour, just like all his other recipes, this one is just fantastic and we enjoyed the rest of the evening satisfied.

After dinner we walked to the park and then walked along the beach. I love evenings like these! 

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