The height of summer is upon us, and that means the best of Ontario’s produce is ripe and ready.
In my basket this week I picked up a bunch of cilantro, cucumbers, scallions, young garlic and plenty of salad greens and string beans.
One of my favourite quickie summer meals is a cold rice noodle bowl with a bit of hot protein on top. Sometimes it’s shredded BBQ/roasted chicken leftovers but today I decided to marinade and grill a nice pork tenderloin that’s been keeping in the freezer.
If you don’t eat meat, I’d suggest baked tofu as your protein. This recipe will feed two, or a big eater for dinner and tomorrow’s lunch.
Thai-Style Grilled Pork/Chicken
A Recipe for Two
1 lbs pork (tenderloin or shoulder) or chicken (breast or thigh) cut against the grain into 1-inch thick bite-sized pieces/cubes
2 tablespoons finely-chopped cilantro roots and steams (save the leaves for garnish)
1 extra large garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon white peppercorn
5 tablespoons maple syrup or runny (melted) honey
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
Sesame or peanut oil for grilling
Sesame seeds or chopped peanuts to garnish
Marinade the meat…
- Combine cilantro, garlic and peppercorns until it is a fine paste
- Coat and toss the hunks of meat
- Add maple syrup/honey, fish sauce, soya sauce and oyster sauce
- Toss to coat once more
- Leave to marinade for 1/2 an hour to overnight (but if you’re in a hurry, don’t worry too much, just go for the grill)
- Bring a cast-iron grill or pan up to high heat
- Add a layer of sesame or peanut oil and bring the heat down to medium heat. The pan will should start to smoke a little bit, so turn on your stove vent!
- Add the pieces of meat, careful not to overcrowd the pieces (keep space between them)
- Grill each piece on either side for approximately 4 minutes each side, keeping careful that the meat isn’t sticking and burning
- After each side is grilled, remove the meat from the pan and sprinkle with sesame seeds
- Squirt with lime juice if you’d like!
Cold Noodle Salad
A Recipe for Two
200 grams of flat rice vermicelli, or round rice or soba noodles
1 cup of cucumber that’s been cut into thin matchsticks
1 cup of radish that’s been cut into thin matchsticks (optional)
2 skinny spring onions, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons of tahini
3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons of sesame seeds or chopped peanuts
1 handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped roughly
- Cook the noodles as per the package instructions and the noodles are al dente
- Strain the noodles and rinse in cold water to remove the starch
- Strain most of the extra water out with a shake
- Lay the noodles out flat on a plate to cool and settle
In a large bowl…
- Whisk tahini until smooth
- Drizzle in rice wine vinegar, syrup and sesame oil
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Taste again! Do you like it? Too sweet? Too acidic? Add either syrup, vinegar or oil as you see fit.
- Add the noodles and vegetables
- Use your hands to coat everything in dressing (or use a large spoon, because tongs will crush the noodles)
- Taste again and season as you see fit
- Garnish with torn coriander and sesame seeds/chopped peanuts
Put your feet up and enjoy with a squirt of Sriracha sauce.