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Fiery Noodle Salad

Before Christmas I got hooked on Jamie Oliver’s new show – Jamie’s Meals in Minutes. I’m sure by now it’s no secret that I have a wee crush on Jamie Oliver. I think Kyle’s okay with this since it transforms into awesome meals that he gets to enjoy. I’ve never been disappointed by any dish I’ve made based on Jamie Oliver’s recipes, but I was even more excited about the premise of the show: a full course dinner (main and sides), plus usually a dessert, all on the table in about 30 minutes; from start to finish. And no “pre-made” crap goes into this, it’s all real good food. He explains that with  some organization and planning ahead of time, you can bang out home-cooked meals every night.

So, after watching nearly every episode by mid-November, I was pining over the cookbook. I tried a number of the meals that were on the show from memory, but I knew there were going to be lots of other delicious meals in the book. Luckily I got it as a gift from Kyle’s dad, step-mom & sister (thanks guys!), and ever since we’ve been cooking up fantastic meals fairly quickly. (Jamie reminds people in the introduction that the first time cooking a meal may take a bit longer than 30 minutes while you get the hang of it and are reading the recipe, but after cooking something once or twice the meals should be on the table in no time)

This book is so good, that I stopped “tagging” the recipes I wanted to try (as I usually do as I read through cookbooks) because I was tagging every single page. Which means I’ve resolved to just make everything in the book – I’m not complaining. This Fiery Noodle Salad is a quick dish that I made for a couple friends and Kyle back in the fall – it’s simple enough that I didn’t need a recipe to remind myself what’s in it. I also served it with the Chicken Satay skewers that he made along with it on his show (also very tasty and easy). This salad is great for leftovers since you can pack some away for lunch – maybe add some more leftover or rotisserie chicken or black beans for some protein.

Fiery Noodle Salad

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes by Jamie Oliver

227 grams (8oz) steamed Chinese egg noodles (found in refrigerated section of grocery store)
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1/2 small red onion, small diced
2 fresh chiles, mince 1 and slice the remaining chile
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 scallions, sliced
juice from 1-2 limes
1 Tbsp light soy sauce (like Kikkoman)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp honey

Boil the noodles as per directions (about 2-3 minutes), drain and rinse under cold water; place noodles into a large serving bowl. Add the red onion, the minced chiles, cilantro and scallions to the noodles. Lightly toss to combine.

Drizzle the soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, fish sauce and honey over the noodles. Toss everything together making sure all the noodles are coated with the “dressing” – I find this is much easier to do with your hands. (Alternately you can mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl first, then pour the mixed dressing over the noodles…but this just creates more mess, so I skip this step)

Meanwhile, toast the cashews over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until you can start to smell them and they start to get some colour; shaking the pan a few times while they toast. If you like, you can either roughly chop the cashews or leave them whole.

Top the salad with the cashews and chile slices. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Serve 4-6.

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