With all the summery weather we’ve been having it seems like the perfect time to start eating lighter, simpler suppers and sharing delicious picnics out in the sun. Here are a few ideas to keep your summer menus fresh and interesting – there’s no need to turn up with the same old potato salad or supermarket-brand pre-prepared picnic food…
Asian salad dressings are easy to make and can spice up any picnic or barbeque. Rather than using olive oil and lemon juice, try replacing them with
groundnut oil – a very delicate flavour
rice vinegar (which can also be used for sushi rice)
a dash of soy sauce
a few drops of sesame oil
grated fresh ginger/wasabi
chopped red chili (optional)
a little brown sugar
You can use the dressing on any salad leaves, adding a good few handfuls of bean sprouts, grated carrot, edamame/sugarsnap beans, salad onions, shredded mooli, and perhaps some cooked prawns or chicken. To make a more substantial salad, try adding some glass noodles, which you only need to blanch in boiling water, and are delicious served cold. Also, to add some crunch, top with a few wasabi peas or sesame sticks – delicious.
If you really can’t imagine summer parties without potato salad…try making this simple Japanese version with Japanese mayonnaise (such as Kewpie), which is made with rice vinegar rather than distilled. It is very subtle, creamy and versatile, a perfect dish to accompany hot or cold dishes. All you need apart from the cooked potatoes are some cooked chopped carrots, peas, sliced hard boiled eggs and very thinly sliced raw red onion. Then use a few spoonfuls of Japanese Mayonnaise, add a little salt and pepper and chill until serving.
Simple Summer Salmon
This dish is perfect for eating on warm evenings, the cold noodles are refreshing and the miso salmon is very tasty.
Marinate salmon fillets in the following ingredients overnight:
225g white miso paste
Cook 150g soba or buckwheat noodles and drain, rinsing in cold water and draining again.
Grill the salmon about 5-6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily.
Garnish the noodles with some chopped spring onion, seaweed flakes and wasabi to taste.
Serve with the salmon and steamed tender-stem broccoli.