I’ve just discovered Ocado. What an amazing thing it is. It’s especially amazing the first time you shop as you get £20 off, when spending over £80. That was pretty easily done for me. I had a fantastic time searching random chefs names and seeing what came up so that I could put it in my basket. There were a number of things I didn’t know existed before, so they’re now in the fridge or freezer waiting for a review. All my concerns over running out of things to write about have been dashed as I have enough products now to take me to the end of the year. Thanks Ocado.
I was pretty giddy to see a new scratch meal, as I’ve been a big fan of them ever since I first spied their Chicken Thai Green Curry (that blog has been one of the most popular ones I’ve written – largely because of the potted history of the Roux empire). Now they have created this new duck dish, and also a range of desserts, so there’ll be a review of one of them coming soon.
I got stuck into cooking the Nuoc Nam a mere minutes after Lee from Ocado had dropped it off. Ocado like you to know the name of the person delivering your shopping, they also like you to know the registration plate number and the design on the van too. Lee was driving a van with lemons on it. I liked Lee, he was very friendly. In fact all things considered I liked the whole Ocado experience. If I got £20 off every shop I’d do it every week.
One of the things I loved about Scratch meals was the jokes you found scattered about the packaging so I got to scouring for them… alas they’ve all but gone! That made me a bit sad. There was a real joy in the light hearted approach, perhaps the supermarkets weren’t keen on the jokey persona and as the company has grown they’ve been forced to tone it down. I guess it’s the quality of the food that really matters though and not the quality of the jokes.
As with all Scratch meals the Duck Nuoc Nam is really easy to make. The duck fries for a couple of mins, add the onion and chilli and fry for a couple more mins, add the sauce and stir in the beansprouts, spring onions and almonds and it’s done!
Michel Roux Sr says “Vietnamese food is carefully balanced using five elements: salty, spicy, bitter, sour and sweet. This dish reflects the approach inspired by authentic Vietnamese chefs”. He tells no lies – this dish is delicious and the sauce certainly does have an excellent balance of all those flavour profiles. The duck was incredibly tender, the rice was a perfect al dente, and there was a great crunch from the beansprouts. There’s just a couple of things that loses him points:
1. Portion size – this was a meal for two and I could quite easily have eaten all the duck and sauce in one portion, at least there was plenty of rice to fill me up a bit.
2. I got no almonds in my pack! According to the instructions they should have been in there with the beansprouts and spring onions somewhere, but I didn’t get any and I would have liked some!
Overall though Scratch meals have come up with a winner and I’m looking forward to my dessert.
Michel Roux Sr Cook from Scratch Vietnamese Duck Nuoc Nam £6.99