Wait what, the Hair salon?
Yes, today we’re going to make the famous and very delicious ‘Kapsalon’. Kapsalon literally means ‘Hairsalon’. It is a dish with a story.
Kapsalon is a fast food dish created in 2003 in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, consisting of a layer of French fries placed into a disposable metal take-away tray, topped with shawarma meat, covered with slices of Gouda cheese, and heated in an oven until the cheese melts. Then a layer of shredded iceberg lettuce is added, dressed with garlic sauce and sambal, a hot sauce from the former Dutch colony of Indonesia. The dish has spread internationally in a relatively short time.
The dish was conceived by Nathaniël Gomes, a Cape Verdian hairdresser, who one day at the neighboring take away asked to combine all his favorite ingredients into one dish. He began regularly to request what the restaurant called “the usual order for the kapsalon“. Other customers noticed and started to order the kapsalon too, and it became a “hit”, soon being demanded in nearby snack bars. The dish has since spread around to other countries. In some places the shawarma meat may be replaced with fish, chicken, or doner kebab meat. The kapsalon has been described as “a typical example of contemporary cultural heritage.” It has also been described as a “calorie bomb” and “culinary lethal weapon”, with high fat content and up to 1,800 kilocalories (7,531 kJ) in a large serving.
To know the story of the origins of a dish is fun but to eat it, it’s just good, cheap, quick to put together and did I mention that it is really good? And I …oop…. made a vegan and less rich in calories version of the Kapsalon.
What will you need for 2 portions?
- 3 or 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
- some olive oil (for the fries)
- 1 red bell pepper, cut in small cubes
- 1 red onion, chopped
- some kind of veggie balls or falafel, I use 5 per person
- 2 tomatoes, cut into cubes
- 1 cup lettuce, what kind you like, shredded
- ¼ of a cucumber, in small cubes or in bigger half rounds or … how you like it!
- (vegan) garlic sauce, store bought or self-made (if you like I’ll share that recipe too)
How to make this extraordinary dish?
- preheat the oven to 200°C or about 400 F
- put the French fries on a baking plate covered with baking paper and drizzle some olive oil over the fries. Shove them in the oven for 25’ to 30’ and no worries!
- about 10’ before the fries are done you prepare the falafel and on the other side of the pan, you fry the onions with the bell pepper until they’re soft. When this is done, the fries should be done too.
How to create the real Kapsalon?
- you start by putting the fries on a plate (or a take away dish if you want it to be the real thing)
- then you add the paprika with the onion
- put the falafel on top of it
- now you put the veggies (lettuce, cucumber and tomato) over the other ingredients. You’ll see you’re creating a kind of a mountain here when using a plate.
- drizzle with garlic sauce to finish the real Kapsalon.
You should try it out, if you don’t know it yet, you’ll be hooked!