Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Japanese Inspiration

This week I have turned to Japan for my inspiration - I know I have some Japanese readers, so first let me say that my dish is by no means traditional and I am far from being a proficient Japanese cook - I just love the food! This recipe is just my Gourmet Goddess take on some Japenese flavours, using some beautiful salmon, a selection of yummy seasonal mushrooms, Soba (buckwheat) noodles, seaweed and vegetable broth.

This dish was very easy to make, but don't be limited to what I put together. You could substitute any kind of firm fish for the salmon, different stock, another variety of noodles (Ramen would be great) or other vegetables. Whatever is in season and fresh. I took advantage of the great mushrooms around at the moment, mixing Shitake, Enokki, Swiss Brown and Oyster mushrooms for more complex flavours and textures. I used bought stock for convenience, but of course you could make your own.

A selection of mushrooms for the dish - 
Shitake, Swiss Brown, Oyster and Enokki

You will find the Nori (seaweed) , Mirin (cooking wine) and Soba noodles at most Asian grocery stores - ask them to point you toward the Japanese ingredient section. This dish serves 2 people and took around 40 minutes to make - the fiddliest part was pulling all of the bones from the salmon with tweezers. So here is what I ended up with - a lovely healthy dish with lots of flavour, and a little touch of Japan. And for my Japenese readers - あなたの夕食を楽しみなさい! (That's "enjoy your dinner!" for the rest of us)

Crispy Salmon with Nori
Soba noodles & mushroom broth

You will need: 2 pieces of salmon fillet – skin and bones removed, 1 sheet nori (sushi seaweed) , 3 cups vegetable stock, 1 whole clove garlic, about 6 generous slices fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese cooking wine), ½ cup finely sliced spring onion, about 2 cups sliced mushrooms (use a combination if you can – I used Shitake, Enokki, Swiss Brown and Oyster mushrooms), 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (and some extra to pan fry the fish) 2 teaspoons sesame oil, about 80g of Japanese Soba (buckwheat) noodles. Most are sold in packs that contain bundles of noodles – I used 1 bundle, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, soy sauce to serve.

Method: First, Cut you salmon into 3 pieces lengthways – this will give you 6 pieces. Now cut the nori in half, and then each half into 3 pieces. This will give you 6 pieces of nori.

Wrap a piece of nori around the salmon – you can make it stick by using a little bit of warm water as “glue”. Do this for all of the salmon. Set aside.

Now, make the broth - Add the mirin, garlic and ginger to the vegetable stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic clove and the ginger

Add the noodles and cook until just tender. Remove the noodles from the stock and place them in 2 serving bowls. Be sure to keep the stock!

In a hot frypan, add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and the sesame oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for about a minute (you want them to still have a decent amount of shape and firmness) Arrange the mushrooms in the serving bowls with the noodles. Wipe out the frypan, ready to cook the salmon.

Pour a little vegetable oil into the hot pan. Cook the salmon for about about minute or so, until it is cooked through and slightly golden turning gently.

Pour the broth over the noodles and the mushrooms, place the salmon on the top of the noodles and garnish with spring onion and sesame seeds. Drizzle over a little bit of soy sauce just prior to serving.

Serves 2.


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