Yesterday, at a surprise baby shower (a great success, by the way), I enjoyed the glorious English tradition of afternoon tea, with a slightly less traditional glass of fizz. Feasting on finger sandwiches, scones and clotted cream was an incredibly pleasant way to while away the hours before the long winter night set in. However, after all of that utter decadence my evening meal had to be something well behaved and virtuous.
When I’m after something tasty but virtuous my mind always turns to Japanese food. I am by no means an expert in this area, I’ve never been to Japan (although I’d love to go, if it didn’t involve being on a plane for a ridiculous amount of time) but I have eaten enough Japanese food to know that I love it!
This dish is not in any way authentic but it does bring together a few of my favourite flavours and ingredients in a way that is super tasty and incredibly easy to prepare after a hard day of jamming scones into your face.
The most crucial element here is the sesame crusted salmon. Light soy sauce and honey are warmed together until they form a sticky glaze, not only adding amazing flavour to the salmon but providing the glue for a bevy of sesame seeds (in this case black sesame seeds but normal white ones would taste just as good, they’d just provide less of a colour contrast) After 20 minutes wrapped in foil in the oven, the salmon will flake beautifully and provide the perfect contrast to the sticky sushi rice.
It’s then just a matter of adding a little of what you fancy to your sushi bowl. I’ll always opt for a little avocado, and spring onions are a must, but here I’ve also added some ripped up seaweed sheets and grated carrot. I’d also have liked some finely sliced fresh chilli, but my local supermarket let me down yet again! Other nice additions could include finely sliced radish and blanched edemame or green beans. The world is your oyster!
Sesame Crusted Salmon & Sushi Rice Bowl
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp honey (I used set honey but runny is ok too)
2 salmon fillets
2 – 3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 cup sushi rice
1 1/2 cups of cold water
1 tbsp light soy sauce
4 spring onions
1 large carrot
1 sheet roasted seaweed
Preheat the oven to 210 C / 190 C Fan / 410 F.
Add the soy sauce and honey to a small saucepan and put it over a medium heat. Bring to the boil stirring frequently, and simmer for a few minutes until it starts to become syrupy. Pour the syrup into a cereal bowl.
Now it’s time to thoroughly rinse the rice to remove the excess starch. Start by putting the rice into a bowl and covering it with water. Leave it to soak for 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes stir the rice with your fingers and then pour the water away whilst keeping the rice in the bowl with your hand (don’t pour too quickly!) Pour in more water, stir and drain again, then do this 5 – 6 more times until the water runs clear.
Put the drained rice in a medium pan with 1 1/2 cups of cold water. Put on the lid and put the pan on a high heat until the water boils, do not remove the lid! Once it has boiled put it on a very low heat for 10 minutes (again don’t remove the lid). Next remove the pan from the heat but don’t remove the lid, leave it to steam for 15 minutes.
Whilst the rice is simmering you can get on with the salmon. The syrup should have cooled slightly, so now add the salmon fillets to the dish and thoroughly coat them in the syrup. Leave them for 5 minutes so that they soak it up a little. Now remove them from the dish and cover them in sesame seeds (the easiest way to do this is by covering a small plate with the seeds and rolling the salmon around on top of the seeds) Wrap the fillets loosely in tin foil, drizzling any left over syrup into the package. Put the salmon into the oven for 20 mins.
Grate the carrot, finely slice the spring onions, rip up the seaweed and slice the avocado,
When the rice has finished its steaming time squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and a tbsp of light soy sauce and give it a good stir.
Share the rice between 2 bowls and top with the salmon and vegetables. Enjoy!