Speedy togarashi salmon

What on earth is togarashi I hear you cry? It’s a Japanese combination of spices which is warming with a citrus note so it is perfect with salmon and chicken. This recipe allows the togarashi to speak for itself so keep it simple, there’s no point using such a great ingredient if you can’t taste it! I bought the mix at http://www.souschef.co.uk so give it a go and keep in the cupboard for a quick dinner fix.

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Ingredients- serves 2
2 boneless salmon fillets
1 tbsp dark soy
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp togarashi

1. Start off by lining a baking try with foil and drizzling a small amount of vegetable oil over it to prevent the salmon from sticking. Nobody wants salmon that’s been wrenched off the tray! Combine the soy, mirin and honey in a small bowl and marinade the salmon for between 20- 30 minutes.

2. When you are ready to cook the salmon, simply remove the fillets from the bowl and place on the tray. Sprinkle over the togarashi before popping in the oven on a 180c/ 160 fan heat for 15-18 minutes until the salmon is cooked through.

Serve with noodles or rice and a side dish of your choice. Asian greens that have been lightly stir fried and finished with a little sesame oil are delicious here.

Togarashi salmon- quick, easy and a great introduction to a new combination of flavours!

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Beef ramen with tamago eggs

If there’s one meal sure to perk up your day or restore you  if you’re feeling under the weather then it’s this! A big, steaming bowl of noodles suspended in a delicate broth is just what the doctor ordered. Be creative with the vegetables you use, I have used a classic combination but also think about what is in season as well. Ramen is traditionally served with pork, chicken or tofu so I have given it a twist by using beef.

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Ingredients- serves 2
For the tamago eggs
2 large eggs
100ml soy sauce
100ml cold water
Splash of mirin
1cm ginger- sliced
1 garlic clove- sliced

For the broth
1 litre dashi stock
3 tbsp brown miso paste
1 garlic clove- crushed
1cm piece ginger- grated
Handful shitake mushrooms and/or enoki- sliced
3 spring onions- shredded
1 beef steak- sirloin or skirt work well
Small packet of ramen or udon noodles
Handful of beansprouts per person
Handful of Asian greens such as choy sum per person
1 small red chilli- deseeded and sliced

1. First thing’s first! You need to get cracking (get it?!) on the eggs in advance if you can. Simply boil the eggs for 5 minutes until they are soft boiled and plunge them into cold water to stop them cooking further. Allow to cool until you can handle them enough to peel the shells. Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat the soy, water, mirin, ginger and garlic and bring to a boil. When it boils take it straight off the heat and allow to cool. When the soy mixture has cooled place into a freezer bag and drop the eggs into it. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal to allow the eggs to marinade for 6 hours before using.

2. For the broth I recommend getting hold of ready made dashi stock (unless you want to make your own) which is now available more readily. Heat the stock in a pan and slowly add in the miso paste until dissolved into the stock. Add the garlic and ginger and bring it to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Do not boil this as miso does not like it! With two minutes to go from the end of simmering, pop in the white parts of the spring onions and the sliced mushroom.

3. While the stock is simmering you need to cook the steak and the noodles. You may like to marinade the steak lightly with some soy, garlic, ginger and mirin but it wil be just as delicious by itself if you like. Cook the steak to your liking and rest before cutting into thin slices. Meanwhile the noodles also need to be cooked according to packet instructions so everything is ready to assemble.

4. Use a large, deep bowl to serve the ramen. Layer up the bowl with a nest of noodles at the bottom and then arrange the cooked mushroom, beansprouts and greens before ladling over the broth. I didn’t cook my greens before serving to give more crunch but they could be wilted beforehand if you prefer.Spinach would also go well if you prefer. Play around with the combinations of vegetables that you use too. The vegetables will relax into the broth after a couple of minutes but the photo above is just after it’s been served- it was too delicious to remember to take another photo after this!

Top the ramen bowl with the slices of steak, green parts of the spring onions and slices of chilli and give the final flourish with the eggs which need to be cut in half and served. If you have managed to achieve a soft boiled egg then the yolk will still be slightly runny even though it has been refridgerated.

Beef ramen- a foodie hug for the soul!

Miso marinated salmon with udon noodles

Now’s your chance to broaden your culinary horizons and try tantalisingly savoury Japanese dishes. If you think Japanese is just sushi then read on and try something new.

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Ingredients- serves 4
For the miso marinated salmon:
6 tbsp white miso paste
2 tbsp sake or rice wine 
4 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
4 boneless salmon fillets

For the udon noodles
2 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
1 garlic clove- crushed
3cm piece fresh ginger- grated
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp rice wine
4 tbsp dark soy
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
400g udon noodles
400g ribboned or sliced mixed vegetables of your choice

1. You need to start this recipe ahead of time so plan when you want to cook it and work back from there. Combine all the miso marinade ingredients and stir well to dissolve the sugar and then put half in a large dish. Take a piece of muslin or j cloth which is double the size of the dish and lay one half of the length in the dish with the marinade. Next, pop in the fillets skin side down and cover with the cloth. Add in the remaining half of the marinade and cook in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight if you can. The cloth allows the flavours to permeate but will minimise the risk of the salmon catching when cooked as without it the sugar will burn when cooked.

2. When ready, preheat the oven to 180c/ 160 fan. Remove the salmon from the marinade and shake off any excess marinade before placing on a baking tray. The salmon can also be grilled if you prefer. Cook for 15 minutes until just cooked through and get on with the noodles in the meantime.

3. Boil the noodles until they are two minutes from ready. In a small bowl add all the stir fry dressing ingredients. Heat a splash of groundnut or vegetable oil in hot wok and fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the vegetable for a couple of minutes before the dressing goes in and cook for a further minute. Next up goes the noodles and toss the wok so all ingredients combine. Cook until heated through and the noodles are tender.

Serve in large bowls with the salmon perched atop a bed of delicious noodles. 

Miso marinated salmon- a perfect taste of Japan!