Friday, January 16, 2009

Pan Fried Salmon w/ Udon Noodles in a Dashi Broth.

We used to eat salmon loads on weeknights, such a good easy, quick and healthy meal. Pulled these recipes from Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, and like every recipe I've tried from the book, t'is a winner.

Serves 2.

Ingredients for Salmon:
2 x Salmon Fillets
Vege oil
Tbsp Butter
Tbsp Rice Vinegar
Tbsp Mirin
1/2 Tbsp Dark Soy
1/2 Cup chopped Shallots

Ingredients for Dashi Broth:
2 tsp dashi powder
1 tsp light soy
1 1/2 tsp dark soy
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp mirin
Udon Noodles

Salt the Salmon generously on both sides and set aside for 1/2 hour.

Make the Dashi Broth by adding all ingredients except the npoodles in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then keep warm. Cook Udon noodles as per directions on packet.

Fry on both sides till done on a high heat using the oil. Tip out oil when done. Let pan cool a little so the butter wont burn immediately. Add butter in about 3 pieces and spoon over salmon. Remove Salmon, set aside and keep warm.

Add all other liquids to pan and cook 1 minute. Add shallots, mix and then plate, spooning sauce over salmon. I served with a side of steamed sugar snap peas.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thai Beef Salad w/ Green Mango.

This is a salad that we eat all the time, it’s quite an economical way to make a steak go between two people. We usually don’t have it with the green mango (which you can usually pick up from your local Asian grocer) but it was there and I thought it would make a nice addition. One interesting thing about this salad is the addition of the ground roasted rice, which coats the salad, makes the dressing stick to it and adds a lovely textural crunch to it as well as a slight smoky flavour, you can make it without, but it’s definitely worth a try at least once. In this case, we were using lettuce and herbs from the garden and as our mint plant isn’t quite big enough yet, we didn’t use as much mint as usual.


1 x large steak (we generally use rump)

1 x lettuce

1 x bunch of coriander

1 x big handful of mint

½ red onion

About 8-10 kaffir lime leaves

Chilis to taste, we used about 5 hot ones.

1 x green mango

About a tablespoon plus of rice – uncooked.


1 lime

Equal amount of Fish Sauce to Lime Juice

Big pinch of brown sugar

Ok, first up, assemble your salad, so clean and separate the leaves of the lettuce, pluck the leaves off the mint and coriander, thinly slice the onion, peel and slice the mango, chop the chillis and shred the kaffir lime leaves, reserving the spine of the leaves (best way to shred kaffir lime leaves is to roll them lengthways and cut them with scissors) – then toss all of the above in a large bowl and set aside. Reserve with a little chilli and mango for garnishing.

Make the roasted rice by getting the uncooked rice, placing that in a small frypan on medium heat with the spines of the kaffir limes (for a little bit more fragrance) and toasting until they are lightly brown, keep moving the rice around the pan or it will burn. You will know when it’s done when all of the rice goes chalky and then starts to go brown, make sure you cook it all the way through or you’ll get hard lumps all through the salad, which you definitely don’t want. Tip into a mortar & pestle or spice grinder, remove the kaffir lime leaves and pound/blitz to a fine powder.

Make the dressing by adding all the ingredients in a jar and shaking till combined.

Season your steak and cook it however you like it. We go medium rare. Make sure you rest it and then slice into thin strips. Mix in all of the meat except a little to reserve for garnishing. Pour remaining steak juices from the chopping board into the dressing jar and shake again.

Assemble your salad, toss in the ground roasted rice, toss to combine, pour over the dressing, drop the rest of the meat, mango and chilli on top and serve!