I have been consistently obsessed with Japan for ever. I love the food, I love the culture, the skiing’s great, the pop culture’s crazy, but the food is brilliant. Actually, it’s mostly about the food.
I don’t have the self discipline to refine my cooking to the degree of we generally think of as Japanese food. My sashimi (although ridiculously fresh thanks to fishing/diving husband), is more hacked than I’d like. My plating is far from minimal.
I’m more drawn to Japanese street food. Noodles, fried chicken, ramen. And OH MY GOD TAKOYAKI BALLS!!!! The best thing ever, which I haven’t even come close to trying to replicate! (Deep fried octopus balls – amazing)
But I digress. A challenge I have is I generally find salmon too rich. I know it’s insanely good for you, but the oiliness often leaves me feeling unsettled of stomach. So I’m constantly looking for ways to cook salmon that cuts through some of the richness. Japanese flavours are perfect for this.
In an attempt to keep the meal light, I’ve paired the salmon with a light Japanese style broth, soba noodles and steamed vegetables. This meal benefits from a bit of heat, but in the interests of being kid friendly, I make like the Japanese and sprinkle over shichimi togarashi (Japanese chilli spice mix) before eating. The coriander isn’t, strictly speaking, Japanese, but I like it, so it’s there.
SALMON & NOODLES IN JAPANESE STYLE BROTH
500ml fish stock
1 sachet powdered dashi* stock (5g)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin*
1 thumb ginger, peeled and sliced
Green stalks of 2 spring onions, cut in half
- Put all ingredients into a medium sized sauce pan.
- Bring to the boil
- Simmer for 15 minutes, then cover until needed.
4 salmon fillets, pinboned (approx 500g)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger, finely grated
2 spring onions, white only, finely sliced
- Heat the oven to 180°C
- Lay a large sheet of tinfoil onto a baking dish, large enough to hold salmon fillets side by side
- Place the salmon onto the tinfoil
- Mix together all other ingredients and pour over salmon
- Wrap salmon tightly in tinfoil, so it’s well sealed
- Bake for 10 minutes
200g soba noodles, cooked to manufacturer’s instructions
Steamed broccolini (I allowed 3 stalks per person)
100g oyster mushrooms, steamed
Toasted sesame seeds
- Divide the noodles among 4 large soup bowls
- Top with broth to cover
- Arrange broccolini, mushrooms, salmon and coriander neatly. Garnish with sesame seeds and a light drizzle of sesame oil and serve.