When we began Recipe Road, we listed our favourite cuisines that we hoped to explore. We’ve presented some French dishes, and plan to explore Italian cuisine after our travels in Italy later this year. Japanese is our other love, and we know we’re not alone here! Who can resist the delicacy of finely sliced sashimi or sushi with a side of soy sauce, wasabi and some pickled ginger? For us it’s using the flavours of sake, mirin, soy sauce and rice vinegar in various combinations that keeps us inspired; whether it’s creating a simple teriyaki dish or something a little more complex like this salmon dish. The joy of this dish is the beautiful sauce, which enhances the natural flavour of the salmon fillet and vegetables.
We have adapted this recipe from Adam Liaw’s wonderful book The Zen Kitchen.
Serves two people.
- 2 small salmon fillets, skin removed
- ¼ cup cornflour
- 2 cups vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 10g bonito flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into batons
- 4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sake
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water
- 100g enoki mushrooms, trimmed and broken into clumps
- 2 spinach plants, washed and cut into 5cm lengths
- ¼ tsp chilli oil
- Dust the salmon in cornflour and shake off any excess. Pour the oil into a wok or pan to a depth of 2cm, and heat to 180°C. Shallow-fry the salmon for about 2 minutes each side, until barely cooked and just beginning to colour. Keep warm in a very low oven until ready to serve.
- Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan and remove from the heat. Add the bonito flakes and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, discarding the solids, and set aside.
- In another saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil over a high heat. Add the garlic, carrot and half of the spring onion and fry for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the ginger and cook for another minute. Add the bonito stock, soy sauce, sake, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar, and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cornflour mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Add the remaining spring onions, enoki mushrooms and spinach and cook for one more minute, until the sauce thickens to a silky consistency and the vegetables wilt slightly. (We prefer the vegetables just slightly wilted, if you’d like the mushrooms and spinach more cooked, add them to the saucepan with the ginger and before the liquids are added.)
- Place each salmon fillet in a serving dish and arrange the vegetables across the fillet. Spoon the sauce into the bowl around the fillet. Finish with a few drops of chilli oil, if you like.