I have been under the weather with a lingering bug which made me lose my appetite and my cooking mojo – I’m glad to say it’s back now though!
This recipe is inspired by poké bowls but given that I’m in St Albans and do not have a clue where to find sushi grade salmon locally, I’ve cooked the salmon teriyaki style. I think it works but why not try it yourself and let me know?
The salmon can be served with noodles or plain rice so if you want to make this a quick and easy dish, you can skip the sushi rice. I do think that making your own sushi rice is definitely worth the time and effort, though. The results are spectacular.
For the sushi rice:
- 500g sushi rice
- 1/2 cup (approx 120 ml) rice vinegar
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Black roasted sesame seeds to serve
For the teriyaki salmon:
- 1/2 cup (approx 120 ml) soy sauce
- 1/2 cup (approx 120 ml) mirin
- 4 tbsp sugar
- Optional: 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- Optional: 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
- Optional: 2 tbsp cornflour mixed with a little warm water to form a smooth liquid
- 4 salmon fillets or preferably half a side of salmon (approx 750g)
- Sesame oil for frying (sunflower oil is fine if you haven’t got sesame oil)
- Grated carrot
- 2 avocados (half an avocado per person)
- Finely sliced spring onions
To make the sushi rice:
- Measure out the rice. This step is very important as the ratio of rice to water for this cooking method is 1 cup rice : 1 & half cups water. When I measure my rice, 500g equates to 2.5 measuring cups. This means at step 6 below, I add 3.75 measuring cups of water . If you’re doing this by eye, always err on the side of caution and add less rather than more water.
- Place the rice a large container and run it under cold water. Swill the water and rice around with your hand to remove the starch and then pour off the starchy water.
- Repeat this step about 5 times or until the water starts to run clear.
- Now fill the container with enough water to cover the rice and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
- After 30 mins, drain the water off by pouring the rice through a sieve and leave the rice to drain in the sieve for 15 minutes.
- Place the rice in a large saucepan and add fresh cold water to the pan: you need to add 1.5 times the volume of rice you are using.
- Place on a high heat and bring to the boil, cover and then immediately reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Don’t lift the lid – no peeking!
- Now turn off the heat and leave the rice to steam (keeping the lid on), for another 15 minutes.
- Whilst the rice is steaming, place the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan, heat, stirring constantly until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Take off the heat.
- Once the rice has steamed, give it a stir. If you have a rice paddle, slice through the rice at a 45 degree angle. Pour over the vinegar mixture, stir/slicing thoroughly to combine. Allow to cool slightly.
- Serve, sprinkled with black roasted sesame seeds.
To make the teriyaki salmon:
- If you’re using a half side of salmon, take a sharp knife and slice the salmon into strips on a diagonal to the grain about 2cm thick. Apparently slicing the fish on the diagonal is the traditional Japanese way of doing it and although I don’t know the science behind it, it seems to result in the salmon staying beautifully tender once cooked. If you’re using flat fillets, you can keep these whole. If your fillets are rather thick, you can slice these too.
- Take the soy, mirin, sugar, plus grated ginger and crushed garlic (if using), and place the ingredients in a small pan. Bring to the boil, stirring or whisking gently and continuously. Lower to a simmer. Taste and add a touch more sugar if required. Simmer for 2 minutes. Take off the heat, decant about one quarter of the teriyaki sauce for basting your salmon.
- The remaining sauce in the pan is for serving on the final dish. If you want to thicken it, mix 2 tbsp cornflour with a little warm water to make a smooth liquid. Return the remaining three quarters of the sauce to a gentle simmer and drizzle the cornflour mixture slowly into the pan, whisking continuously. You might not need all the cornflour mixture – stop adding it once the sauce has begun to thicken and remember that it will thicken further on standing.
- Heat a frying pan with a drizzle of sesame oil. Once very hot, add the salmon to the pan and brush with some of the teriyaki sauce you’ve reserved for basting. Don’t move the salmon around in the pan but allow it to cook for a few minutes until you see the salmon starting to become opaque.
- Flip the salmon, adding more of the reserved basting sauce and fry until the salmon is cooked to your liking.
- To serve, place a portion of the sushi rice in a shallow bowl, top with black roasted sesame seeds. Add a portion of the salmon to the bowl and drizzle with the thickened teriyaki sauce. If it’s got too thick whilst standing, return to the heat and add 1 tbsp of water. This will loosen it up. Add 1/2 an avocado (sliced) to each bowl, along with grated carrots and a sprinkling of spring onion.
- Serve immediately.