This is something I only started making this year, but it has fast become one of our favourite dinners. Perfect for when you want something really light and fresh, but still filling.
If you don’t keep a lot of Japanese ingredients at home already, you might find the first time you make this kind of expensive. But all of the pantry items I list in the ingredients will last for ages and make many many meals. On the other hand, please don’t avoid making this because you are missing an ingredient! It will still be delicious without mirin, or black sesame seeds, or shichimi.
I like to put everything out on the table (as pictured above), and let everyone make their bowl just how they like it. But you could absolutely assemble them ahead of time if you prefer.
You could easily serve four with this quantity (though you may want to double the salmon so everyone has their own fillet), however I decided in the spirit of honesty to write the recipe as I make it for the two of us. There is usually enough leftover for a light breakfast or lunch the next day, but mostly we just really like eating this.
The toppings are endlessly adaptable, the recipe below is just what I’ve made most often. It hits all the right notes for me, but here’s some other ideas if you want to shake it up.
-Make it veggie/vegan. Lose the fish and add some marinated tofu (fresh or roasted) or edamame for protein. You could also bump up the veggies by adding roasted aubergine, squash, or peppers in the same marinade I use for the fish.
-Put an egg on it. Soft boiled, poached, crispy fried, or Japanese-style omelette would all be delicious.
-Change up the fish. We like it with prawns sometimes. Trout, mackerel or tuna would be good as well. Hot smoked salmon or mackerel is fantastic, especially when you can’t bear to turn on the oven. If you’re in Cork, Frank Hederman makes the best you’ll find anywhere. If you aren’t in Cork, maybe look at moving?
-Substitute tamari for the soy sauce to make it gluten-free (check the label to be certain).
-In a rush? Switch out the rice for rice noodles, for a dinner in minutes.
For the Chilli Soy Roast Salmon
- 2 salmon fillets (100g-150g each)
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- big pinch of salt
- big pinch of chilli flakes
For the Green Beans with Ginger and Scallions:
- 220g fresh green beans, washed, topped and tailed.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- small knob of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 scallions, washed, trimmed, and sliced very finely
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
To assemble the bowls
- 1 quantity cooked sushi rice (recipe here)
- 1/2 a cucumber, washed, peeled if you prefer, and sliced diagonally
- 2 avocados, peeled and stones removed
- 1/2 a lemon
- salt, to season
- 1-2 tablespoons of toasted black and white sesame seeds (toast more than you need and keep them in a jar for next time!)
- 1-2 sheets of nori
- shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice)
- soy sauce, to add at the table
While your rice is steaming/resting, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place your salmon fillets in a small oven dish lined with tin-foil. In a small dish, mix the mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar, and pour them over the salmon. Sprinkle each fillet with a pinch of salt, and as many chilli flakes as you like.
While the salmon is marinating, cook your green beans. Add the beans and salt to a small saucepan and cover with boiling water. Place over a high heat, cover with a lid, and bring up to a boil. Cook for one minute, then drain. Rinse the beans with a little cold water, so they don’t continue cooking. This will keep them bright and crunchy. Chop the green beans into shorter pieces, if preferred, and return to the pan. Using a fine grater, grate the ginger over the pan so you catch all of the ginger juices. Add the finely chopped scallions, sesame oil and soy sauce, and stir to combine. Leave to one side while you finish the other toppings.
Put the salmon into the oven, and roast for 7-10 minutes, or until just opaque and starting to flake. While the salmon is roasting, prepare the rest of the toppings. Thinly slice your peeled avocados, and squeeze a little lemon juice over them. Sprinkle a little salt over the sliced avocados and cucumber and arrange them on a dish along with the dressed green beans. When the salmon is cooked, place the fillets on a serving dish, removing the skin from the salmon if preferred. Put the toasted sesame seeds and shichimi into small dishes to sprinkle on at the table. Cut the nori sheets into whatever size you like (scissors are best here). I make small rectangles, so we can scoop up little piles of rice and toppings, but you could also cut it finely to sprinkle over the rice. Put the prepared rice into a serving dish.
Eat and enjoy!