Sweet Chilli Salmon & Prawns with Sticky Rice is my go to fish dish. Inspired by Japanese flavours, my whole meal recipe includes a delicious pan-fried salmon fillet with (optional) juicy king prawns, fresh pak choi and aubergine sides, soft and sticky rice and a tangy sauce. Best of all, its really quite quick to make and rather impressive.
I make this almost as a matter of course when my pescatarian and wheat-free friends come over as it satisfies all of us perfectly. It is also a go-to dish for my Dad and I (along with my Korean Ramen with Belly Pork) as there aren’t many dishes that he loves which don’t involve potato (he’s a Quick Pan Aggie kind of guy)!
I love using fish with Japanese inspired flavours. Apart from the obvious use in Sushi, I love to steam some cod with soy and ginger or more often than not, grab a fat salmon fillet and add to any variety of noodle, stir fry or sticky rice. You could easily replace the salmon in this recipe with another fish, or just use more prawns. Equally you could use a chicken breast/thighs or a juicy pork chop as the main protein sauce. Duck breast works great too.
To make the recipe suitable for vegans, I would take out the prawns entirely, substitute the salmon for a good sized piece of pressed tofu and switch out the fish sauce for soy sauce. Easy! If cooking for someone who is wheat/gluten free make sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce such as tamari.
You can also mix up the vegetables with something like garlic fried courgette or even simple sauteed cabbage. I love sugar snaps with this kind of food – the freshness is a great counter point to the tangy sauce.
I sometimes have a bowl of miso soup on the side to make me feel Japanese authentic.
The sauce recipe originally came from a Wagamama cookbook but I can’t find it or remember what it’s called and culinary Chinese whispers over time mean I can’t even recall how close this version is to the original! I certainly added the spring onions and coriander. If you don’t like coriander, and strangely many don’t – just leave it out.
Update: I recently opened up my copy of The Wagamama Cookbook and lo and behold, went straight to the original recipe for this sauce – its called “Chilli Ramen Sauce” and started life as follows:
4 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
6 tbsp Fish Sauce (Nam Pla)
2 scant tsp Sugar
2 tbsp Malt Vinegar
So, not so different as a base but the ratios have changed a bit over the years!
Serves 2 – 858 Kcal
2 x 200g Salmon Fillets
12 Raw King Prawns
2 Pak Choi
2 tbsp Ginger Paste
1 Small Aubergine
1 tbsp Garlic Paste
1/2 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
3/4 Cup Sushi Rice (or Pudding Rice)
Fry-light Spray (Coconut or Vegetable Oil preferably)
For the Sauce:
50g Fresh Coriander leaf, loosely chopped
2 Spring Onions, finely sliced into rounds.
6 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
4 tbsp Fish Sauce (Nam Pla)
2 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Rice or White Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp Ginger Paste
- I often use pudding rice rather than specialist sushi rice – its almost exactly the same kind of short grain rice as sushi rice and about a third of the price. The outcome is, to my eye, almost identical.
- The rice is super simple to cook once you know what you are doing. Use twice as much water than rice (by volume) and do not take the lid off at all for the first 20 minutes – perfect every time.
- The rice cooking lid can rattle, in which case I put a square of kitchen roll between the pan and the lid to create a better seal.
- There are many options to steam the pak choi. I have a number of traditional bamboo steamers* which I use to steam my chinese dumplings and often use the microwave and these Sistema Steaming Plates*. You could alternatively pan fry it or use an electric steamer*.
- I like my salmon quite pink so I only give it another minute or two after turning. Consider putting the fish on to cook earlier if you like it very well done.
- I use the smallest pan possible when cooking the salmon to minimize the smoke. Open a window and put the extractor on in any event. Salmon is oily so it smokes quite a lot when cooked on a high heat.
- You could also steam the fish with the pak choi.
- I keep frozen king prawns in the freezer to always have them on hand. I cook them directly from frozen – they need another minute or two cooking in this case.
Start by putting 3/4 cup Sushi or Pudding rice in a sieve and rinsing under a running cold tap for 10-20 seconds. Leave aside to drain.
Mix all of the Sauce Ingredients together reserving half of the coriander for later garnishing. Stir well to incorporate the sugar fully. Set aside.
Next prepare the vegetables. The 2 Pak Choi need to be sliced in half length-ways or quarters if its very chunky. You may need to tear some leaves in half as you go. The very end root may also want chopping off if dirty/particularly thick. Scatter 1 Tbsp Ginger Paste over the veg. Place in a steamer and pop the kettle onto boil. Set aside for now.
Cut 1 Small Aubergine into 1cm-ish rounds and spray lightly with Frylight Spray. Start the aubergine frying in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Keep checking this as you continue with the other elements.
If the Aubergine starts browning too much before starting to look like its cooking through, turn the heat down or add a little water to the pan.
Take the rinsed rice and 1 Tbsp Ginger Paste and add to a lidded saucepan. Add 1.5 Cups Cold Water to the pan and stir the rice and ginger around. Put the lid on and place on a medium-low heat. The rice will takes 10 minutes on the heat and then the heat is turned off with the lid still on and left for at least 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile, half fill a pan with the now boiled kettle water and put the prepared pak choi on to steam.
Take another frying pan and add a couple of sprays of Frylight Spray to the pan to coat it and heat until nearly smoking – I use a quite high heat. Add the 2 x 200g Salmon Fillets to the pan, skin side down and leave for 5 minutes until the skin is crispy and its cooked part way through.
By now the aubergine should be soft all the way through and a little browned. Add 1/2 Tbsp Garlic Paste and 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce to the pan and coat the aubergine. Leave this on a low heat while the rest of the meal is finished.
Turn the fish and leave until cooked to the desired done-ness. Take off the hear and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add the 12 Raw King Prawns, 1/2 Tbsp Garlic Paste and 1/2 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes and a couple of sprays of Frylight to the pan used to cook the Salmon. Keep it on a high heat and stir fry the prawns. They will only take a couple of minutes and they’re ready when pink the whole way through.
Everything should now be cooked. Serve up the rice, aubergine, pak choi and salmon. Lay the prawns over the top of the salmon and spoon over the sauce.
Garnish with the reserved coriander.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
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