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Tangy Japanese Style Sweet Chilli Salmon with Sticky Rice, Ginger Pak Choi, Garlic-Soy Aubergine and Chilli Prawns.

This is my go to fish dish. I love Japanese style food and I have to make this for my father, by request, every time I go home. It’s also a go to when simultaneously feeding my pescatarian and wheatarded friends!

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’d certainly added the spring onions and coriander. If you don’t like coriander, leave it out.

You could make this with any fish or even meat and the vegetables can be mixed up or added to with something like garlic fried courgette or even simple sauteed cabbage. The prawns are a decadence and can obviously be easily left off. I sometimes have a bowl of miso soup on the side to make me feel Japanese authentic.

Serves 2 – 858 Kcal

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Ingredients:

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


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.

Tip – I use pudding rice rather than specialist sushi rice – its almost exactly the same kind of shortgrain rice as sushi rice and about a third of the price. The outcome is, to my eye, almost identical. 

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.

Tip – 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.

Tip – this 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.

Tip – The lid can rattle, in which case I put a square of kitchen roll between the pan and the lid to create a better seal. 

Meanwhile, half fill a pan with the now boiled kettle water and put the prepared pak choi on to steam.

Tip – Or use an electric steamer. Or pan fry it. Or use an electric steamer. 

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.

Tip – I use a small pan 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. 

Tip – You could also steam the fish with the pak choi. 

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.

Tip – Make sure to use Tamari (Gluten free) soy sauce if making this for a Wheatard.

Turn the fish and leave until cooked to the desired done-ness. Take off the hear and cover with foil to keep warm.

Tip – I like my salmon quite pink so I only give it another minute or two. Consider putting the fish on to cook earlier if you like it very well done.

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.

Tip – 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. 

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.


Update:

So I opened up my Wagamama cookbook the other day 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!

 

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