So here’s something I thought I would be able to tell you about much sooner than the forty-third week of the New Recipe Night project… This week, I cooked fish for the first time. I’ve cooked tinned fish this year, and who can forget Nigel (from week 14: http://wp.me/p42Dr4-1X), but never an actual chunk of fish.
I suppose what attracted me to this was that it looked like an easy introduction into cooking fish, it looked quick to cook and I already had the ingredients.
To make this for 4 you will need: 4 x 125 g pieces of salmon (Nigella wants narrow and tall, rather than wide and flat… the minx) 60 ml (4 tbsp) mirin, 50g soft light brown sugar, 60 ml (4tbsp) soy sauce, 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1-2 spring onions.
I’ve recently got in to sushi rice, and now that I’ve stopped burning it to the pan it’s become a firm favourite. If you are like me, cruelly without a rice-cooker, you will need to get the rice cooking before you make the marinade (which is probably exactly the same as if you do have one)
Start your rice cooking and then in a bowl or dish that will hold all your bits of salmon, mix the mirin, brown sugar and soy sauce together. Eight minutes before the rice is due to be cooked, put your fillets into the marinade for 3 minutes for the first side, and 2 for the second.
Whilst this is marinading, shred the spring onion (to look like the shredded spring onions you get with crispy duck at the Chinese). Then heat a large non-stick frying pan on the hob. Put the salmon in the pan and cook for 2 minutes, turn over the salmon and add the marinade and cook for another 2 minutes.
If you’re a genius at timing your rice should be done as you turn the salmon, so while the salmon and marinade are bubbling away, you should be able to drain the rice (if it needs it) and put it out on your serving plates.
Take the salmon off the heat and dish up on top of the rice. Then add the rice vinegar to the pan to warm through. Nigella says that this is supposed to form a dark, sweet and salty glaze for you to pour over the salmon. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but it turned black and burned onto the pan in a massive puff of fishy smoke. I spotted some of the smoking goo onto the salmon, it didn’t look very glazed but I sprinkled it with the spring onions all the same.
The salmon was delicious, perfect with the rice, a little too blackened maybe but I’m pretty sure I had the hob on too high. Unfortunately the last step to make the glaze burned itself onto my ‘non stick’ pan so hard that it’s taken forever to clean, and still has big black patches that are now part of the pan. Also, my lover doesn’t really like fish, so it’s not going to become a regular dinner round here, but I still might make it just for me once I’ve worked out what I’m doing.
Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2007 ISBN 9780701181840)