Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sesame Salmon on Udon Noodles

First published Canberra Times, January 12, 2011.
After weeks of indulging in rich Christmas food, fresh and light meals that are easy to prepare are a welcome relief. The last thing I want to do is to stand over a hot stove on summer evenings cooking a meal, which is why Salmon is a great option at this time of year. I am a convert to the lightly cooked method and it’s a fish that goes well with lighter Asian style broths and vinaigrettes to help with shedding excess kilos from over indulging over Chrissy.
Photo by Steve Shanahan

This is a bistro style dish that can be served for a gathering with very little fuss and I think it will surprise you with its well matched flavours. Two minutes cooking on each side is all it needs, although if you have a preference for well done, cook it for 3 to 4 minutes. The rule of thumb for cooking lightly done Salmon is about 2 minutes each side for a 2.5cm thickness of flesh.

The other good thing about this meal, is that aside from the preparation of the noodles, the rest of the dish is prepared using one frypan.

⅓ cup teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil
zest of 1 lime, grated
4 x 150g salmon fillets
270g packet Ramen or Udon noodles
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2tbsp light soy sauce
2tbsp sunflower oil
8 spring onions, thinly sliced
125g snow peas, trimmed, sliced thinly on angle
200g sliced Asian mushrooms, oyster or shitake
1 long red chilli, seeds removed and thinly sliced
⅓ cup sesame seeds

Whisk the teriyaki sauce, honey, sesame oil and zest in a bowl. Add the salmon and toss to coat, then leave to marinate for ten minutes.

Cook the noodles according to the packet directions. Drain, and toss with the combined vinegar and soy sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of the sunflower oil in a large frypan over medium to high heat. Stir fry the spring onions, snow peas, mushrooms and chilli for 2 to 3 minutes until just tender, then add to noodles. Set aside.

Return the pan to a medium to low heat and add the remaining oil. Drain salmon, reserving the marinade, and coat the salmon in the sesame seeds. Cook salmon for 2 minutes each side until lightly golden, skin side first.

Transfer salmon to a plate, cover loosely and keep just warm in the oven. Wipe pan clean and return to medium heat. Add reserved marinade and ¼ cup of water. Simmer for 2 minutes until reduced and syrupy. Take the pan off the heat and add the noodle mixture, toss briefly to warm through and serve topped with the Salmon.