This dish is my current obsession and it’s absolutely delicious. I say that without a big head because it’s not really my dish - it’s pieced together from several sources. The mirin glazed salmon comes from Nigella Express and the salad is loosely inspired by a tiny, perfect sesame-dressed salad that I once ate in a restaurant.
Sometimes I think I should simplify this dish and have either vegetables or salad, not both, but it wouldn’t feel complete to me. The choi sum and shiitake mushrooms taste wonderful cooked in the remains of the mirin glaze and the avocado sesame salad is a lovely addition for not too much effort.
The mirin glaze is a little different to how it appears in Nigella Express:
- I halve the ingredients as I only cook two salmon fillets, not four, and I don’t bother to marinade the salmon in the glaze
- The sugar is reduced to 10g (around 2 teaspoons), which is sweet enough for me (the mirin is already quite sweet)
- I combine the rice vinegar with the other ingredients rather than deglazing the pan with it later - pure laziness on my part
I cook the salmon skins separately because I love them and Colin doesn’t. I use the Jamie Oliver method of heating the skins a little, which allows them to easily peel away from the fillet. If your salmon is skinless then you don’t have to bother with step 6 in the method.
The rice cooks and steams in a saucepan while the rest of the ingredients are prepared and cooked. It doesn’t matter if the rice is ready early as it’ll sit in the saucepan and keep warm.
Mirin Glazed Salmon by Nigella Lawson.
- 125g sushi rice
- 1 tsp sesame seeds (I use black and white)
- 1½ tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp honey
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 60g mixed salad leaves (around ½ a small bag)
- small handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 ripe avocado
Salmon and vegetables
- 2 salmon fillets (around 240g total weight. I buy skin-on)
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 125g shiitake mushrooms, halved
- 200g choi sum or pak choi (separate leaves from stalks and slice into 4cm pieces)
You will need
- 1 lidded saucepan to cook the rice
- 1 large, deep frying pan to toast the sesame seeds and cook the salmon and vegetables (a lid is optional but I use one when cooking the salmon as it tends to splatter)
- 1 lidded jar for the salad dressing
- Rice: Cook 125g of sushi rice according to the instructions on the packet. The rice I use needs 175ml of water and takes 10 minutes to cook plus 15 minutes to steam.
- Sesame dressing: Place a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds. Toast for a few minutes then pour into a jar or container that will hold the salad dressing. Turn the heat under the frying pan to low.
- Add 1½ teaspoons of white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and ½ a teaspoon of honey into the jar with the sesame seeds, put the lid on and shake well. Taste and adjust the dressing if needed.
- Mirin glaze: In a small bowl combine 2 teaspoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of mirin, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar. Mix well and set to one side.
- Avocado salad: Add 60g of mixed salad leaves and a small handful of halved cherry tomatoes to a medium sized bowl.
- Salmon skins (skip if your salmon is skinless): Warm up two dinner plates. Place 2 salmon fillets skin-side down into the frying pan that toasted the sesame seeds then after 1 minute slide a flat spatula or fish turner under the fillets and remove them from the pan. Place onto a chopping board skin side up. Turn the heat under the frying pan up to medium. Slide a knife under the skins to remove them from the fillets then place the skins back into the pan. Fry both sides for a few minutes (I put a lid on the pan as it can get messy). Once the skins are golden and crispy, remove them from the pan and place onto the warmed plates.
- Salmon: Stir the mirin glaze and spoon half of it into the frying pan, placing the salmon fillets on top. Fry for 2 minutes per side keeping an eye on the glaze - if it looks like it’s starting to burn, turn the heat down a little. Once the salmon is cooked through, carefully remove it from the pan and place onto the warmed plates.
- Vegetables: Pour the remaining mirin glaze into the pan then add 2 sliced spring onions and 125g of halved shiitake mushrooms. Stir fry for 2 minutes until the mushrooms have softened then add the stalks from 200g of sliced choi sum. Stir fry for 1 minute then add the choi sum leaves. As soon as the leaves have wilted, turn off the heat under the pan.
- Avocado salad: Peel and slice 1 avocado, add it to the salad bowl then give the sesame dressing another shake, pour over the salad and toss. Take the salad to the table.
- Rice: Divide the rice and vegetables between the plates and serve immediately.