Asian cuisine – you can’t escape it. And who would want to? Not only is London getting more and more up to speed on some of the most wonderful cuisines from across the world (E.g. Bao, Pho, Bibimbap to name a few in London) but home cooks are now attempting recipes a little further outside their comfort box – because we can! Not only do we now have access to the brains of millions of chefs and home cooks across our dear world wide web, but we have access to the right ingredients too (without having to tackle tourists for them in China Town), thanks to some wonderful Asian supermarkets popping up around town.
I’ve also noticed that some of my most popular recipes on this blog are Asian recipes (such as Gua Bao, Pad kra pao gai & Nasi Goreng). This may be a coincidence but it may also be due to the rising interest in trying new cuisines in your own kitchen. Growing up in the Far East, I naturally find myself leaning towards an Asian dish for supper (usually a stir fry!) 8 times out of 10. I am still, however, daunted myself when it comes to attempting recipes with some of the more unknown ingredients, or using methods I’m not quite sure about. I’ve actually just bought myself a ramen book (which we will hopefully be seeing the fruits of shortly!) but for now, I’m going to share with you a classic favourite that requires minimal effort, no Asian cooking experience and ingredients that you can get from your local supermarket.
For those of you who want an utterly delicious and easy Asian dish, that is most likely using ingredients already in your store cupboard, then this is just for you. Marinating the salmon is a stage that you really shouldn’t miss; the soy sauce & the lemon juice start to almost cook the salmon (like cerviche), giving it the most wonderful flavour and texture when you fry it. The salmon marinating juice is what really gives the dish it’s kick, so don’t hold back on the drizzling! This is perfect for a weeknight supper (and amazing for next day lunch) or also goes down a storm for a dinner party.
For those of you looking for healthy recipes - you just need to have a look at the ingredients to see it's super healthy, and rice noodles are mostly gluten free (check the packaging to make sure there isn't any added tapioca or corn starch) so you can feed it to your coeliac friends too!
Asian Salmon with Rice Noodle Stir Fry
Quantities: 4 people (or two for supper and lunch the next day!)
Timings: 35 mins.
Kitchen Stuff: Non-stick frying pan, wok
Salmon & marinade:
2 x salmon fillets (usually around 100g each)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4cm piece of ginger, peeled & grated or finely chopped
4 tbsp lemon juice (all the juice from 1 large lemon)
4 tsp light soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free friends)
2 tsp sesame oil
Noodle stir fry:
170g vermicelli noodles (these are very thin rice noodles)
3 tsp rapeseed oil
2 tsp sesame oil (plus one for vermicelli)
2 spring onion, finely sliced
1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped (or 1 tsp chili flakes)
2cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 large broccoli head, cut into small florets
1/2 large red pepper, randomly sliced into short strips
200g spinach, washed
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp Thai fish sauce
juice 1 lime
Coriander, leaves picked
Toasted sesame seeds (black and white if possible)
Boil a full kettle.
1. MARINADE: Mix the chopped garlic, chopped ginger, lemon juice, soy sauce & sesame oil together in a medium bowl. Mix all the ingredients together and add the salmon filet, making sure it's well coated. Cover with clingfilm and leave to sit for 15-20 minutes whilst you prep your other ingredients (or longer if you have time!).
2. NOODLES: Put your noodles in a large pan and pour over boiling water. Put the pan on high heat for 4 minutes. The noodles should be limp and soft but still firm (not mushy). If they are still to hard, give them another minute or so. You will be cooking them further in your stir fry. Drain and run under cold water until cool, toss with 1 tsp sesame oil to keep them from sticking.
3. BROCCOLI: You want to blanch your broccoli. Bring a pan of water to boil, add your broccoli florets and a pinch of salt and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes until ever so slightly tender. Drain the pan and run the broccoli under very cold water.
*tip - heat both the noodle wok and the dish frying pan at the same time!
4. STIR FRY: *Heat your wok on a med/high heat and add the rapeseed oils and sesame oils. Add the ginger, garlic, spring onion and chilli and stir fry for a minute or two. Add the blanched broccoli and the red pepper strips, and a splash of light soy sauce. Stir fry for another couple of minutes then add the spinach leaves. Add the noodles to the pan and toss well with the veg. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice and continue tossing until mixed together and it's all nice and sizzly.
Whilst the veg & noodles are cooking - start your salmon...
6. SERVE: Divide the noodles between bowls, top each portion with a salmon fillet and drizzle with lots of salmon marinade juices. Sprikle over some toasted sesame seeds and coriander leaves and serve immediately. Best to serve when the salmon is just cooked!
Recipe inspired & adapted from a recipe on BBC GoodFood.