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Japanese Home Cooking SEPTEMBER 2020

There’s nothing like a delicious Japanese rice bowl to end a late summer day on a satisfying note! This trio of Japanese flavor bombs are distinctive, but harmonious, and involve barely any time slaving over a hot stove.

Japanese Summer Rice Bowl

Japanese summer rice bowl with poached salmon, miso dressing, snow peas with soy-lemon dressing and spicy marinated mushrooms
This rice bowl features Poached Salmon with Spicy Miso, Chilled Snow Peas with Soy-Lemon Dressing, and Peppery Marinated Mushrooms

This delicious topping is rich in umami goodness, and can be used on fish, chicken, cold veggies and salads with equally tasty success!

Spicy Miso Topping

Clear pitcher of spicy miso dressing

2 T. (30ml) soy sauce

3 T. (45ml) rice vinegar

2 T. (30g) white miso

1 T. (15ml) water

1 knob ginger, grated

3 T. (45g) sesame tahini (or Japanese nerigoma sesame paste)

1 ½ t. (10g) sugar

¼ t. (3g) red pepper flakes

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Will last in refrigerator for a month.

What to put it on:

No-Mess, No-Smell, Perfect Poached Salmon

The biggest thing that kept me from making fish more often is that I hate how fishy the kitchen smells afterwards. But with this poaching technique from Kenji Lopez-Alt’s cooking site, SeriousEats, there’s no smell (even while it’s cooking!) and it turns out perfect every time.

Salmon fillet with cut lemon
Cooking time will vary according to the size and thickness of your fish. I used this piece, which measured roughly 6″ x 3″ x 1″ (15cm x 7cm x 2cm)

Ingredients:

Boneless, skinless salmon fillets (I usually can’t find them without the skin, so I just peel it off after it’s cooked)

One lemon

Pinch salt

Put the salmon fillets in a large saucepan and pour in just enough cold water to cover them completely.

Salmon fillet in poaching pan
Add water just to cover the fish. As it cooks, it’ll turn lighter and opaque, like the one on the right

Add the juice from one lemon and a large pinch of salt. Heat the pan over medium heat until the water reaches about 170°F (77°C) It won’t be boiling. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Leave the salmon in the water until the thickest interior of the fish registers at least 115°F (46°C) on an instant read thermometer. (Mine took 9 minutes, so if yours is bigger, it will take longer.)

Transfer the fish to a plate and let rest for five minutes before topping with dressing and serving.

Peppery Marinated Mushrooms

½ c. (115g) small mushrooms (I use shimeji, which are also known as “Clamshell” or “Pioppino” mushrooms, but you can try other kinds too)

Sesame oil and salad oil (for sautéing)

2 T. (30ml) soy sauce

2 T. (30ml) mirin

2 T. (30 ml) sake

2 T. (30 ml) rice vinegar

Red pepper flakes

Black pepper, coarsely ground

Heat a mixture of sesame oil and regular salad oil in a frying pan and add mushrooms with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and freshly-ground black pepper. Sauté until until slightly soft. Combine soy sauce, mirin and sake in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir mushrooms into the mixture. Cook until sauce is reduced slightly. Let cool in juice. Can be served warm or cold.

Chilled Snow Peas in Soy-Lemon Dressing

Ingredients:

Fresh green snow peas or snap peas, ends trimmed

Soy-Lemon Dressing (link to recipe from the June Japanagram)

Add a generous pinch of salt to a saucepan of water and bring to a boil. Fill a big bowl with cold water and set it next to your sink. Add trimmed snow peas and boil just until they turn bright green, 20-30 seconds. Drain immediately and drop the snow peas into the bowl of cold water to stop them cooking.

Note: Wait to toss the snow peas with the Soy-Lemon Dressing until right before serving—don’t do it much in advance because the soy sauce in the dressing will “cook” the raw veggies and turn them brown!

“This book is an absolutely delicious read–comes out in October but you can have a peek right now.” —Katherine Catmull, author of Summer and Bird

Read a sample

Two women, with nothing in common. Except both their futures depend on finding a missing masterpiece that disappeared before they were born...read more

Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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