I love Japanese food.
I’ve never been to Japan but have always wanted to go. There’s been some talk about Cork Daddy and I going over to the Rugby World Cup in October next year. Well that’s not entirely true. There’s been some talk of Cork Daddy going to the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.
We’ve got some good friends Rob and Alex from Birmingham. Corks played rugby with Sigley for ‘Bourneville’ back in the day and considering Japan is kind of half way between the UK and Australia, what better place to catch up than at the World Cup? You’ve never met a bloke that loves rugby as much as Rob Sigley, except for maybe Phil Shorten that is.
My love of Japanese food started whilst living in Neutral Bay during uni days with Soph and Elge. We used to frequent a little Japanese restaurant called ‘Koume’ which was conveniently located across the road from The Oaks. I think my brother and his wife Amy had their first date there. I do recall gate crashing that dinner after having a few drinks at the pub and giving them heaps for not ordering correctly. Miss Bossy boots. My bad!
This is around the time I discovered soba noodles (which are made from buckwheat flour and are popular in Japanese cuisine). I remember cooking soba noodle stir fries from the dry kind you find at the supermarket. I’ve more recently come across the pre-cooked soba noodles from Woolies that need nothing more than to be ‘woken up a little’ with a couple of minutes in the hot pan. A massive cheat, making this salmon noodle dish a breeze for a healthy, quick and easy midweek meal.
Loaded up with any fresh veggies you have in the fridge and spiced up with a bit of garlic, ginger and chilli, it’s simple to make. (Just whatever you do, don’t overcook the broccolini).
So I better get on to those World Cup tickets. Japanese food aside, it’d be worth the trip just to see the look on Sigley’s face when we beat the Poms.
soba noodles with salmon (serves 2)
2 x salmon fillets
1 x bunch of broccolini, tips removed
1/2 a red capsicum, cut in to strips
2 x garlic cloves, crushed
A piece of fresh ginger, grated (about the size of a 20 cent coin)
1/4 of a teaspoon of chilli from a jar or finely chopped fresh chilli (to taste)
180 gram packet of pre-cooked soba noodles
2 x shallots, finely chopped
A good splash of soy sauce
A dash of oyster sauce
A splash of rice wine vinegar
1 x teaspoon of sugar
The juice of 1/2 a lime (plus extra wedges to serve)
A sprinkling of sesame seeds, for garnishing
Fresh coriander, for garnishing
Sweet chilli sauce, for serving
A splash of sesame oil, for frying the salmon
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
A splash of water, to help the veggies along a bit
- Heat a non-stick fry pan, adding a splash of sesame oil. Season the salmon fillets on both sides with salt and pepper and add to the pan, skin side down. Cook on the first side for approximately 3-4 minutes until the skin is lovely and crisp before turning over. Cook on the other side until cooked to your liking*. Set aside.
- Add the garlic, ginger and chilli (adding a dash more sesame oil if you need to) and fry quickly before adding the broccolini and capsicum. Being very careful (as it may spit) add a splash of water and pop a lid on to steam the vegetables until nearly cooked.
- Add the noodles, shallots, soy sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, sugar and lime juice and cook for a further two minutes, tossing the pan to combine.
- Lastly, flake the cooked salmon in to the pan and serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, fresh coriander, sweet chilli sauce and some lime wedges.
Don’t forget to bring the choppies out.
- *It’s hard to say exactly how many minutes it will take for the salmon to cook as it depends on the thickness of the salmon fillet. You don’t want to over cook it though, considering you flake the salmon (meaning that if it’s slightly undercooked – it will cook a little more when added to the hot noodles).
- You could add any other combination of vegetables – think fresh bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, carrots, frozen edamame beans, shiitake mushrooms, snow peas, baby corn, broccoli or zucchini.
If you make these noodles, please leave your comments below. xx