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Posts Tagged ‘mirin’


I think this may be my favorite salmon recipe. It’s certainly one of the most memorable ones, and I’m already craving it again. The ginger and sweet glaze is such a perfect complement to the salmon, and it’s surprisingly easy. Roasting it at a low temperature keeps the fat from rendering out of the fish, so the fish stays moist and succulent.

The one thing I will stress though, is get the best fish you can find. That goes for all fish. You will notice the difference if you go out of your way to find a fishmonger. I will always choose a cheaper variety of fish from a reputable fish store over a more luxurious fish from a grocery store. In a recipe like this, where I recommend cooking the fish to medium rare, it makes a big difference.

Ginger Glazed Salmon

1 pound salmon (preferably wild, but whatever looks freshest)

4″ piece of ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, grated

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup red wine

1/4 cup mirin

2 tablespoons brown sugar

juice of 1/2 lime

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 scallion, sliced for garnish

Combine the soy sauce, red wine, mirin, brown sugar, garlic and 3/4 of the ginger in a sauce pan. Cook for 10 minutes, until it reduces by half. Remove from heat and add the remaining ginger and the lime juice. Let cool.

Rub the bottom of a baking dish with the olive oil and place the salmon in it, skin side down. Spoon a tablespoon of the glaze over the fish and wait 5 minutes. Spoon another tablespoon of the glaze over the fish.

Bake for 10 minutes at 250 degrees. Spoon another tablespoon of glaze over the fish and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Continue to do this until the fish is cooked to medium rare (gives a little more resistance when you push it). Garnish with the scallion and serve.

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Ochazuke is one of my favorite comfort foods and I’ve been craving it this week as I’m sick with a cold. A nice, light broth combined with salmon for protein and rice for substance makes it a perfect one bowl meal. I may be congested, but thankfully I can still taste this. It’s traditional pub food, and I loved it the first time I tried it. I’m waiting to learn how to make dashi from a Japanese friend, but this is a pretty good version. Most ingredients you should be able to find in your supermarket, but feel free to substitute!

Ochazuke

1 cup cooked white rice (any variety will do)

2 cups hot freshly brewed green tea

2 tablespoons mirin

4 ounces salmon fillet

2 tablespoons bonito flakes or ground bottarga

2 tablespoons japanese rice seasoning or combination dried seaweed and sesame seeds

Roast the salmon for 10 minutes with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper until it’s cooked to medium rare. Pile the rice in a bowl and lay the salmon over the top. Sprinkled with bonito and rice seasoning. Combine the tea and mirin and pour over the top.


Chazuke

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For years now, I have been listening to an old coworker talk about his love of sesame noodles. It really was more like an obsession. After making them this week, I’ve started to understand. While this version is probably a lighter, healthier, and less traditional version, I think he would be more than happy to have some. Paired with some delicious Asian-inspired chicken meatballs, you can’t go wrong. Break out the chopsticks!

Sesame Noodles

1/2 box of whole wheat spaghetti

1 shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 scallion, chopped with extra for garnish

1/4 cup peanut butter

4 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1  tablespoon mirin

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Teriyaki sauce

1/4 cup sake, rice wine, or apple cider (non-traditional I know, but it was what I had in the fridge)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish

Cook the pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Meanwhile, saute the shallot, garlic, and scallion in half the sesame oil until softened. Add the peanut butter, fish sauce, mirin, vinegar, Teriyaki sauce, and sake/cider. Stir to combine and let cook with about 1/2 cup of pasta water for 5 minutes.

Off the heat, add the pasta along with the rest of the sesame oil and the lemon. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with sesame seeds and scallions.

When making meatballs, the MOST important part is making sure you use enough breadcrumbs. No one likes rock hard meatballs, which comes from only using meat. If you can’t make your own (and it’s REALLY worth it, trust me), at least use some packaged breadcrumbs and soak them in a little milk. Ok. I’m done with the caps lock.

Chicken Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken

1 scallion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, not ground too finely

1 egg

1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons mirin

1 teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs if needed

2 tablespoons sesame oil

Combine the chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, scallion, garlic, half the ginger, and teaspoons of mirin and teriyaki sauce in a large bowl. Add dry breadcrumbs if it seems too wet to stay in loose balls. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and saute in the sesame oil until they brown on all sides. Remove to a baking dish.

Add the remaining ginger, mirin, teriyaki, vinegar, and fish sauce to the pan and stir together. Pour over the meatballs and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.

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I saw beautiful little persian cucumbers at the store today, so I thought I’d make some quick pickles. These are sweet and sour and salty with just the right crunch. The thinner you cut them, the less crunchy they will stay.

Pickles with Basil

8 small cucumbers, preferably persian or any that you don’t need to seed

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons mirin

1 tablespoon salt

8 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, mirin, and salt until they have dissolved. You may need to heat it up a bit to make it dissolve, a few seconds in the microwave is fine.

Roll the basil leaves up and cut them finely, or chiffonade.

Add the basil to the liquid ingredients.

Slice up the cucumbers as thinly as you like and add them in as well.

Let them soak for at least an hour. The thinner you slice them, the quicker they pickle so it’s really to taste.

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