Grilled Salmon with Tangy Soy

Posted January 19th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

I got a big piece of salmon fillet from a friend the other day.  Salmon is one of my favorite fish – .. well I love all fish though, but salmon is great to eat anytime, on breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I normally eat salmon with rice, such as sushi and porridge, but I love my grandma’s simmered salmon.  She uses only the part near the bones (salmon ara アラ).  The part contains the delicious oil and condensed flavor of salmon.  I’ve never seen a shop selling this in Perth. (people think it’s not edible part, I think)

I grilled the salmon last night and served with steamed rice and tangy soy sauce.  This is a meal you can create in a flash!

<Grilled Salmon with Tangy Soy> serves 2

  • 2 fillets salmon
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 lemon
  1. Heat a frying pan with oil.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper, and grill over medium-high heat until the bottom coloured.  (if your salmon got skin, cook the skin side first)  Carefully flip it around and cook another side over low heat until just done.
  2. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice and chopped coriander.
  3. Serve with steamed rice!
You can add chopped chilli to the sauce for colour and heat, if you like.

Japanese Rice Soup with Salmon (Salmon Zosui)

Posted September 9th, 2010 in Food | 4 Comments »

It’s stormy lately in Perth.  Very strong wind and cold rain.  Warm up your body with this Japanese rice soup with grilled salty salmon 🙂

Zosui is a Japanese rice soup made from pre-cooked rice and water.  There is a similar dish called okayu, but okayu is cooked from uncooked rice and to more watery consistency.

Grill the salmon first with seasonings.  The salmon looks so delicious at this point, but it will be added to the simmering rice soup.  Pre-cooked rice is simmered in dashi water with mushroom, then dried wakame, blanched spinach and chopped spring onion will be added.  Mushroom and wakame gives the flavor to the soup too.

<Salmon Zosui> serves 2


  • 200g salmon fillet (skinned and boned)
  • 1 tbs mirin and 1 pinch salt for seasoning salmon
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 5 cm konbu (dried seaweed sheet)
  • 2 dried shiitake mushroom
other ingredients:
  • 200g cooked rice, cold (I used brown rice)
  • 100g oyster mushroom
  • 2 bunches spinach
  • 1 tbs dried cut wakame
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs sake
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 ~ 1 tsp salt
  • chopped spring onion to garnish
  1. Sprinkle salmon with salt.  Line aluminium foil in a frying pan, and spray oil.  Heat the pan, and sear the salmon.  Brush with mirin both side while turning the salmon.
  2. Meanwhile, place water, konbu and shiitake in a heat-proof bowl, and microwave for 2 minutes.  Leave it for 1 minute.
  3. Remove the konbu and shiitake from dashi water.  Discard konbu.  Slice up shiitake mushroom.
  4. Place the dashi water in a cooking pot along with shiitake mushroom, oyster mushroom (stemmed, and roughly separated), sake and soy sauce.  Place on the stove and bring to the gentle boil.
  5. Add rice, and simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Wash spinach and cut into 3 cm width.  Beat eggs in a bowl.  Roughly break the salmon meat.
  7. Add spinach, cut wakame, and salmon to the rice.  Season with salt.  Pour the egg mixture into the simmering rice soup.  Stir, and turn off the heat.
  8. Sprinkle chopped spring onion and serve with chilli powder (optional).

Fried Salmon in Dark Vinegar Glaze (Salmon Nanban)

Posted September 2nd, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

I used to buy white fish Nanban (deep-fried white fish in Nanban sauce) from deli in supermarkets.  It’s vinegary sauce whips the appetite, and the sweetness of the sauce and the onion are best match with steamed rice.

I made this dish with salmon instead of white fish.  The white fish we eat in Japan are different from those in supermarkets here.  You can make this recipe with any white fish, but I thought I’d try it with salmon.  I’m sure you can get the fish (that we eat in Japan) from some shops here too, but I believe almost everyone loves salmon and it’s easy to get from anywhere.

<Salmon Nanban>  serves 2

  • 125g x 2 Salmon Fillet
  • 1 onion, small
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 red chili, small (optional)
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
  • 5 tbs vinegar
  • 6 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tbs corn flour + 1/2 tbs plain flour to dust
  • oil for deep-frying
  • 1 tsp corn flour + 1 tsp water
  1. Slice onion and carrot thinly.  Chop chili.
  2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan, and fry onion and carrot.  Add chili.
  3. Add the sauces to the pan, and bring to boil.  Pour corn flour + water mixture into the pan, while stirring.  Simmer for 1 minutes, and remove from the heat.
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan.
  5. Slice salmon into 1 cm thick pieces.  Dust with corn flour + plain flour, shake off any excess.  Deep-fry until golden and crispy.
  6. Drain any excess oil, and immerse into the sauce (at stage 3)
  7. To serve: Arrange the salmon in a serving plate, and pour over the onion, carrot and sauce.  Best to be served with steamed rice.
* Check out Chicken Nanban recipe → here

Rice Balls with Roasted Eels (Unagi Balls)

Posted August 30th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

I made this to eat at home, but it’s also a great item for picnic.  It’s such easy to make and looks cute, like temari-sushi (small and ball-shaped sushi). You can add more colors such as red (red ginger), green (green veggie or green pickles), orange (tobikko) …

The good thing is, you don’t even need to make your hands dirty – shape it by using pieces of plastic wrap.

I used normal steamed rice (not vinegared rice) so this is not sushi.  You can use vinegared rice if you like.

Makes 8~10
  • 100g unagi (roasted eel)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • about 3 small bowl-full of steamed rice (short or medium grain)
  1. If you are using a frozen unagi, defrost and warm up in a boiling water.  Cut into pieces.
  2. Beat egg with 1 pinch of sugar.  Heat a frying pan and lightly grease the pan.  Pour the egg and cook as if you are making very fine scrambled egg.  Try not to color the egg.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Cut plastic wrap about 15cm x 15cm.  Place a piece of the plastic wrap in a small bowl. (this makes easy to shape)  Arrange a piece of unagi in the centre, and spoon scrambled egg around it.  Drop 1.5 tbs of rice on top and close the plastic wrap.  Shape into a round ball.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Ao-nori Pasta with Smoked Salmon

Posted April 22nd, 2010 in Food | 5 Comments »

Very simple pasta with smoked salmon and ao-nori.  Ao-nori, also known as green laver, is dried and powdered green seaweed and it has distinctive flavor.  You should have seen it as a topping on Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki and other Japanese dishes.  This goes well with smokey salmon and mild Parmesan.


<Ao-nori Pasta with Smoked Salmon> serves 2

  • 2 portion pasta
  • 100 g smoked salmon
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs (1g)  Ao-nori
  • 1 tbs margarin 
  • 1tbs olive oil
  1. Bring a large pot of water (salted) to the boil.  Cook pasta to al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic.
  3. Heat olive oil in a frying pan, and sautee garlic and onion until fragrant.  
  4. Add margarin, then smoked salmon, drained pasta and ao-nori.  Mix through gently, and season.  Turn off the heat.
  5. Serve on the plate and top with shaved Parmesan.

Salmon Carpaccio with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Posted April 6th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

A cold entree idea.  It is very easy to make, yet gives a great impression at the table.  Mix wasabi to add a hint of authentic taste.  All you need is packaged smoked salmon, white onion, mayonnaise and wasabi tube!  (and snow pea sprout for garnish if needed)

Serves 4 as entree

  • 100 g smoked salmon
  • 1 white onion, small
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 5 ml lemon juice
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise
  • 1 cm wasabi from a tube
  • snow pea sprouts to garnish
  1. Slice white onion very thinly across the grain.  Immerse in a cold water for 5 minutes, then drain well.
  2. Arrange smoked salmon on a bed of sliced onion.  Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice.  Chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix mayonnaise and wasabi.
  4. Garnish the carpaccio with snow pea sprouts, and serve with the wasabi mayonnaise.

Light and Crispy Tempura

Posted March 8th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

The keys to delicious, crispy and light tempura are:

  • Don’t mix the batter too much ( as it will develop the gluten from the flour)
  • Cold batter x hot oil 

If you do so, the tempura stays crispy even when it’s cold.


  • 45 g plain flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 80 ml water
  • 1/2 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 2~3 ice cubes
  1. Place water, sake and ice cubes in a bowl, and shift in the dry ingredient.  Using a pair of chopsticks, lightly mix the batter.  (there should be lumps of flour in the batter.  Don’t mix too much!)
  2. Heat oil in a deep pan to 180℃.
  3. Coat prepared vegetables or seafood with batter, drain any excess batter, and deep-fry.  (Don’t fry too many vegetables/seafood at once, as it will drop the temperature of the oil.)
  4. Drain, and serve with salt or tsuyu sauce.
* If you are making seafood tempura, you may want to dust with plain flour before coating with batter.
Tsuyu sauce:

50 ml soy sauce
50 ml mirin
200 ml water
10 g katsuo-bushi (bonito flakes)

* mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 2 minutes. let it cool down, and remove the katsuo-bushi.

You can keep this for 2 days in the fridge.


  • Thinly shredded onion and carrot, and chopped onion.  (equal amount) Mix into batter.  Using a spoon, scoop the mixture and carefully drop into hot oil.  Deep-fry both sides until cooked through. 
  • Fresh herbs (eg: basil, parsley, coriander etc).  Coat with batter lightly and deep-fry for 30 seconds. (both sides)
  • Silver fish, or any small fish.  
  • Camembert cheese … my favorite 🙂

Grilled Miso-mayo Salmon

Posted August 3rd, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

If you get bored with teriyaki salmon, why not try this creamy miso flavored grilled salmon?  It’s as easy as toasting a slice of bread.  Simply spread the mixture on the salmon and grill it.  Enjoy with steamed rice and a cup of miso soup  🙂

<Miso-mayo Salmon>

  • salmon fillet, skin free
  • miso paste
  • Japanese mayonnais
  1. Mix 2 tsp of Japanese mayonnaise and 1 tsp of miso paste.  You can use either red or white miso depending on your taste.

2.  Spread the miso paste on salmon (skin side).  Grill under Salamander or in the oven until cooked.

If the miso paste starts to get colored but the salmon is not quite cooked through, cover the top with aluminium foil to prevent it from burning.

Japanese people often use Japanese mayonnaise in cooking.  Some people really LOVES mayonnaise, and they eat it with anything… my mum is one of them.  She even eats pickles, nimono (simmered dish, mostly vegetables), grilled fish, meat, natto, noodle .. anything with mayonnaise.  I don’t usually eat mayonnaise except when eating okonomi-yaki or tako-yaki, so I always get surprised how quickly my family finish one bottle of mayonnaise at home :p

Some of the recipes using Japanese mayonnaise are little weird to me, and some of them are actually delicious.  I wouldn’t like stir-fried rice with mayonnaise (:p) or mayonnaise pan-cake (supposed to be eaten with maple syrup… eww) but I would eat mayonnaise omelet or mayonnaise hamburg.  …  who knows, maybe they’d all taste pretty good.  It’ll be high cholesterol for sure though.

Creamy Prawn Gratin

Posted June 10th, 2009 in Food | 2 Comments »

Creamy tasty prawn gratin ♪This is also one of popular yo-shoku dish in Japan.  You can find this “Prawn Gratin” in family restaurants, cafes, and even at convenience stores.

<Prawn Gratin>

  • 15g butter
  • 15g plain flour
  • about 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup prawn
  • 2 tbs macaroni
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 tbs white wine
  • grated mozzarella cheese + bread crumble
  1. Slice onion.  Cook macaroni till just before al dente.
  2. Melt butter in a sauce pan.  (Do not burn)  Add flour and stir.  Add milk little by little,  stir well at each addition of milk.  (using warmed milk is easier than cold milk)  Adjust the consistency with extra milk if needed.
  3. In another pan, heat up olive oil and saute sliced onion.  Add prawn, then pour white wine and burn up the alcohol.
  4. Pour bechamel sauce into 3.  Add macaroni, and stir through.  Season well.
  5. Pour the mixture into a plate, and sprinkle grated cheese and bread crumble on the top.  Bake in the oven (200 ~ 220) until golden colored.  Sprinkle chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Let’s Make Pizza

Posted April 27th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

This long weekend was lovely!  Nice weather, nice food….  On Saturday night we were invited to aunt’s house for BBQ.  We had a drink, sung karaoke…  it was fun 🙂  Sunday I went out with friend, and chatted for 2 hours over 1 cup of coffee and 1 piece of cake.  Talking never end…  That night D’s family and I went to South Ocean for dinner.  It was pretty disappointing that waiters mistook our orders twice 🙁  2 dishes out of 3 were not what we ordered, and waiters seemed to not understand what we were saying.  It actually happened few times in the past…  It was much nicer with their previous manager.  Shame that he no longer works in this restaurant.


Tonight I cooked dinner at home.  Asian Salad, 3 kinds of pizza, and Takoyaki.  A bowl of Edamame as appetizer too 🙂

I like the base of pizza to be thin and crispy.  Light taste and nice texture.

< base >

  • 4g sugar
  • 7g dry yeast
  • 80ml warm water
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2g salt
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water.  Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Pour yeast mixture and stir well.  Stir in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour is absorbed.
  3. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for about 1 minute.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with damp cloth or kitchen paper, and them plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 245.
  6. Deflate the dough and knead briefly on a lightly floured surface for about 1 minute.  Pat the dough into a sheet, and bake in the oven for about 5~10 minute (until just cooked).
Then, you can enjoy decorating pizza toppings!
I made three flavors:
< cajun chicken + bacon + bbq sauce >
Spread napolitana sauce (recipe below) on pizza base.  Arrange chopped bacon, shredded chicken breast (boiled or grilled), sliced mushroom, sliced mango (tinned), and sprinkle cajun spice.  Top with grated Mozzarella cheese and bake in very hot oven until nicely colored.
< tuna + corn + mayo + bechamel >
Spread bechamel sauce (recipe below) on pizza base.  Arrange tuna (tinned) and corn kernel.  Sprinkle paprika and drizzle mayonnaise.  Top with grated Mozzarella cheese and bake in very hot oven until nicely colored.
< seafood + lemon + coriander >
Spread napolitana sauce on pizza base.  Arrange branched seafood (prawn, squid etc), sliced olives, and drop little amount of pesto.  Squeeze fresh lemon juice over, and sprinkle chopped coriander and salt&pepper.  Top with grated Mozzarella cheese and bake in very hot oven until nicely colored.  Serve with lemon wedges.
Enjoy while it’s hot ♪
< Napolitana Sauce >
  • 1 tin whole tomato
  • 1/4 onion
  • 3cm carrot
  • 3cm celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1~2 basil leaves
Chop onion, carrot, celery and garlic finely.  Saute vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat.  Pour tinned tomato and bring to boil.  Turn the heat down to low, and add shredded basil leaves to the sauce.  Simmer for about 10~15 minutes.  Season.

< Bechamel Sauce >
  • 5g unsalted butter
  • 5g plain flour
  • milk
  1. Melt butter in a small pan.  (don’t let it burn)  Add flour and stir.  Pour little amount of milk, and stir.  Add milk, little amount at a time, and stir well each time until the mixture is right consistency.