When I first met my boyfriend, I may have seriously talked up my food skills. I marketed myself as a master of beef bourgeon and a baking queen, despite the fact that a packet of sugar hadn’t graced my pantry shelves for over a year. The first time he came for dinner I was freaking out. I bought plums from the fancy markets, rather than my usual Coles and left work early to ensure I could rest my lamb before roasting it, something I never bother to do. He thankfully believed the beetroots were ‘candied’ whereas in fact I had forgotten about them while I was frantically blow drying my hair before I detected their lovely burnt coating. The whole dish may have been executed calmly, but there were serious doubts of whether he would really believe that I regularly whip up a homemade chunky plum sauce to go with my dukkah crusted lamb on a Wednesday night.
Not one to lose a fight, he raved for weeks about how incredible his mirin glazed salmon was and how people would come over, just to eat it. I was in for a treat.
The night I was invited to try it I arrived to find him in the kitchen, all frazzled and frantic. My kitchen hovering skills were surprisingly not appreciated and I was promptly sent outside with a glass of wine to leave him to execute the masterpiece in peace. It was still delicious, but with the pressure to perform he had burnt the sauce and everything had stuck to the bottom of the pan. He assured me it had never happened before and promised next time, I would not be disappointed.
I’m sure glad I decided to stick around for long enough for him to get enough courage to make it again, because it is truly the most delicious way to eat salmon. The sweet, sticky glaze is sharp enough to cut through the oiliness of the fish and is definitely worth the praise. Over time we have realised it is perfect on top of a bed of asian stir fried buckwheat, a collective high five moment of ours after eating something similar at one of our favourite cafes one morning.
I’m a little excited to share this recipe. Every time I eat it I can’t help but remember the early battle of the dinners we had, constantly trying to outdo each other. I have a sneaky suspicion the recipe may have been stolen from one of his family friends who has probably burnt it trying to impress once or twice in his day too. I’m sure he won’t mind that I’m further sharing the love.
Maybe just watch the sauce.
Mirin glazed salmon with stir fried buckwheat
For the buckwheat
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 chilli, chopped
2cm ginger, grated
2 handfuls of snow peas
1 tbs sesame oil
2 cups of cooked and cooled buckwheat
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
Coriander, fried shallots and peanuts to serve
1. Heat a pan over medium heat , add sesame oil and cook ginger, garlic, chilli and onion until soft
2. Add snow peas and stir fry for 2 minutes
3. Add buckwheat and cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through
4. Stir through apple cider vinegar and transfer to bowls while to prepare salmon
For the salmon
50 grams coconut sugar
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
1. Mix the mirin, coconut sugar and tamarin in a shallow dish and marinate fish for 3 minutes on the first side and then 2 minutes on the second
2. Cook the fish in a dry hot pan for 2 minutes, then turn and cook for another 2
3. Remove salmon and place on the buckwheat
4. Add the rice vinegar to the pan and warm through
5. Drizzle sauce over the salmon
6. Garnish with coriander, peanuts and shallots