I have eaten too many foamy bananas! I feel a little sick, but I know that within a couple of minutes I will pick up the last one and scoff that too. Such is the crazy way my willpower lacking brain works. We have been at a birthday party today, the bananas are discarded from the lolly bags. Turns out neither of my banana loving boys like banana lollies! The boys are shattered and full of sugar. I am hoping that by tea time they come crashing down and will sleep for 12 hours straight! Wishful thinking I fear!
I wrote that earlier when I was under the misguided impression that after a busy and energetic morning/lunch the boys may enjoy some quiet time. HA! They decided against craft time and picked Lego. So I spread our Lego mat (aka a large bed sheet) over the living room floor and tipped the whole box out for them. Lego = quiet activity, right? No, they built spaceships and police cars and played a very loud game that involved the stealing of a diamond, a pig, a storm trooper and a fireman. Sounds a bit like a very bad, straight to TV, movie!
Did you know that the word Lego is an abbreviation of two Danish words meaning 'play well', I didn't, but Mr 7 did, although as he couldn't remember the Danish words I googled it for him, I'm nice like that 😉
So straight from the Lego website "The name 'LEGO' is an abbreviation of the two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well". Its our name and its our ideal."
I, being a bit of a sad mum, thought I'd read the boys a bit about the Lego history. I found it quite interesting 😳 and I love the fact that the grandson of the founder is now running the company. A true family run global brand. Love it.
I'll leave my Lego facts there, as I realise not everyone is as sad as me ;-), but if you want to read more this is where I started: Lego History. No affiliation or sales involved just fun facts that one day may win me (or you) a pub quiz.
So slowly the sugar wore off and after an early tea of salad, fruit and grilled mustard butter chicken (recipe coming soon) they finally fell asleep. Two zonked boys, both in identical positions, the only difference is one is snoring softly. Aren't sleep children adorable!
Something else that is adorable is my miso salmon. That is a terrible and tenuous link isn't it! Sorry. I'll do better next time.
Really what I should have said is the boys are asleep and I am rewarding myself with a delicious, easy but tastes like you have worked hard, stylish looking, super delicious (I've said that already!) dinner. Miso salmon with pickled cucumber and Japanese rice.
Honestly I cannot explain this salmon to you, I will try and explain the wonderfulness of it, but I do not have the literary skills to do it justice. The rich salmon is marinated in a mixture of miso paste and mirin, this gives it a deeply savoury yet sweet taste and acts as a coating that burnishes as the salmon cooks. I love miso, straight from the packet it is intensely salty but with a unique earthy savoury taste rather than just a salt taste. (see I told you I didn't have the skills!)
Mirin is a sweetened Japanese rice wine, I buy it in the Asian section of Coles, but if you can't find any you could use a sweet sherry as a replacement.
The salmon needs to be left to marinate; if you are pushed for time, an hour will do, but ideally leave it over night or marinate it in the morning ready to eat it for dinner. I like to pan fry my salmon, but then I am usually only cooking two fillets. If I am feeding a larger number then I find oven cooking is easier. So to be super helpful I have given you both instructions.
Japanese rice is wonderful, it is sticky but fluffy and rather addictive. I always intentionally make too much as Mr 4 and I like to eat it cold, for lunch, with carrot and cucumber batons and a
drizzle big slosh of soy sauce. I have tried cooking it using the traditional absorption method and this worked so well when I had the super controlled induction hob, but with my Rickety Cottage ancient gas hob I just can't get the heat low enough and it ends up drying out before it has cooked through. I have played about and now have a method for cooking it in plenty of water and yet still getting the sticky yet fluffy texture.
Serves 4 (I have given correct, but generous, rice quantities not my extra portions 😉 )
- 4 tbsp miso paste
- 4 tbsp mirin
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 salmon fillets
- 250g sushi rice
- Boiling water
- 1 cucumber
- 4 tsp rice wine vinegar
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- In a large ziplock bag, mix together the miso, mirin, and sugar. I do this by adding everything and then giving it a good squish about.
- Add the salmon fillets to the bag, jiggle and turn them until they are well coated in the marinade.
- Place the bag in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Pour the rice into a sieve and rinse it well. You will need to do this for at least 3 minutes to get rid of the excess starch.
- Place the rice in a saucepan and just cover with boiling water, bring back to the boil and then drain the rice, discarding the water.
- Put the rice back in the pan and add plenty of boiling water. You want to make sure the rice is completely covered by at least 4 cm.
- Bring to the boil and then cook on the lowest heat you can for 15 minutes. Check the rice is cooked and add an extra minute if it needs it.
- Turn off the heat.
- Using a sieve, lightly drain the rice and then place the sieve over the saucepan and cover with a lid or upturned plate. Leave the rice like this for 5-10 minutes.
- Whisk together the rice wine vinegar and sugar.
- Use a potato peeler to cut the cucumber into thin fat ribbons and add them to the vinegar mix. Stir well and set aside whilst you cook the salmon.
- Remove the salmon from the marinate and use your finger to scrape the majority of the miso off.
- Add a small amount of oil to a frying pan and cook for 4 minutes skin side down, over a medium/low heat. Flip the salmon and cook for a further 3 minutes. This will gve you tender salmon with a touch of pink. Cook more or less as preferred.
- To oven bake: Preheat the oven to 200C°/fan forced 180C°/Gas mark 6.
- Cover a baking sheet with cooking paper and place the fillets skin side down onto the tray. Cook in the oven for 14 minutes.
- Remove the salmon from the heat and serve immediately.
- You can make individual domes of rice by spooning the rice into a small bowl, gently pat it down and then invert it onto the plate. But most of the time I just invert the whole sieve onto a serving plate 😉
- Garnish your salmon with the cucumber salad, make sure the soy sauce jug is within reach and enjoy.