Recipe: Poached salmon in rice wine and soy sauce with sprout stir fry
This the lovely Pamela, one of a growing band of dedicated foodies I meet who has turned her passion into a business and is found a rather tidy niche. ChenMoore Chopsticks is all about demystifying oriental food (Pamela is from Taiwan originally, but cooks across the Far Eastern regions) and showing that it’s not all about chop sueys and sticky sweet and sour pork.
She’s based in Cheltenham, holding courses from her home but also getting out and about at events like the Didcot Food Festival (26 Nov) and demonstrating at the Waitrose Cookery Studio (Cheltenham, 5 Dec) and teaches everything from the total basics and how to make the perfect dimsum to one pot meals and bespoke courses, with them coming in around £85-95 for the day. A cool touch is that she encourages children (10-16 years) to come too and bring an adult (£128 for the two of you).
I had a go at cutting different types of carrots – look at those hopeless flowers I attempted! (*the embarrassment*). Pamela helped my lamentable left-handed knife skills, and then I watched as she created a brussell sprout stir fry with ginger and black bean salmon. Note to self: remember this for post-Xmas scoffing sprouts without feeling too gluttonous.
I know when you see the pros do it it does look flippin easy, but what I love about Asian cooking is it’s also really healthy – Pamela barely used any oil with the stir fry, it was pretty steamed and is just fab wholesome home cooking.
Here’s a glimpse of her at work.
If you feel like having a go at these combined recipes (below) – totally woofed down by Mr Muddy & Sons on my return from Cheltenham – be my guest. I can totally recommend it, and even I’ve managed to recreate it again without trauma.
Poached salmon in rice wine and soy sauce
(Serves 2 to 3)
2 or 3 salmon fillet steaks
1” ginger (finely shredded)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (dark or light)
1 tablespoon rice wine
½ teaspoon sugar
½ to 1 cup water
Thinly sliced spring onion (optional)
- Add the soy sauce, rice wine, water and sugar to a lidded frying pan.
- Arrange the salmon steaks in the pan, leaving a small gap between each.
- Scatter the shredded ginger around the salmon.
- Close the lid and cook on medium heat for around 5 to 10 minutes, until cooked.
- From time to time, remove the lid and spoon some of the cooking sauce over the fillet steaks to give them a little colour and ensure they don’t dry out.
- Serve with the remaining sauce poured over the top.
- Garnish with spring onion if desired. (If you happened to have some red chilli pepper to hand, add a few slices on top for some extra colour.)
Serve with rice and steamed vegetables for a perfect meal. If you have a rice cooker that comes with a steamer, you can cook this dish on top
Sprout and Shiitake mushroom stir fry
Serves 2 to 4
A few dry shiitake mushrooms
1 small to medium pack of Brussels sprouts
1 red pepper
1” fresh ginger
A few slices of red chilli (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
½ tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
- Rehydrate the shiitake mushroom in warm water for at least 1 hour. Squeeze the water out and slice thinly
- Peel the ginger and slice thinly
- Peel the tough outer leaves off the sprouts. Make two cuts like an X on the top end of the sprouts, with the second cut going right through to make half pieces. Rinse
- Wash the red pepper, cut in half and remove the stalk, seeds and white bits. Cut each half into four strips, then cut each strip into chunks
- If using chilli, cut a few thin slices
- Heat the oil in the pan and add the ginger. When it starts sizzling, add the sprouts. Stir, then add half the salt
- Add a little water, close the lid, and use the steam to cook the sprouts for about 3 minutes
- Add the soy sauce with a little water, the straw mushrooms and the red pepper. Add the remaining salt and a pinch of sugar. Stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender
- My family like their sprouts a little crunchy, while our elderly relatives prefer them soft. In this case, remove some of the cooked sprouts while they retain their crunch and cook the remainder for longer, for those who prefer them soft.
- Straw mushrooms make a good alternative—they come in tins and are a regular in my cupboard. Drain them, trim off any messy bits at the bottom and cut each mushroom in half lengthways and drain away the excess water.
- Use any thinner-leaved cabbage instead of sprouts if you prefer.