Since coming to Japan, more specifically since not living at home or in a dorm, I have become even more interesting in cooking shows like Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen. While one can hardly call these two shows good teachers in terms of how to cook, you have to admit that they do provide some creative ways to approaching food. More than once I have used a combination, whether it be unusual or not, of spices and produce I saw on the show in my own cooking to come up with some “original” recipes of my own.
Anyway, what I thought I would do is share some of the recipes that were deemed successes by a pretty easy to please judge: Jun. Maybe this will become a feature on this blog, and maybe it won’t. I will try to do a balance of recipes, ie not just ingredients that are easily found in Japan, but you will probably see a lot more “Japanese” food than not.
First up is a dish that I found on one of my favorite cooking sites, allrecipes.com.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 pound salmon fillets
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a small bowl, blend olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard and ginger
Brush salmon fillets evenly with the olive oil mixture.
Place in a medium baking dish.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
I accidentally put too much ginger into the mixture, but it ended up tasting pretty good. Next time I would like to let the salmon marinade in the sauce for a little (about 8 hours) instead of immediately putting it into the oven. I also wish that the sauce had been a little more runny so the flavor could spread to the asparagus and rice as well. This could have been because I put too much ginger in, but I have a feeling it was because of the type of mustard I used. I used Maille‘s brand of Dijon mustard and it did not “melt” the way I had hoped it would in the oven. I think next time I would like to use some honey Dijon instead. I think the flavors would be a lot richer that way. Then again, I like the flavor of honey Dijon to other mustards. I also might try adding some balsamic vinegar into the sauce. I have found balsamic vinegar to be a great addition to almost any sauce.
Rating out of 5
I served the salmon over some asparagus that I boiled the ends in a covered pot for 8 minutes or so. Probably the best asparagus I have made ever. I think the trick was that once I had cut the ends, I then took the knife and made a X shaped slit in the bottom so that the asparagus could absorb the boiling water and thus making it more tender. As no Japanese meal is complete without rice, I put some on the side.