Lately, I've noticed that being in quarantine seems to be making everyone a little bit more creative in the kitchen, which is great! Perhaps out of necessity because we only have certain ingredients at home, or maybe because we're tired of eating the same things over and over. Either way, I am amazed and inspired by so many people posting their creations online.
Being in quarantine also means craving food that we don't regularly make at home, like fried chicken or like sushi and sashimi, which we normally eat out. But not having had sushi for a while and then going into quarantine, made us crave it big time. After all, we don't know when we will be able to go back to our favorite Japanese sushi restaurants! So while we were picking up groceries and essentials at Costco, we got a pack of farm raised Atlantic salmon for our poke bowl dinner.
And this is what I came up with. Drool worthy goodness. A salmon party in your mouth!
Now why Costco, you might ask? Is it safe? Is it sushi grade? Well the answer is that there will always be risk when eating raw fish, no matter where you buy it from. But of course, if you have access to sushi grade salmon, then go for it!
I and many other friends and family have regularly bought farm raised salmon from Costco for raw consumption and have never had any issues. We also eat it within the first two days of buying it, and any leftovers are cooked in other recipes or portioned out for the freezer to be cooked another time. If you are thinking of going to Costco for sushi night, I recommend this article from Sushi Modern as a guide for what to buy.
So after buying some farm raised Atlantic salmon from Costco, I set to work creating a hybrid dish that combines our favorite flavors from Hawaii and Japan. When we were in Hawaii, we got poke almost every other day! At restaurants, from ABC stores (they're like the equivalent of 7 Elevens but better!), and food trucks, everywhere! The fish was always fresh and the different versions were fun to explore. Our favorites were the oyster sauce pokes and the spicy salmon pokes! Our version in this recipe is a mix of sweet from the honey, saltiness from the soy and oyster sauce, heat from the spicy mayo and tang from the fresh lime juice melding perfectly together, sitting on top of a bed of seasoned sushi rice.
On top of our poke bowl we included strips of salmon seared with a blow torch. This was something we were inspired from watching sushi chefs lightly sear salmon nigiri before serving. The first time I remembered having it served this way was Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, a conveyor belt sushi place in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo. While conveyor sushi places tend to have a rep for having low quality fish or questionable freshness, Kura blew us away with their surprisingly sophisticated, creative and fresh offerings, with a la carte options delivered to you directly on a "bullet train" belt. When we first tried the seared salmon with mayo nigiri, it immediately became a favorite and if we didn't see it going past us on the belt, we would get direct orders to come to our table via bullet train. Somehow, searing it just makes the salmon feel extra soft and buttery, especially if you have a nice fatty cut of salmon! Adding the mayo on top just made it that much more creamy. So, with this in mind, we decided to torch sear our poke bowl salmon slices as well. Plus, the hubby loves to use the blowtorch any chance he gets. (He has claimed the blow torch and the grill his domain, lol.)
The sauce goes well with the rice and the salmon is just so, so good. Sprinkle some furikake and drizzle some Japanese kewpie mayo as a finishing touch and it is perfect! We hope you enjoy it!
• 3 cups uncooked Japanese sushi rice
• 1/2 cup Sushi rice vinegar
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 2 tsp salt
Spicy Salmon Poke:
• fresh sushi grade salmon (we usually use Costco farm raised salmon and have never had issues with it) cubed to bite sized pieces
• 1 tbsp oyster sauce
• 1 tbsp lite soy sauce
• 1/2 juice squeezed from lime or lemon
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1.5 tbsp Japanese kewpie mayo
• .5 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce (I usually add more to mine because I like spicy, but just gradually add to your preference)
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 2 tbsp scallions
• 1/4 chopped red onion
• 1/2 avocado, cubed
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Seaweed furikake rice seasoning
• Salmon strips thinly sliced to top the bowl
• La-Yu chili oil to taste
1. Cube avocado and chop red onion. Cube the salmon and reserve slices of salmon to use for searing later. Mix the cubed salmon, cubed avocado and chopped red onion with all the salmon poke sauce and seasonings and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
2. Cook your sushi rice according to manufacturer instructions. Usually about 40-45 min in the rice cooker, about 20 minute on stove top.
3. When rice is ready, take it out and add sushi vinegar, salt and sugar. Mix well and let cool to room temp.
3. Fill your bowl with rice, add your salmon poke and top with salmon strips. Use a blow torch to sear the top. Shake some furikake seasoning on top of the salmon strips, some La-Yu chili oil (optional), then add some kewpie mayo for extra creaminess. Enjoy!
On my quest to be a little more healthy, (and I say this very loosely), I was looking at my fridge and pantry with skepticism in trying to figure out how to make something healthy, yummy and satisfying. Sure, I know the healthiest way to eat is steaming lean proteins and vegetables, but doing so results in taking a trip down bland avenue and straight into flavorless town, and then subsequently me flipping a table from being h-angry.
I looked at a piece of fresh salmon in the fridge and thought, "Dear Salmon, how should you enter my belly?" How about a salmon rice bowl?
In Japanese, donburi, or more popularly known as "don" is essentially a bowl of rice topped with simmered veggies and or meat. It could be fish, pork, beef, chicken etc. Donburi is one of the easiest things to make as long as you have rice, and then you can top it with virtually anything—you can even use leftovers.
For this simple salmon brown rice bowl, the flavor profile is Asian (surprise!) and can be made in 15 minutes or less, including microwaving the packet of Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic. And here you've got yourself a quick, healthy and yummy meal. I first tried this brand of brown rice and quinoa during a Costco trip, where they were giving out free samples. I'm a sucker for free samples. Or free stuff. Yay~
Anyhow, I was so happy with how it came out! Plus, it's healthy and could be microwaved in 90 seconds, so I'm all for it. A package is two servings, so it was perfect for a dinner between myself and Wilson. It's so easy because this recipe just needs you to chop up the ingredients, mix in the flavors, sauté til cooked, and top off on rice. The sweet soy sauce in the dish makes it similar to salmon teriyaki, while the sweet thai chili sauce gives it a little extra spice and tang that reminds me of Thai fish dishes. Top it off with a poached egg yolk and some tobiko (Japanese word for flying fish roe) and it's ready to go. The texture of the rice and quinoa, along with the little salty tobiko popping in your mouth is fun and tasty, while the smooth egg yolk glosses and coats the salmon with a delicious richness that only eggs can do.
There's also something simple and comforting in eating rice with a runny egg and sweet soy sauce. My grandmother used to make that for me to eat and the egg yolk would envelope each and every grain of rice, while the sweet soy sauce gave the rice even more addictive, yummy flavor. It was a simple dish that didn't require much money or work, and my grandmother always made it with love.
So without further ado...Here's what you gotta do..
• 4-6 oz salmon fillet, cubed
• 1 tbsp chopped parsley
• 1 chopped scallions (about 1 tbsp)
• 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
• 1/2 tsp ginger powder
• 1/2 tbsp mirin
• 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce (I used Yoshida's Gourmet Sauce)
• 1 tbsp sesame oil
• 1 tbsp olive oil for cooking
• 1 tbsp Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
• 1 egg yolk
• tobiko (flying fish roe)
• Seeds of Change Garlic & Brown Rice Quinoa Packet
1. Cube your salmon into bite sized pieces, about 1/2" cubes. You want nice chunks that are meaty but not too large that it won't fit comfortably in your mouth haha. Also if you cut it too small, it will cook too quickly and dry out, leaving you with cardboard salmon over rice and not tender salmon nuggets.
2. In a bowl, combine the salmon, scallions, parsley, white pepper powder, ginger powder, mirin, sweet soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix well.
3. Heat your pan with some olive oil and pour in your salmon mixture. Sauté until cooked through, or when all sides of the salmon are an opaque pink/orange color.
4. Add the sweet Thai chili sauce and toss to coat. Pour into a separate bowl to stop the cooking process—if you leave it in the hot pan even with the fire turned off, the residual heat can continue to cook the salmon and dry it out.
5. Boil water and poach the egg yolk lightly.
6. Follow the instructions for microwaving the Seeds of Change Brown Rice & Quinoa packet. Open about 2 inches of the packet and microwave it for 90 seconds.
7. Spoon desired amount of rice and quinoa into your bowl and top with the cooked salmon, poached egg, tobiko, and sesame seeds. If you wanna get super fancy, toast your sesame seeds quickly in the pan before topping your salmon rice bowl for an extra bit of nuttiness.
And that's it! Simple, quick and easy. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did, and that you explore making different donburi dishes on your own! With so many variations, the possibilities of toppings are endless!
Just a girl, her husband and two dogs who love food ♥❤🐶👫🐶❤♥