I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Salmon with Sweet Pea Puree

The other night just as I was preparing dinner "The Darlings" came and told me that they have been invited next door for dinner!!!

At first I was a little miffed - I had just been to the market that day and had bought their favourite - salmon for dinner!  I'm thinking to myself that's a few dollars worth of salmon going to waste.

Calm down, and take a breath.  Think about this logically - there are now an additional 2 pieces of salmon that can go in the freezer for another night, and you now only have to cook one version of dinner instead of two!  Which when I started getting my head around the recipe that I had chosen, was possibly for the best.

Once again I had been suckered in with a beautiful photo - it looked so good - lovely spring inspired colours.  In my usual way I had only looked over the ingredients, and then looked at the photo.  No need to bother with the method (well not yet anyway).  It's not that the method was tricky, it's just that there were several elements involved (as you would expect in MasterChef the Finale magazine!!!).

The recipe is a Shinichi Maeda dish from Shaun Presland's Sake restaurant in Brisbane.  I know that I definitely didn't nail the dish exactly - but as usual I gave it my own interpretation.  One major difference being that I used Salmon instead of Ocean Trout!!!

Salmon with Sweet Pea Puree
Adapted from Shinichi Maeda's Recipe - found in MasterChef Magazine - September edition

Serves 4

2 tbs peanut oil
4 x 150g pieces salmon(ocean trout) pin boned, skinned
100g enoki mushrooms, trimmed, separated
100g oyster mushrooms, halved
100g shitake mushrooms, stalks trimmed, thinly sliced
snow pea tendrils, or watercress to serve (I used baby spinach)

Soy Butter
125g butter at room temperature, roughly chopped
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
80ml (1/3 cup) Japanese Soy Sauce or tamari

Sweet Pea Puree
10g bonito flakes
1 rasher short cut bacon
1tbs peanut oil
200g frozen peas or podded soybeans (edamame), thawed (I used edamame)
50g butter, finely chopped

Steamed rice to serve

To make the soy butter use an electric mixer, and beat butter for 5 minutes, or until pale and doubled in volume,  Add the chives, reduce speed to low, then gradually add soy sauce and beat until well combined. Place butter in a 10cm long line on a sheet of foil and roll into a log.  Twist ends tightly to enclose, then freeze for 20 minutes or until firm.  Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile, to make the dashi stock for the sweet pea puree, place 180ml (3/4 cup0 of water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat.  Remove from the heat, add bonito flakes, then stand for 5 minutes to infuse.

To make the sweet pea puree, heat oil in a small saucepan over high heat.  Add bacon and cook for 1 minute each side or until golden.  Drain on a paper towel.

Strain the dashi stock through a fine sieve into a bowl.  Wipe pan clean.  Return stock to pan, then bring to the boil over high heat.  Add peas and bacon, and cook for 3 minutes or until peas are warmed through.

Strain pea mixture through a fine sieve, reserving 2 tbs dashi stock.  Discard bacon.  Process peas, reserved stock and butter in a food processor to a puree.  Season.  Cover to keep warm.

To cook fish, heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat.  Add fish, skin side up, and cook for 2 minutes or until light golden.  Turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes for medium , or until cooked to your liking.  Transfer fish to a plate, season then rest until needed.  Wipe pan clean and reserve.

To cook mushrooms, heat reserved pan over high heat.  Add a 2cm thick slice of soy butter and cook until butter starts to foam.  Reserve remaining soy butter to serve.  Add the mushrooms and cook, tossing occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until tender.  Season.

Divide sweet pea puree among bowls, then top with fish, mushrooms and a 1cm thick slice of soy butter.  Scatter with greens to serve.

As you see there are many steps to this recipe.  It was however, a lovely dish.  I did add a scoop of steamed rice, and I am glad that I did.  I found that the dashi flavouring was a little too overpowering for my liking, and the rice helped diffuse the flavours a little.  All in all though I loved the dish and would certainly make it again.

So you can see why now I was not too perturbed that I didn't have to make a second version of dinner for "The Darlings"?  In the end everything turned out for the best!!!


  1. Mmmmmm I love salmon so this is just my sort of meal. Keep well. Diane

  2. i really like the sound of this dish! glad your looked at the situation with your glass half full :)