There is something about Japanese food that no other cuisine provides at the same level: variety. In tastes and colors.
In this recipe then, I am trying to honor my mom’s cuisine and her fellow Japanese mates’ by using many ingredients for their colorful contrasts, as well as for the complexity of tastes they do offer.
While I might not be using the umami component in its original form, this dish guarantees to deliver a “pleasant savory taste”, with just enough saltiness and sourness to please your palate!
To marinate the cucumber, cut in thin/medium slices, sprinkle a fair amount of sea salt (1 tablespoon) and toss. Place the slices in a bowl, and very important: place something heavy on top, so the cucumber will be pressed. (It can be a heavy jar for instance).
Leave this for about 30 minutes. Some water will come out of the cucumber! That makes them a little sophisticated and even more Japanese 🙂
Prepare the dressing: Mix 1 teaspoon of miso, 1 teaspoon of tahini, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 dollop of wasabi, until smooth (that might take a while since tahini is quite pasty!). Keep aside.
Cook your greens in salted boiling water just for a few minutes so they remain green and crunchy! Drain well and keep aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in an pan, on medium-high heat.
Place your salmon, skin on pan, and cook unilaterally (in other words, you won't flip it).
Depending on thickness and on your liking, leave the salmon to cook at least until the top side looks cooked. Cooked through or leave the middle part rare to medium-rare.
Remove the salmon, discard the skin, and set aside.
Bring the soba noodles to a boil, and cook according to instructions on packet.
Note though that soba tend to be quite sticky, especially when not served in broth, so I always add a bit of oil half-way through.
Placing your soba noodles in the center.
Add the greens on one side.
Place the salmon on top of the soba.
Your plate is almost ready!
Add some cucumber slices, grate some fresh radish in a bowl, squeeze the excess water out and place a small spoon next to the salmon. Add a teaspoon of wasabi.
Final touches: drizzle some of the miso-tahini dressing a bit everywhere!
Add one teaspoon of ikura per plate, and to garnish, add a good pinch (1 teaspoon) of nori flakes. And you are done!
I love to eat this with chopsticks but totally up to you 🙂
One note here... if you are also cooking for a toddler, keep some soba, salmon (medium /well done) and cucumber aside to serve just as it is! Plus with some of the leafy green: add a steamed carrot or any veggie your little one likes and make a puree!
Getting quality ingredients...
As qualitarians, at My Healthy Bangkok we put a big priority on using what be believe are "good" ingredients. We pick according to freshness, cleanliness, ethical sourcing when possible and we want our food to be nutritive.