Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sake Ochazuke (porridge with broiled salmon)

At a glance, a bowl of porridge with a piece of no-dressing, no-marinade salmon sounds almost sad. As in, it's-Saturday-night-I-am-home-alone-slurping-instant-ramen sad. But in fact, this dish is full of rich and nice flavors and has quickly become a staple at my house.

The key is to get the right ingredients and not under- or over-cook the salmon. Once you assemble the porridge with a hint of green tea and that dashi stock umami with the fatty crispy salmon skin and slightly salty salmon flakes, the flavor combination just doesn't get better than that. Oh wait, it does, put some roasted seaweed on top. Now you've got the texture, the taste, and the warmth all from a single bowl of pure goodness.

4oz Salted Salmon Belly
1/2 sheet Roasted Seaweed ( like Yamamoto nori)
2 cups Cooked Rice (use Nishiki brand rice)
1 cup Green Tea (use Japanese green tea such as genmaicha for its nuttiness)
1 cup Dashi Stock
Canola Oil


  • Rub the salmon with a generous amount of salt
  • Cover and let it refrigerate overnight
  • Remove the salmon and rinse under cold water to remove the salt
  • Dry the salmon with paper towels or a kitchen towel
  • Drizzle oil over salmon and place under a broiler in low setting
  • Broil for 15 minutes until a nice crust has formed; if the skin is still not brown enough, you can turn the broiler to "high" for a couple of minutes and monitor closely to make sure the salmon doesn't burn
  • Break apart the salmon into flakes and set aside
  • Add rice to a bowl with salmon flakes and seaweed on top
  • When you are ready to serve, mix the hot green tea with the stock. You can add as much liquid as you would like, as long as you remember to use it in the ratio of one part tea one part dashi stock.

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