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Off DutyThe World's Greatest Chefs Cook at Home
By David Nicholls
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 David Nicholls
All right reserved.
Saikyo Grilled Salmon
The salmon portions for this dish may seem quite large but they will shrink after marinating and cooking. Serve with salad, steamed rice or stir-fried vegetables.
100ml (7 tablespoons) sake
100ml (7 tablespoons) mirin
150g (3/4 cup) caster (superfine or granulated) sugar
300g (10oz) white miso paste
4 x 200g (7-oz) salmon fillets, skin on
lemon wedges, to serve
Heat the sake in a large, heavy-based pan and ignite it to burn off the alcohol. Add the mirin and sugar and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Carefully whisk in the miso paste a little at a time, making sure the mixture is smooth. Raise the heat a little and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly to make sure the mixture does not burn on the base of the pan. Strain and leave to cool completely. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Place the salmon fillets in a non-metallic container, large enough to hold them in a single layer, and pour some of the cooled marinade over them, making sure that the fish is completely surrounded; save a little of themarinade for later. Leave in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours, turning the fillets over once during this time.
When ready to cook, preheat an overhead grill (broiler) and remove the salmon fillets from the marinade, wiping off any excess. Place the fillets on a non-stick baking tray and grill, skin-side down for 5-6 minutes, taking care that they do not get too dark or caramelized. Turn the salmon over to cook the skin side until nice and crisp. Serve with lemon wedges and a little of the reserved marinade on the side.
Mochi Ice-cream Balls
Do not make this dish on a humid day, as the paste will sweat and become unusable.
100g (1 cup) mochi flour, often labelled as Japanese rice flour
210ml (7 1/2 oz) water
95g (scant 1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
any of your favourite ice cream flavours, to serve
Mix the mochi flour and water together, ensuring there are no lumps, then mix in the sugar. Put the mixture in a non-stick pan and cook over a low to medium heat, stirring vigorously, for 8 minutes, until it is stiff and elastic; take care not to let it catch on the side of the pan. Turn the paste out on to a lightly floured board and leave to cool. Meanwhile, scoop the ice cream into small balls, no more than 2cm (3/4 inch) in diameter, and return to the freezer.
When the mochi paste is cold, roll it out to about 3mm (1/8 inch) thick and dust with flour. Place on a baking tray and put it into the freezer for 1 hour.
Remove the paste from the freezer and cut out rounds using a 4-5cm (about 2-inch) cutter. Place a ball of ice cream in the centre of each one and wrap it up in the mochi paste. Return to the freezer.
Excerpted from Off Duty by David Nicholls Copyright © 2006 by David Nicholls. Excerpted by permission.
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