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Mirin-glazed salmon November 28, 2009

Posted by Helen in fish, salad.
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This was this week’s second recipe from Nigella Express, and the second not-quite-success. This had some good flavours, but I was promised a crispy salmon and it didn’t really deliver on that. It was also far too sweet. I think we’ll be putting Nigella back on the bookshelf for a while.

I served the salmon over fine noodles with an oriental cucumber salad (recipe below) and some sushi ginger on the side. The cucumber salad wasn’t Nigella’s recipe and I thought it was actually the best part of the meal.

60ml mirin
50g light brown sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
60ml soy sauce
2 spring onions, halved and shredded into fine strips
4 salmon fillets

Mix the mirin, brown sugar and soy sauce in a shallow dish that will accommodate all 4 pieces of salmon. Marinate the salmon for 3 minutes on one side, then flip and marinate 2 minutes on the other side. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick frying pan.

(I found the marinade far too sweet. I think 50g is too much sugar, but it does help make it sticky. I’m not sure what effect reducing the sugar would have.)

Cook the salmon in the hot, dry pan for 2 minutes, then turn over, add the marinade and cook for another 2 minutes.

(This wasn’t nearly long enough to cook the salmon. After 4 minutes of cooking, mine was still very raw inside. I think I wound up cooking it a good 10 minutes.)

Remove the salmon to the serving plate, add the rice vinegar to the pan, and warm through.

Pour the sticky glaze over the salmon and top with the spring onion strips.


1 cucumber
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 red chili, seeded and chopped finely
1 green onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Peel the cucumber and slice very finely. Put the slices in a colander and salt lightly. Leave to drain for at least 30 minutes. Then gently squeeze out any remaining moisture with kitchen roll.

Place in a bowl and chill for at least 10 minutes.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together and toss with the cucumber just before serving.


Black bean, sweetcorn and avocado salad November 27, 2009

Posted by Helen in salad.
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This is my favourite kind of meal, and the kind I can only really have when my husband isn’t home. He’s a carnivore and sees a meatless meal as lacking an essential component. But this colourful and zesty salad is my idea of a perfect supper, especially accompanied by a bowl of corn chips. I know it’s very summery and not at all seasonal, but it’s what I was craving tonight. I got the basic recipe from one of the food magazines (I can’t remember which), but have adapted it and added extra things I like.










1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
2 sweetcorns
3-4 spring onions, chopped
400g black beans (tinned or in a carton)
200g cherry tomatoes, halved (I used baby plum tomatoes this time as they looked much riper than the cherry toms)
100g sharp cheese, cubed
A generous handful of chopped fresh coriander

For the dressing:
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp Tabasco sauce (Chipotle Tabasco, if available)
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Boil the sweetcorn until done. Allow it to cool and then slice the kernels off in big pieces.

Mix together with all the other salad ingredients.

Mix together all the dressing ingredients and toss the salad well.

Chicken salad November 24, 2009

Posted by Helen in chicken, salad.
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Yet another way to use up a bit of the inevitable leftover roast chicken – this is what happens when your husband insists on a roast every Sunday.

Shred bits of chicken with mayonnaise, chopped fresh tarragon, green seedless grapes cut in halves, a good handful of sunflower seeds and salt and pepper to taste. I served it over baby gem lettuce.