SALMON & AVOCADO BOWL WITH AVOCADO & WASABI DRESSING INSPIRED BY DHRUV BAKER
Dhruv talked about so many delicious things that it was a hard task to pick one.
I've become obsessed with the idea of winter barbecue's since talking to Dhruv. I mean they just make so much sense. Much like how standing huddled round a fire with a marshmallow on a stick is a fun thing to do in winter, for the obviously deliciousness of the melting marshmallow we also can't deny we do it for the warmth. As Dhruv pointed out, he thought we were a nation of weirdos when he first came to live here as we would wait for the hottest day of the year in order to light a fire and then stand around it. Some poor fool would actually have to cook on it and hover over it as they lovingly tended to the food being grilled.
Please don't misunderstand me, I love a Summer BBQ. I love way the barbecues cook the food, the subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) charred taste and I love the theatre of it all. People always tend to be happy at a barbecue. The sun is (sometimes) out, beers are chilled, people are smiling and life is good. All I am saying is that why restrict ourselves to only the Summer months? Let's extend the barbecue to the season of good will. Pop on a wooly hat, grab some blankets and mulled wine and let's roll out the barbecue to all year round. A Sunday roast cooked on the barbecue is a delicious thing, and so easy too. Plus barbecue cooking feels more inclusive, you can marinade the meat and then hand it over to a spouse to plonk on the coals. Everyone feels involved, yet no one feels like they did all the heavy lifting.
As for cooking pudding on the barbecue as suggested by Dhruv, well obviously I love this idea. Treat the barbecue as a heat source, whether it's for popping a pot on and cooking that way, or whack on a tray of brownies, close the lid and treat it as an oven. I've already done this several times over the last few weeks and I'm completely mad about it. I've done it huddling under an umbrella and I loved it.
But there was something else Dhruv talked about that I loved. I am a huge fan of poké bowls, and one of Dhruv's chosen Desert Island Dishes is a sort of deconstructed sushi bowl which is in essence the same thing. This is just the sort of thing I love to eat, and as for cooking, it's more of an assembly job. Obviously cooking is fantastic, I am a chef, so of course I love to cook. But there is most definitely a time and a place for not cooking, and rather, assembling, dressing and making things look pretty.
Serving this as a starter for friends is always a hit, and you can't really go wrong. Add in some pickled carrots, some edamame beans, fresh chilli, seaweed or tuna. Play around with the ingredients. The marinade is one that I've been using for many years and it has never let me down and I love the addition of this avocado dressing. Serve like the picture shows and then each person can mix it together as they please. I've used basmati which of course is not Japanese inspired at all, but it still works and is something more readily available for most people, although actually supermarkets have really upped their game. Of course sushi rice works perfectly, so you use whatever you have to hand and whatever makes you happy.
For the dressing:
1 tsp sesame oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 - 1 tbsp wasabi depending on your taste
1 tbsp pickled ginger
splash of water to loosen it
For the bowl:
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
small drizzle of olive oil
150g smoked salmon
100g raw sashimi grade salmon
1/4 cucumber, peeled and diced,
1/2 avocado, peeled, sliced, or scooped with a melon baller
1 head of radicchio, sliced
1 radish, thinly sliced
150g cooked rice
For the dressing, simply pop everything into a blender and blitz to combine. Add the water a little at a time to loosen it until it's your desired consistency.
For the bowl, it really is just an assembly job.
Mix together the lemon juice, the sesame oil, fish sauce and olive oil. Marinate the salmon in it whilst you assemble the rest of the bowl.
It really is as simple as that. Best served with everything at room temperature. Delicious.