mains · posts

Saikoro Steak | A Cookbook Recipe

Meals in minutes… fast food that’s homemade. Nowadays it seems everyone is busy and spending hours over recipes is not always possible. This quick wok fried tenderloin is super easy and very tasty. Although I have cooked chicken and beef in a similar way before, I thought sharing this recipe is a reminder of how simple and flaversome some recipes are and require minimal effort on the cook’s part. Continue reading “Saikoro Steak | A Cookbook Recipe”

food + drink · mains · posts

Miso Marinated Salmon with Green Salad

Miso Salmon-0487Browsing through The Perfect 10 Cookbook’s (a supplement of Woman This Month magazine) recipes from around the world, “Japanese” and “Miso” caught my attention and immediately I found myself craving that pleasant savoury flavour, called Umami… our 5th sense of taste. Japanese is such a feel good food, even hearing and saying the words tempura, sukiyaki, miso, sashimi, sushi… makes me hungry!

Buying Miso can be a little confusing as the paste varies in colour, texture, flavour, sweetness and saltiness! Miso is a naturally fermented paste and is a basic flavouring used in Japanese cooking; produced by cooking soybean, rice or barley, injecting with a mold, mixing with water and salt, miso is then aged in kegs… some up to three years! When I think about miso as a condiment it opens up many culinary possibilities when adding miso to sauces, soups, broths, dips, marinades and dressings, all of which can be used with vegetables, meat, chicken, duck and fish.

Miso Salmon-0507From as far back as I can remember I have always loved the taste of Salmon. This oily fish is so versatile and works with many flavours. I used a dark soybean miso (Hatcho) with the Salmon, but it is quite acceptable to use a lighter sweeter miso. As miso pastes vary, tasting miso straight from its packet is a good way of gauging its flavour and saltiness before using with recipes. Use a smooth miso paste for marinating. Miso confused… then hop over to The Just Hungry blog which has some great information on miso.

Miso Salmon-0492Once the fish has marinated for 24 hours, the rest is quick and easy. For a more substantial meal, serve this dish with steamed Japanese rice or udon noodles. With the healthy omega and the satisfying umami, this dish is sure to please.

Miso Marinated Fish with Green Salad

This recipe is adapted from the Perfect Ten Cookbook, a supplement of Woman this Month magazine, recipe by James Claire.


  • 2 tablespoons of Japanese cooking sake
  • 100ml mirin
  • 100g of hatcho miso paste (or your own preference)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 4 salmon fillets (or other firm white fish) (each weighing 150g to 175g)

for the salad and dressing

  • 1 head of lolla rossa lettuce, torn into bits sized pieces
  • 3  medium cucumber, seeds scraped out, thinly sliced
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

How to make: For the marinade, pour the sake and mirin into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 seconds. Remove for the heat and gradually whisk in the miso paste until you have a smooth mixture. Mix in the honey. Leave the marinade to cool. Slather the miso marinade all over the fish fillets. Cover the fish and leave to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.

Heat a ridged grill pan to medium-high heat. Brush the ridges of the grill pan with vegetable oil before placing the fish on to cook, otherwise the fish will stick. Place the fish top side down and leave the fish undisturbed for about 3 minutes or until you make the grill marks. Turn the fish over, reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further 5 minutes or until you have cooked to the desired doneness.

In a small dish whisk the white wine vinegar, mirin and sesame oil together, season with salt.  Toss the dressing with the salad and scatter over the sesame seeds just before serving. Serves 4.

Note: The fish is best marinated for 24 hours but you could marinate the fish overnight if you were short on time. You can use a normal fry-pan instead of the ridged grill pan or cook the fish under a grill if preferred.

appetizers · food + drink

Edamame Beans with Vanilla Sea Salt

DSC_0022 copyNew years resolutions are not something I make but I like to think that over the next twelve months I will build on past experiences (good and bad) of each year and keep moving forward! These past few weeks have been busy, with lots of cooking, eating and entertaining, so I am quite happy (at times) when the easiest meal of all (not necessarily the quickest) is only a phone call away!

In fact, living in Bahrain with so many eateries offering a variety of cuisines (dine in or take-out) you would never have to set foot inside the kitchen again… perish the thought! I would miss putting all my pots, appliances and kitchen jewellery to good use, cooking, entertaining, food photograph and styling… the kitchen is the hub of our home!twig bean copy

There are always a few essentials in the freezer and although it is looking rather empty at the moment, I still have a few bags of edamame beans stashed inside! In Japanese “eda” means “twig” and “mame” means “bean,”  also known as twig beans or hairy beans… but I think edamame sound better! The bean inside is actually a un-ripened soya bean, which is highly nutritious, rich in protein and has all the essential amino acids. High in fiber the edamame bean makes a healthy filling snack and only takes minutes to prepare! Take edamame beans to work when hunger strikes, put them into kids lunch boxes (minus the salt), serve them as an easy pre dinner appetizer or just sit and enjoy a bowlful yourself!DSC_0016_edamane bean copy

Natural sea salt (no table salt here) is usually the typical condiment for serving with edamame beans and I like to posh that up a little by using some of the home-made vanilla salt from the store cupboard! The vanilla salt adds a subtle sweetness but of course you can just use plain sea salt or no salt if watching your salt intake! The only problem with the edamame bean… they are so moorish!

Actually I was wonder how easy edamame beans are to grow and it seems that we might have the perfect climate, sunny and humid… now maybe I might   order a few packets of edamame seeds! If I do then I will surely let you know how I get on! Maybe some enthusiastic farmer could start growing some edamame beans and sell them at the farmers market here in Bahrain!

How to cook edamame beans: Steam the required amount of edamame beans for about three minutes. Place into serving bowls or bowl and sprinkle over some vanilla sea salt or plain sea salt, if desired. To eat hold the pod and simple pop the beans into your mouth, you will also taste the salt, the pods are not edible so discard them into an empty dish!

Up-date: Since writing this post I have received my packets of edamame beans and hope to plant them after the summer months, Bahrain is so hot during this time. Will keep you posted when I do plant them and hopefully have some Edamame success!