It’s Sunday night, dinner time and I don’t feel like cooking. I decide to make Salmon Furikake because it is so easy and the whole family likes it.
I’m not sure where this recipe originated, I think it was passed through one of our relatives or through a church cookbook, nevertheless…this is the easiest salmon dinner ever. The original recipe I think had only mayonnaise and furikake but I doctored it up a bit to make it a bit more complex by adding flavor to the mayonnaise and making crispy salmon skin for the top. Complex in flavor but by no means complex in preparation. It uses Japanese furikake which is a condiment that includes nori and sesame seeds and is traditionally sprinkled over rice. My kids call this dish, “salmon with sprinkles” and they love to take a little of the fish and some gohan (Japanese steamed rice) wrapped with a crispy nori (seaweed) square to make their own Japanese taco!
This recipe is great because if you don’t have the ramen soup base or fresh ramen noodles ready, you can eat the salmon on its own with some rice and a vegetable. Serve it with steamed broccoli that has been mixed in with part of a crumbled chicken bouillon cube and drizzled with sesame oil for extra flavor (a trick my mom taught me) and call it a meal!
Just remember to always use a nice thick organic or farm fresh salmon and whatever you do, don’t overcook it. Dried out salmon is awful and once you feed your kids bad fish, they’ll never try it again. Make it right and they’ll love it every time!
I happen to love the salmon on ramen because the furikake condiment adds an additional crunchy texture and flavor.
(Excerpted from Simply Ramen: A Complete Course in Preparing Ramen Meals at Home)
Furikake Sake (Salmon Furikake) with Crispy Salmon Skin (optional)
Prep Time: 30 minutes plus time to make Ramen Soup Base, Ramen Noodles (optional) and Half Cooked Egg (optional)
1 (24-ounce) salmon fillet, skin on (ask for thickest part)
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise (preferrably Japanese mayonnaise that you can find at Japanese grocers)
1 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon sesame oil (such as the Kadoya brand, which is quite strong)
1⁄4 cup furikake (Japanese condiment made from sesame seeds, seaweed and salt)
Ramen noodles, made in advance (See recipe below)
1 1⁄2 cups mushrooms, julienned (preferably shiitake; 1⁄4 cup per serving)
3⁄4 cup chives, chopped (2 tablespoons per serving)
Marinated half-cooked egg, made in advance (See recipe below)
1 1⁄2 lemons, quartered (1 quarter per serving)
1. Set the oven to broil. Place the salmon, skin side down, on a baking sheet lined with foil or a non-stick liner. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, shoyu and sesame oil. Using a spatula, evenly spread the mixture in a thin layer over the salmon. Evenly sprinkle furikake over the salmon to lightly coat it.
2. Broil the salmon for about 8 minutes, or until just done; this varies depending on the thickness of the fillet (do not overcook). Remove from the broiler and slice into 4 even portions, about 1 1⁄2 wide. Remove the salmon skin.
3. Alternatively, you can make some extra crispy salmon skin to sprinkle on top of your salmon. Make sure the skin has been descaled and skin the salmon. Watch a video on how to do it here. After you’ve skinned the salmon, take it skin-side up and broil it on a piece of tinfoil for about 15 minutes in an oven or toaster oven (better to do in a toaster oven so you can use your oven to cook the salmon) until it is nice and crispy, almost burnt but not quite. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use. It makes the most delicious crackling salmon skin that you can crumble and put on top of your salmon before you serve it.
4. Boil a pot of water for your noodles. In a separate saucepan, bring 12 cups of shoyu (or other) base to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until it’s ready to serve. Right before serving, crank it back up to boil.
5. Boil the noodles – if fresh, boil for about 1 minute; if packaged, boil for about 2 minutes. As soon as they’re done, drain well and separate into serving bowls.
6. Pour 2 cups soup over each bowl of noodles. Top with furikake salmon, mushrooms, chives, and a marinated half-cooked egg. Squeeze the lemon on right before eating, and enjoy while it’s piping hot!
Authentic Ramen Noodles
Ramen is an international favorite. We all have our favorite flavors, but as any true chef will attest, nothing can quite compare to fresh noodles. So next time you feel yourself reaching for the package of dried Ramen, pull up this recipe, from Simply Ramen, to achieve the perfect noodle!
There’s no getting around the fact that making every element of ramen from scratch is a lot of work. The good news is that almost all the components—the fat; the tare, or highly flavored season component; the broth; the toppings; and the noodles—can be made over the course of several days. If you make these ahead of time, then when you’re ready to assemble your ramen, it can be done relatively quickly. These noodles can be wrapped in individual portions and frozen for up to one month. You will need a pasta machine, and I’d recommend using an electric mixer with a dough hook, unless you want to develop Popeye forearms….
Remember, there are lots of other, easier noodle alternatives that are perfectly fine. Any of the following will work, just throw out those salty flavor packets:
• fresh noodles from a ramen shop
• fresh packaged noodles that come with a soup-base packet
• dried ramen noodles for instant ramen
• dried chuka soba noodles (chuka soba actually translates to “Chinese noodle,” which are, in fact, ramen noodles)
• gluten-free packaged ramen noodles or rice ramen noodles for dietary restrictions
Making homemade ramen noodles is a perfect rainy day or weekend activity for you and the kids. You can get them done ahead of time and then freeze them in individual portions (for up to a month). Then when you are ready to make a complete bowl of ramen, it won’t feel like you’ve slaved away in a kitchen all day. The noodles are just one component of ramen, so after the noodles, move on to the Shoyu or miso base – then you’re nearly done!
If you do venture down the homemade noodle path, then keep this in mind: a perfect noodle has a yellow hue, should be cooked al dente, and have a chewy and elastic, yet firm texture that holds up to the soup without getting soggy, all the way until the very last slurp.
Serves: 8 portions
Prep time: 3 hours
electric mixer with a dough hook (preferred unless kneading)
2 tsp “baked baking soda” (recipe below) or kansui powder
1 1⁄4 cups (295 ml) water (if you are hand-kneading, change water quantity to 1 1⁄2 cups, or 355 ml)
3 1⁄2 cups (490 g) bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1⁄2 cup (60 g) cake flour
1 cup (150 g) wheat flour
1 tbsp salt
Cornstarch, for dusting
1. In a small bowl, combine the baked baking soda or kansui powder and water until it dissolves.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the bread, cake, and wheat flours, kansui water, and salt. Mix for 10 minutes on the lowest speed until the dough forms little pellets. If you need to, add up to 5 additional teaspoons of water. The dough is ready when it still feels dry but comes together when squeezed with your hand.
3. Tip the dough onto a floured board and knead into a ball for at least 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can put your dough in a plastic zip-top bag and form it into a ball so that it is easier to bring together and knead.
4. When you are ready to make your pasta, set up your pasta machine so that it is stable and won’t slip from your work surface.
5. Cut your dough ball into 8 equal-sized pieces and use one piece at a time, keeping the rest wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or sealed in your zip-top bag and refrigerated.
6. Roll out one piece until it resembles a flat, long shape. Sprinkle with some cornstarch so it doesn’t stick to the pasta maker. Pass it through your pasta maker on the largest setting—it will be a bit rough at the edges, but don’t worry about how it looks. Fold it over on itself and pass it through the machine again.
7. Reduce the machine width to 2 and pass through. Fold it over on itself and pass it through again.
8. Reduce the machine width to 4 and pass it through only once. You will now have one long strip of dough. Cut this strip in half vertically.
9. Reduce the machine width to 6 and pass through one of the halves twice. Repeat with the other half. Now your dough is ready to run through the noodle cutter attachment.
10. The two strips will yield enough noodles for 1 bowl of ramen. Repeat steps 6–8 for the remaining dough pieces from step 5. Sprinkle each batch of noodles with additional cornstarch, lifting up the noodles to separate and lightly coat them, then pack them individually in plastic wrap. Let them sit in the refrigerator for at least a day before using. If you are planning to use them later, put them in individual ziplock bags and store them in the freezer for up to one month.
11. Cook the fresh pasta in a pot of boiling water. Depending on the number of portions, cook for 1–2 minutes. Shake out all excess water and lay a portion in your bowl of hot soup by folding them over onto each other so they do not look messy. Then add the soup and toppings.
How to Make “Baked Baking Soda”
“Baked Baking Soda” replaces a Japanese ingredient known as kansui that is often difficult to find and that gives ramen noodles their signature yellow hue and firmness. Harold McGee, the king of kitchen science, discovered that by baking baking soda, you could get the same effect as the kansui. Spread 1⁄4 cup baking soda on a foil-lined baking sheet and place it in an oven preheated to 275 degrees for 1 hour. As this recipe only calls for 2 teaspoons, you can save the remainder in a zip-top bag. Just fold up the baking soda in the foil to make it easier to put in a storage bag.
(These recipes are augmented with photos from the author’s website which has even more images of her family making Ramen.)
Ajitsuke Tamago (Marinated Half-Cooked Egg)
I try to save time when it comes to cooking in my house, so this recipe is actually two. The ingredients I use to soak my half-cooked eggs in are the same as my mom’s recipe for teriyaki sauce. If you want to skip the teriyaki sauce step, that’s fine too.
Makes: 6 eggs and 2 cups teriyaki sauce
Prep Time: 1.5 hours including soaking time
1 cup (235ml) shoyu (soy sauce)
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1⁄2 cup (120ml) mirin (sweet rice wine)
6 eggs, at room temperature (see Note *)
1⁄2 cup bonito fish flakes
*Note: Eggs should be brought to an even temperature in a warm bath before boiling so that cooking times do not vary. Also, poke a pin-sized hole in the bottom of the shells of the eggs for easy peeling later.
1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, whisk together the shoyu, sugar, ginger and garlic in a medium saucepan. Once the mixture starts bubbling and the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat. Make sure it doesn’t bubble over. Stir in the mirin and cool to room temperature or refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. With a slotted spoon or a Chinese strainer, gently add the eggs to the boiling water, and immediately set a timer for 6 1⁄2 minutes.
3. While the eggs are cooking, prepare an ice-bath for them. When the eggs are done, immediately transfer them to the ice bath. Let them cool in the ice bath for about 10 minutes, then remove the eggs and peel them.
4. In a shallow container that is deep enough for the eggs to be covered in liquid, combine 3 cups water and 1 cup of your scratch-made teriyaki sauce. Add your eggs; cover them with a paper towel by pressing the paper towel down so it’s touching the top of the eggs; and pour the bonito fish flakes over the paper towel – the weight of the paper towel will help the eggs marinate on all sides and the bonito flakes will flavor the eggs. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 days.
5. Remove the eggs from their soaking liquid and cut each one in half with a very sharp knife.
You’ll end up with a beautiful half-cooked egg filled with liquid-gold goodness, ready to complete any ramen recipe!
BONUS RECIPE Directly from the pages of Simply Ramen
Excerpted with permission from Simply Ramen: A Complete Course in Preparing Ramen Meals at Home by Amy Kimoto-Kahn © 2016. Published by Race Point Publishing.
Whether you are cooking for one or twelve, Simply Ramen brings homemade ramen to your table with a delicious fusion of seventy recipes, including soup bases, noodles, toppings, and sides.
Author Amy Kimoto-Kahn shows you how to put together a bowl of piping hot ramen in a myriad of ways with a choice of four soup bases, ramen noodles (homemade or store-bought), and traditional and non-traditional ingredients. Enjoy bowls of pork, chicken, and beef ramen. Or branch out with seafood, vegetarian, and spicy soups–and even cold ramen and a breakfast version topped with bacon and a poached egg. Make your soup base in advance and you have a quick, easy, and special midweek family meal.
Amy takes you on a Ramen Tour of Tokyo.
Amy Kimoto-Kahn was born in Fullerton, California and now lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is Yonsei or fourth-generation Japanese-American and a mom of three. She is a graduate of the Miyajima Ramen School in Osaka, Japan and has taught a popular series of Asian-inspired cooking classes for Williams-Sonoma. She shares her Japanese-American homestyle, kids-will-like-it-too recipes on her blog, www.easypeasyjapanesey.com. When she is not cooking, she runs a mom-focused marketing firm, Fat Duck Consulting that she founded in 2008. Read an interview here