This is my version of the classic from Nigella Express, teamed with a hearty noodle stir-fry.
For the salmon:
2 tbsp dark soy
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp sherry vinegar, mirrin or vermouth
400g salmon fillet
1 tbsp oil
For the noodles:
4 egg noodle nests (or a pack of fresh spaghetti)
1 ltr boiling water
1/2 Savoy cabbage or beansprouts
3 spring onions
1 fat garlic clove
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp dark soy
1 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Making this takes 2o mins in total, but it’s a fairly hectic 20 mins so it pays to be organised. You’ll need a pan or skillet to fry the salmon, a frying pan or wok with a lid to fry the noodles, and a saucepan of boiling water to cook the noodles in. Have individual serving bowls warming in the oven and chopsticks at the ready. To minimise the frying salmon smell, keep the kitchen door shut, fan on, windows open, and have a sink of water ready to plunge the pan into once the salmon is out of it! If the recipe seems complex: it’s not, you are doing marinated salmon in one pan, and noodles with cabbage in the other. You could cook the noodle dish first, then reheat if necessary.
Boil the water. Mix the salmon marinade together and place the salmon in it, skin up. Cook the noodles in boiling water (4-6 mins), then drain when tender. Turn the salmon over so the other side can marinate. Finely chop the cabbage, spring onions and garlic.
Heat the oil in the salmon pan until sizzling and carefully place the salmon in the pan, skin down. Heat the oil in the noodle frying pan and fry the garlic and onion for a minute. Add the cabbage and stir, then turn the heat down and cover with a lid. Turn over the salmon (it should have had 2 – 5 minutes, depending on thickness) and add the marinade. Stir the cabbage mixture and add the soy sauces and the noodles, then put the lid back on.
Test the salmon. At this point, I like to remove the skin and break the large fillet into 3 or four pieces (depending on how many people are eating; you can start with individual portions too). Push on top of the pieces of salmon, they should be ever so slightly springy, but not spongey. Give them a good coating of the marinade by turning them and swooshing them round the pan.
Add the sesame oil and seeds to the noodles and stir well. Taste and add further light soy if in need of salt.
To serve, perch a piece of salmon on top of a nest of noodles in each of the warmed bowls. This sweet, salty and satisfying feast was very, very popular with the whole family, and quickly devoured.