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Salmon and Sushi Rice

by . Featured in KITCHEN
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Introduction

I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many suppers are built around a bowl of rice in my house. But then, I have a rice cooker (and am forever extolling its benefits) which rather issues an open invitation to such meals. And while I never actually cook sushi rice often, I adore its comforting stickiness and the way it offers itself up so sweetly to sharpness and heat and even — when the simplest of sauces feels like too much — nothing but the intense saltiness of soy sauce.

This, however, is a proper meal, though easy enough to throw together, and is as sumptuous as it is simple: the salmon only just cooked, so that it is still soft and coral-coloured (though do cook it for longer if you wish); the sauce full of fire and sharpness, the perfect foil to the sweet rice and rich fish. If it helps, you can make up the sauce a day ahead and leave it covered in the fridge, though do remember to take it out in time for it to come to room temperature.

And it’s easy enough to make without a rice cooker, I assure you. For each cup of rice (which should weigh 200g) you need a cup and a quarter of water. So, for the 400g of rice below, proceed as follows: rinse the rice well, drain it and tip it into a saucepan that comes with a very tightly fitting lid. Pour over two and a half cups or 625ml cold water and bring to the boil over high heat. Immediately clamp on a lid, turn the pan heat down to the very lowest it will go, and leave to cook for 15 minutes, by which time the water should be completely absorbed and the rice cooked. Turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the hob. Remove the lid, cover the pan with a clean tea towel, clamp the lid back on top, and leave to steam for 10 minutes. And it will sit happily like that for a good half an hour.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many suppers are built around a bowl of rice in my house. But then, I have a rice cooker (and am forever extolling its benefits) which rather issues an open invitation to such meals. And while I never actually cook sushi rice often, I adore its comforting stickiness and the way it offers itself up so sweetly to sharpness and heat and even — when the simplest of sauces feels like too much — nothing but the intense saltiness of soy sauce.

This, however, is a proper meal, though easy enough to throw together, and is as sumptuous as it is simple: the salmon only just cooked, so that it is still soft and coral-coloured (though do cook it for longer if you wish); the sauce full of fire and sharpness, the perfect foil to the sweet rice and rich fish. If it helps, you can make up the sauce a day ahead and leave it covered in the fridge, though do remember to take it out in time for it to come to room temperature.

And it’s easy enough to make without a rice cooker, I assure you. For each cup of rice (which should weigh 200g) you need a cup and a quarter of water. So, for the 400g of rice below, proceed as follows: rinse the rice well, drain it and tip it into a saucepan that comes with a very tightly fitting lid. Pour over two and a half cups or 625ml cold water and bring to the boil over high heat. Immediately clamp on a lid, turn the pan heat down to the very lowest it will go, and leave to cook for 15 minutes, by which time the water should be completely absorbed and the rice cooked. Turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the hob. Remove the lid, cover the pan with a clean tea towel, clamp the lid back on top, and leave to steam for 10 minutes. And it will sit happily like that for a good half an hour.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Salmon and Sushi Rice
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 4

Metric Cups
  • 400 grams sushi rice
  • 1 x 500g piece of skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 Thai red chillies (finely chopped)
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons sake
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons mirin
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons water
  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 1 x 1lb piece of skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 Thai red chiles (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh gingerroot
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water

Method

  1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions, or to suit a rice cooker, if you're lucky enough to have one, or follow the directions in the final paragraph of the intro, above. The quantities may be reduced if you are 4 rather than 6.
  2. Sear the salmon on a flat griddle or frying pan for 4-5 minutes on one side over a medium heat, then turn it over and cook for 1 minute on the other side. The salmon should be just opaque and cooked in the centre. Remove it to a large piece of foil and make a baggy package with tightly sealed edges to keep it warm.
  3. Mix all the other ingredients together, and put in a bowl to serve alongside the salmon and the cooked rice; then unwrap the fish and put it on a plate.
  4. I like to use small bowls, and let people flake the fish themselves onto their rice, before dribbling over it the chilli-flecked sake sauce.
  1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions, or to suit a rice cooker, if you're lucky enough to have one, or follow the directions in the final paragraph of the intro, above. The quantities may be reduced if you are 4 rather than 6.
  2. Sear the salmon on a flat griddle or frying pan for 4-5 minutes on one side over a medium heat, then turn it over and cook for 1 minute on the other side. The salmon should be just opaque and cooked in the centre. Remove it to a large piece of foil and make a baggy package with tightly sealed edges to keep it warm.
  3. Mix all the other ingredients together, and put in a bowl to serve alongside the salmon and the cooked rice; then unwrap the fish and put it on a plate.
  4. I like to use small bowls, and let people flake the fish themselves onto their rice, before dribbling over it the chilli-flecked sake sauce.

Additional Information

NOTE:
If you need this to be gluten-free, check that the soy sauce you are using is labelled gluten-free.

MAKE AHEAD:
The sauce ingredients can be mixed together 1 day in advance. Store in a jam jar in the fridge and shake well before using.

NOTE:
If you need this to be gluten-free, check that the soy sauce you are using is labelled gluten-free.

MAKE AHEAD:
The sauce ingredients can be mixed together 1 day in advance. Store in a jam jar in the fridge and shake well before using.

Tell us what you think

What 2 Others have said

  • I tried this recipe whilst looking for something different to make with salmon. The fresh, sharp slightly hot sauce is amazing with the richer salmon. So simple! I had salmon fillets I need to use up so I just cooked the salmon fillets as suggested in the recipe. I’m going to cook more next time so there’s enough for packed lunch the following day. I also made a simple salad of radish, cucumber and spring onion splashed with some rice wine vinegar. Another fantastic and very easy recipe.

    Posted by Mel22_ on 17th April 2022
  • This is one of the easiest and most fantastic ways to entertain guests. The sauce can be made ahead, and the salmon and rice cook up in minutes. The sauce is bursting with flavor and makes the dish sing. It makes a lovely presentation served on a wide, flat, white plate. This is a go-to dish that comes to the rescue every time!

    Posted by joshv41680 on 27th June 2021
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