Pea shoots are really delicious. I received some in my Elizabeth Telling CSA this past week, and the lady in line next to me said she loves them in salads, so I chose to use them as a crunchy garnish to this lunch; the taste very fresh and green, screaming Spring in a surprisingly subtle way (yes, I know, too much alliteration in an oxymoronic sentence. sue me). Aside from being an adorable garish, there is the occasional tiny pea amongst the shoots - like half a centimeter tiny. Very cute.
I bought a small, inexpensive Japanese pickle pot the other day, so of course I immediately set about making some very simple Japanese pickles (read: radishes and salt). But you can buy really good premade Japanese-style pickles at Tensuke or other Asian grocer stores. I am particularly fond of the bright yellow turnip pickles (in the refrigerated case).
This lunch is beautiful and comes together in the time it takes the rice to cook (30 minutes).
Ponzu is a marinade made from soy sauce and citrus juice. You can buy it already made, or you can make it yourself my mixing equal parts soy sauce and lemon or lime juice. I like to put it in a squeeze bottle so that you can squeeze it over the salmon under the broiler.
This far-too-simple-to-win-anything is going to be entered in Marx Foods' Summer of Salmon contest, which they invited me and all of my readers to join. Click here for more information. The deadline is Friday. The winning recipe wins 15 pounds of different kinds of wild salmon! YUM! And nice, since wild salmon is amazingly expensive this year due to a lot of the salmon runs being closed.
Ponzu-Basted Salmon with Seasoned Rice, Homemade Radish Pickles and Fresh Spring Pea Shoots - serves 2
For the Rice
1 1/2 cup short grain Japanese Rice
2 1/4 cups water
3 ounces rice vinegar
2 ounces sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black sesame seeds
Place the rice and water in a small pan and bring to a boil. Stir the rice and reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes, then turn the heat off and allow to sit, covered for 10 more minutes. Combine the vinegar, sugar and salt and stir together; set aside for a few minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve. Pour it over the rice and toss with a fork. Place rice into bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
For the Salmon
2 5 ounce pieces of wild salmon, skin attached
1/2 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned, please)
1/2 cup ponzu (see above)
Preheat the broiler. About 15 minutes before you are ready to grill, place the salmon in a plastic bag and pour the rice vinegar over; this is optional but begins the cooking process with acid, and I think it leads to a very mellow-tasting and tender finished product). Place the salmon in a flame-proof, shallow baking sheet, skin side up. Douse with a little ponzu and sprinkle with salt. Broil for about 7 minutes, basting continuously with the ponzu sauce. Serve on the seasoned rice.
Tear the pea shoots into 1-2" pieces and drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil (I realize this is completely un-Japanese, but it how I rolls) and sprinkle with a tiny pinch of kosher salt. Place on top of the salmon, along with a few pickled vegetables, such as radishes or turnips.