Plate up this elegant Japanese dish as a starter at your next dinner party. You can rely on our recipe for delicious salmon nanbanzuke to impress every time.
For the vinaigrette:
200ml vegetable stock at room temperature
120ml white-wine vinegar
3 tbsp sugar (granulated or caster)
3 tsp bergamot juice, freshly squeezed
For the pickled vegetables:
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
100g white onion, very thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, very thinly sliced
Leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped (plus extra sprigs for decoration)
3 bergamots, thinly sliced
For the salmon:
400g salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 3cm x 3cm pieces
1 litre of vegetable or light olive oil for frying
2 tbsp plain flour
For the bergamot chilli salt:
Approx 20 green finger chillies (16g after deseeding), sliced, deseeded and roughly chopped. Wear latex gloves and provide good ventilation while slicing and deseeding
Zest of half a bergamot (4g), finely grated
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bergamot juice, freshly squeezed
1. For the vinaigrette, combine the stock, vinegar, sugar and bergamot juice in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Mix thoroughly and pour into a plastic container or heatproof dish large enough to accommodate the salmon and vegetables.
2. In a separate bowl, combine all the sliced vegetables, apart from the bergamot slices and rosemary. Set aside.
3. Season the salmon fillets to taste. Warm the oil in a deep-fat fryer set to 180°C/350°F, or in a medium frying pan over a medium/high heat.
4. Once the oil is hot, coat the salmon pieces in flour and fry them on all sides; you may need to do this in batches. After 6–7 minutes of cooking, the fish should be lightly browned. Place the salmon on kitchen paper to remove excess oil, then place in the vinaigrette. Repeat the process with the remaining fish.
5. Once all the fried salmon pieces have been combined with the vinaigrette, add the vegetables, bergamot slices and chopped rosemary leaves. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least two hours; it can be kept in the fridge for up to two days, as the vinaigrette “cures” the salmon and vegetables.
6. To make the bergamot chilli salt, put the chillies in a food processor, or use a pestle and mortar to grind them, until they reach a paste-like consistency. Add the bergamot zest and salt. Mix well, then add the bergamot juice. (The mixture will keep in a sterilised jar for a few weeks.)
7. Divide the salmon and vegetables between four plates. Put a small amount of bergamot chilli salt in the vinaigrette, and spoon the mixture over the salmon. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a slice of bergamot. Serve the dish cold or at room temperature as a starter.
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