Friday 24 January 2020

Japanese Salmon Salad - Sorta/Kinda ... With DIY Pickled Ginger

I am in a Japanese kind of mood lately; well, probably for the past year or so.  I keep buying stuff at the Japanese supermarket down the road; bottles and packets of mysterious stuff, with unreadable (to me) labels:-)  But it makes me laugh, as I really enjoy the mystery.  I still have an anonymous bottle in the pantry, unopened and undeciphered, waiting till the day I open it ...  

And I've converted Mr P. into a Kewpie sriracha mayo fiend, too.  The new bottle he bought the other day almost exploded when he opened it!  It erupted like Mr. Vesuvius; and I just read that sriracha chilli sauce bottles have been recalled due to lactic acid fermenting in the bottles and causing eruptions when opened.  They didn't mention mayo, but clearly that is a problem too:-)  

delicious and healthy!

Well, on with the recipe.  I had a couple of photos of salads with Japanese-type ingredients lurking on my camera roll, so I made up my own hodgepodge, and here it is!  If you're going to make your own pickled ginger, as I did, start this recipe one day ahead of eating it.

(This recipe gives 4 polite, main serves)


500g. (about 1 pound) salmon fillets, skin on

400g. (14 oz) frozen edamame in their pods (young soybeans)

Baby Gem lettuce, or greens of your choice, leaves separated

half a red capsicum, sliced thinly or chopped into small chunks

half a Continental cucumber, cut into ribbons (use a veg. peeler)

1 avocado, cut into chunks or slices

1-2 tbs black (or white) sesame seeds

1-2 spring onions, finely sliced (optional)

1 big handful crunchy fried noodles (bought at the supermarket)

1-2 tsp white sesame seeds

1-2 tbs pickled ginger, finely chopped

2 tbs pickled Asian carrot (optional)

a big handful of toasted cashews/peanuts or nuts of your choice

75 mLs (2.5 oz) golden sesame (kingoma) dressing


(Recipe for pickled ginger from

If making the pickled ginger the day before: 

Peel 125g. (4-ish oz) of fresh ginger root; slice it as thinly as you can

Sprinkle 1 tsp sea salt over it, stir well, and set aside in a small bowl for at least 30 minutes

Then give it a good squeeze with your hands to get the excess liquid out, and place in a small, very clean jar

Now you add 60 mLs (1/4 cup) water and 60 mLs (1/4 cup) rice wine vinegar, and 55g. (1/4 cup) caster sugar to a small saucepan

Stir over a medium heat till the sugar dissolves, and bring to the boil on high heat

Pour this mixture over the ginger; let it cool for 5 minutes, then seal and put in the fridge till the next day


If using the pickled carrots, cut them into julienne strips, or grate coarsely, or use a veg. peeler to get thin strips

Toss the carrot in a well-whisked mix of rice wine vinegar, caster sugar, sesame oil and salt, and leave for at least an hour to marinate

Bake your salmon wrapped in tin foil @ 185C, for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets - you want it beautifully tender and moist, not cardboard, my friends

Let it cool, then pull the flesh off the skin with tongs

While the fish is baking, boil the edamame for about 5 minutes, let them cool, then push the gorgeous green globules from their pods

Toss the avocado chunks/slices with the black sesame seeds

Grab a big salad bowl, and throw everything in, with glee!

Give it a toss, and serve, with some crusty bread or Japanese soft salad rice crackers (my fave)


Use zucchini instead of cucumber if you prefer

Chop the nuts, or leave them whole - your choice

You could add some seaweed here, or furikake seasoning

I basically did all the 'cooking' bits of this recipe in the morning of the day we ate it for dinner, with the ginger done the day before

This can be gluten-free if you leave out the crunchy fried noodles or use some other kind of non-wheat noodle

peeled and sliced ginger

in the syrupy brine ready for overnight marinating

tender and moist after 20 mins. baking at 185C

pull apart the lettuce

healthy, fishy, golden sesame deliciousness!

       artwork © Sherry's Pickings

Thursday 16 January 2020

Triple Chocolate White Christmas Slice

Yes I know it's kinda late (or is it just really, really early?) to be posting a Christmas treat, but there you have it, my friends.  We will just have to live with it.  Better late than never, so they say.  I usually make White Christmas once a year - for Christmas, natch! - but this time I went for a slightly different version.  This one has three kinds of chocolate.  Well, you know one kind is never enough.  And Mr P. adores white chocolate, and I adore dark, and milk chocolate is for wusses ... tee hee:-)

I've done a wee bit of tweaking on this ever-popular and ubiquitous recipe.  This is dead easy, with just a bit of faffing due to melting and cooling three different types of chocolate, before mixing it all together.  But I think you'll agree when you try it, that it's worth the faff.  I am not a big faffer in general, but sometimes you just have to do it:-)    


160g. (5.5 oz) macadamias or almonds, toasted and chopped

a big pinch of sea salt flakes

90g. (1 cup) desiccated coconut, lightly toasted

45g. (1.5 cups) rice bubbles/krispies - you know, puffed rice!

100g. (3 oz) red glacé cherries, halved

160g. (5.5 oz) sultanas or cranberries or dried fruit of your choice

1 tsp vanilla extract

170g. (about 7 oz) dark chocolate

170g. milk chocolate

170g. white chocolate

a pinch of sea salt flakes (optional)

bling for decoration - I used glamour sprinkles - (optional)


Line a 27cm x 17cm (base) (10.5" x 6.5") baking tray/tin with baking paper

Toast the nuts with the salt, in a 180C oven for about ten minutes or till goldenly, deliciously nutty-smelling

Tip the nuts out of the tray into a small bowl, and let them cool while you pour the coconut onto the same (now empty) tray - toast it gently at 160C for about five minutes - don't let it burn!  Let it cool for a few minutes

Mix everything (except the three types of chocolate) together in a large bowl

Divide the mixture into three medium bowls; you will end up with about 185g. in each bowl

Melt the dark chocolate, and pour it into one of the bowls

Stir well, and spread the mixture into the bottom of the baking tin

Refrigerate for five minutes, while you melt the milk chocolate and let it cool for a minute

Pour the milk chocolate into the second bowl of mixture, and give it a darn good stir

Now take the tray out of the fridge, and scrape/spoon your chocolatey bowlful on top of the dark chocolate layer

Into the fridge for another five minutes, while you melt the white chocolate

Stir the white chocolate into your third and last bowl of mixture

Now spread that over the milk choc layer

Cast on the sea salt if using, and throw on plenty of bling

Place in the fridge for an hour to firm up, then slice into whatever size your greedy little heart desires :-) 


You could easily change this to just two layers of chocolate, if you can't be bothered faffing around with three

Use a smaller baking tin if you prefer thicker layers

yep, I used three different kinds of nuts 'cos I didn't have enough macadamias

gather your ingredients in a large bowl

give 'em a good stir

ready to throw the melted choc into the mix

all layered up and blinged up!

The Grinch overseeing the tasty morsels:-)

Mr P. declared these delicious, and he's not even a fan of this sort of thing!  Yep, they are pretty darn tasty, my friends.  Crikey, I sound like a hillbilly:-)  You could even make this for a non-Christmas treat.  And it's gluten-free (I'm pretty sure), so it's suitable for all your fussy friends and family.  Just kidding.  Yes, I know there are some real coeliacs around, so don't shoot me.  And Happy New Year, everyone!    

     artwork © Sherry's Pickings

Wednesday 1 January 2020

In My Kitchen - January 2020!

Okay folks, this is a quickie!  It's NYE tomorrow and I've got heaps to do, as have you I'm sure.  So let's make it snappy, my dear and virtual friends.  For the first, brand-new IMK of the brand-new decade, here we have:

good Aussie vinegar, olive oil and salt 

I always buy Aussie olive oil; it's great quality even if it can be a bit too grassy sometimes:-)   That's just 'cos our olive trees are young and sprightly, rather than ancients like the Italians and Greeks.

homemade Worcestershire sauce on the go

Every Christmas, I make a batch of this homemade sauce.  It ferments away in the dark, walk-in robe for two weeks, making the whole bedroom smell like a fish factory (just kidding, sort of).  This time the jalapeños were amazingly hot, so the sauce is a real kicker.  We love it!

homemade mango chutney

I made my usual Christmas batch of mango chutney.  There are some good cheap mangoes around this time of year.  And you can see Mr P.'s tub of tomato sauce he made for sick friends, in the background.  I made the meatballs though!

and there were tim-tam truffles

I think these truffles were my best in a long time!  That mix of dark and milk chocolate biscuits with a big spoonful or two of Nutella...  (Recipe on the blog - check the archives, my dears.)

tea towel signed by the Kransky Sisters

As per Christmas tradition, we go to see The Kransky Sisters, along with our mates the Barrel-Makers (not their real name - tee hee).  The lovely ladies - Mourne, Eve and Dawn - signed the tea-towel for me.  It was our friend Johnny's 18th birthday, so they signed his tea-towel and took lots of selfies with him.  Such a fun afternoon.  Check them out online; they are so funny.  

another book about food

Can't wait to get stuck into this one.  M. F. K. Fisher was such a well-loved food writer; the American version of the English Elizabeth David perhaps.  These are essays, plus a few recipes.  I reckon How To Cook A Wolf will be fab!

Dreamfarm gadgets

I knew the Dreamfarm factory was in Brisbane, but I didn't realise how close it was, till we were driving around recently.  I saw the sign, and yelled out Stop! to Mr P. - which he did, and we rushed in.  I bought a couple of things, and sneakily Mr P. bought me these two little treats.  The spadle has a handle which bends around to become a straining spoon or a ladle.  We had to check the website to work out how it works.  Are we getting old and feeble-minded?  Tee hee!  Oh yeah, we are for sure.

the Christmas turkey monster!

Nearly forgot to show you the four kilo monster bird with about two kilos of stuffing (dressing for US readers) inside, and a whack of bacon wrapped around the carcass.  Delicious I must say!

That's it for now, my lovely virtual friends.  Please do join in!  All and sundry are welcome to be part of IMK.  (Just a bit of FYI - I'm taking a blogging break for a couple of weeks, so I probably won't comment till mid-Jan.)

Here's how to join in:

1. Add via the Add Link button at the bottom of this post.  Instructions can be found on the sidebar of this page, under the Add your IMK link

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