An unctuous orange sauce made out of papaya and white wine mustard covers the shrimps. Accompanied by a crunchy yellow bell pepper and cilantro leaves for an asian/tropical influence. A lovely recipe with lots of character!
This flavor is a combination of sweet and sour with a touch of spice, it has an asian/tropical side to it, or more precisely it’s a kind of curry with extra mustard flavor. Fresh, light and easy to prepare, another beloved “done under 30 minutes” meal. I’ve used a wok for this recipe although a pan would do as well. A nice crunchy yellow bell pepper and cilantro leaves are going to accompany to perfection this meal. The peppers aren’t cooked here, to keep the meal extra fresh and crunchy, although if you prefer… add them to the shrimps to warm them up a bit. The highlight of the dish lie in the sweet and sour sauce, a thick sweet mustard sauce made out of mainly papaya and white wine mustard. Mustard is a great emulsifier making the sauce thick or creamy. A dish filled with flavors!
The mustard world
First of all, mustard is relatively light ingredient only containing 15 calories per teaspoon. There are 3 types of mustard grains (black, brown and white) although only the brown and the white are used to make the mustard paste, the black one is added to mustard paste to give it a crunch. The brown grain as a stronger, spicier note to it, while the white one is relatively soft. Then again, there are different intensities in mustard flavors, whether it’s mixed with vinegar, wine or cold water. The vinegar neutralizes the spices from the mustard and makes it milder, the cold water keeps all the compounds intact keeping all the mustard grains sharpness intact. The wine version is the “in between” of the two methods above, in my opinion the best type of all mustards are the ones done with wine (white wine, whole grain mustard). In the south of Germany, they have a great sweet mustard made with whether apple sauce or honey while in England they have the opposite; the “hot mustard” which is powerful and going up to the nose in no time with its spicy/bold notes. Of course, in between are many many more variation and flavors (dijon, etc). For this recipe, I’ve used one of my favorite mustard, the one I used the most; the white wine mustard. It’s a perfect fit to this recipe, it balance to perfection the sweet papaya. I encourage you to use the same one, because the result can differ greatly with a stronger or softer type of mustard.
So let’s make this flavorful dish going!
Makes 2 portions | Preparation: 15 minutes
1/2 yellow bell pepper sliced
1 tbsp cooking oil (peanut, vegetable)
1/2 garlic clove minced
cilantro leaves to taste
The papaya-mustard sauce
30ml of white wine mustard
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
2 tbsp of white rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1 tbsp of honey (maple syrup or sugar)
1/2 tsp of fish sauce (salt or soy sauce)
1/4 tsp of sesame oil
1/4 tsp of chilli in oil
Blend all the ingredients from the sauce together, reserve
In a wok, high heat, cook the shrimps in the peanut oil and cook them through (about 3 minutes)
30 seconds before the end, add the garlic
15 seconds before the end, add the papaya sauce to the shrimps, mix and cook just a few seconds only to warm it up
Serve on rice topped with sliced bell pepper, cilantro and scallions
Maple-mustard glazed salmon on a red quinoa, dill, cucumber salad and a topping of crunchy skin, what else a Salmon lover could ask for? I’ve used the new technique my mom found which consist of marinating in a dry (salt+sugar) marinade the salmon and cook it at really low temperature, this way you get a salmon cooked to perfection, not dried up by the intense heat. It needs slightly more patience to do then the usual fish you do at 180°C (350F).
For the coccion, you’ll have to marinade a good 45 minutes, plus let the fish out of the fridge at room temperature for another 30 minutes before cooking. I know, it can be a pain in the … the process is quite long, but believe me, the result is unbelievable. The slow coccion will help cook the fillets to perfection and keep them moist. The dry marinade will help with the texture of the fish, and its color, turning to a slightly darker color and a firmer exterior, and boost the salmon taste. Then all you have to do, is mid-coccion adding a flavorful glaze to the fish, in this case I’ve used maple-mustard and voilà. A fabulous, cooked to perfection salmon fillet.
The bed of red quinoa is a simple salad of cucumber, radish and fresh dill to make it extra fresh. A touch of the leftovers of maple-mustard glaze from the fish mix with some extra olive oil for dressing. Nothing too complex, but surely tasty.
If you get the chance to buy the fillets with skin, it’s always a “must” to rapidly fry a piece of the skin in olive oil, until no more bubbles and then sprinkle some salt on it and voila! A great crunchy-salty bite to add to any of your salmon dishes. Be careful, do not forget to take off the scales at first, by scraping perpendicularly with the help of your chef’s knife or scraper with teeth, against the scales directions until they are all gone. This step is sometimes pre done or you could always ask your fishmonger/marchant to do it for you.
So let’s make this perfectly cooked Salmon fillet!
Maple-mustard Salmon filet on a red quinoa, dill, cucumber salad
Makes 2 portions
2 salmon fillets (with skin preferably)
3 tbsp of salt
3 tbsp of sugar
3 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tbsp of white wine mustard (or with grains)
The quinoa salad
250g of red quinoa
20 cm long cucumber cut into cubes
2 radishes thinly cut
a few branches of fresh dill finely chopped
1 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper
Start by scraping and taking off the skin of the salmon, by holding the skin tight while passing a sharp knife between the flesh and skin.
Add the 3 tbsp of sugar and salt to the salmon + skin and let marinate 45 minutes in the fridge
When marinade is done, rinse off the salt and sugar away and path dry, leave at room temperature for 30 minutes
Bring oven to 120°C (250F) (yes… that low)
Cook the salmon filets for 20-30 minutes depending on their thickness
Mix the maple syrup and mustard
Glaze the fish mid-coccion and keep a bit for the quinoa salad dressing
When the fish is glazed, add olive oil to the leftover of maple-mustard and reserve
Cook the quinoa as indicated
When ready mix the maple-mustard dressing, quinoa, cucumber, radish, dill, salt and pepper and mix the salad
*optional -In a pan, add olive oil and fry the salmon skin until crisp, salt it when done, reserve
When the side of the salmon fillet comes right off with a fork it’s ready, serve the fillet on a bed of the quinoa salad and top with the crunchy skin