Five minute feast

November 27, 2009

Okay, so that last post was a little tricky for a weeknight. But this one, I promise you, is the quickest evening meal you will ever make, and it tastes and looks so good it’s a winner for dinner guests too. I think the original recipe is from a Bill Granger book – a friend made this for me years ago and I’ve done it regularly ever since. I’m no fan of those four-ingredient style dishes on the whole, but I make an exception here.

Now, I may have fibbed a little in the headline above. But if we call it fifteen minutes instead of five, that’s no lie. The longest bit is cooking the accompanying rice. This quantity serves 2

Salmon with mirin, soy & black sesame seeds

  • 1 large fillet (or more) salmon or ocean trout, cut into 5cm chunks
  • 50ml mirin
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 tiny knob ginger, grated or very finely julienned
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • Jasmine or Basmati rice, cooked
  1. First, cook your rice and leave it to fluff.
  2. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil.
  3. While you wait, heat a non-stick pan or barbecue plate.
  4. Combine soy, mirin, ginger, garlic & sesame seeds in a small saucepan over low heat.
  5. Pan-fry or barbecue the salmon pieces until golden on the outside and quite rare in the centre, remove and keep warm. This will take only a few minutes.
  6. Toss the asparagus into the boiling water for one minute; add the spinach leaves for about 30 seconds; then drain.
  7. In a warmed dish, arrange a layer of salmon loosely with a layer of greens, then repeat.
  8. Pour over the mirin & soy mixture, then sprinkle with a few more sesame seeds if desired.
  9. Serve on a bed of rice.


  1. Sounds delicious and I’ll try that. But here’s my favorite salmon dish. Grate daikon and ginger (about 80/20) and add tamari or soy to make a sauce. I use the ginger grater so the daikon is very fine, but it works with any type of grating. Poach salmon (my absolutely favorite way to cook salmon) and serve with the dressing/sauce for each diner to add the quantity they wish.

  2. Now THAT sounds utterly delectable. And fast. And easy. Thanks jd. Do you poach it just in a non-stick pan or something? How much water are we talking? I have only ever poached whole salmon in the big fish kettle in which the water completely covers the fishy – but for a fillet..?

  3. It’s true, it’s true! I just made this for dinner and it was fast AND fab. I’ve had it at your place years ago and it was gorgeous but I don’t recall the asparagus and spinach. Anyhoo it’s nothing like those nasty 4-ingredient type things. Apart from the fact it has quite a few more than 4 ingredients, NONE of them are canned soup or lollies.

  4. […] once a week, of Salmon with Mirin, Ginger & Soy. I posted the recipe way back in 2009, and here it is.  These days I add a sliced red chilli to the mirin/soy mix, and sometimes some finely julienned red […]

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