Recipe: Salmon and green tea donburi (rice bowl)

Summer is HOT in Queensland. I want to spend minimum time in the kitchen, sweating over the stove. That is not for me. It’s currently autumn and it’s still too freaking hot and humid.

This was the first time I made this, completely on a whim, but I’m not new to the concept of Japanese donburi (rice bowl dishes) for their simplicity. A well-balanced and healthy meal full of flavour and freshness. I’ve also been slightly obsessed with thinking of different ways to use green tea in my meals/desserts/cocktails. You could go all out and get matcha green tea, if you want to be fancy. There’s different types of matcha green tea that I won’t go into here but a quick Google should help you out.

What I am going to talk about is furikake.

If you’ve never used furikake, you want to get your hands on it.

It’s a Japanese seasoning that mostly compromises of flakes of seaweed and sesame seeds. Varieties apart from plain include added wasabi, bonito flakes, prawn (ebi), corn/vegetable, etc. They’re great for sprinkling into rice, noodles, soups, okonomiyaki.. You get the point. When buying them, they’ll come in different colours with Japanese labels. Check the ingredients which should be in English, if you’re unsure what each flavour is. I like to buy the variety with added bonito flakes. I find they add a more “traditional” flavour to the dishes (think of all the Japanese dishes that incorporate bonito flakes)!

I love raw salmon but the heat from tea just ever so slightly cooks the salmon. The thinner the salmon slices, the more the salmon will cook.

It looks cool as all hell pouring tea out of a tea pot into a rice bowl. This is comfort, homecooked meal with just enough flourish and pizzazz that it’d be awesome for guests.

Bonus: you’ve also got drinks sorted. Set out a tea cup with your meal.

Salmon and Green Tea Donburi

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 x ~100g salmon fillets (skin on or off, up to you), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of long-grain rice, cooked
  • 1 bunch of Asian greens (I used pak choy), roughly chopped
  • Furikake
  • 2 bags of green tea
  • Hot water (80°C is ideal. Bonus tip: boil water to 100°C and leave it for two minutes before pouring)

Method:

  1. Switch on the kettle. Make your rice. Quickly fry off your Asian greens in a hot pan with oil.
  2. Add water to tea pot with tea bags.
  3. Assemble rice bowl by.. umm… putting cooked rice in bowl. Top with raw salmon, veggies and furikake.
  4. Pour hot tea over, just enough to make rice slightly soupy (see pic), and watch the magic happen!

Notes:

Cook rice according to your preferred method. If you time everything right this dish can literally take 20 minutes from start to finish.

Substitute salmon with cubes of silken tofu for another instant, minimal cooking for vegetarians.

Asian greens – if you’re super lazy like me, just snap/tear them straight into the pan.

It’s also a quick way to use up leftover rice – and you’ll have an even quicker meal that takes as long as a pot of tea to be made!

EDIT: My sister has mentioned how great green tea with roasted rice would be for this dish! YES. Do this. If you can. Do it. Do it. Do it.

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