I've had Diana Henry's 'A Change of Appetite' for several years now, and it's one of those books that I come back to time and again.
It's also one of the first recipe books I bought where the food styling and props used really jumped out at me. Beforehand, these stylistic attributes were never on my radar; the recipes themselves being the driving force for my love of such books. However, 'A Change of Appetite' combines delicious seasonal recipes with vibrant food styling, all served up in beautiful ceramics. The only thing stopping me from cooking more from it over the years is that my bloody sister swiped it when she moved into her own place!
It's back in my possession now, and I'm going to cook my way through it again.
I've just got back from a 4 day stag-do, so when when I made dinner last night, I needed something nourishing, but tasty and filling. The Japanese rice bowl ticks these boxes: a big bowl of brown rice tossed in soy, lime, rice vinegar and sugar. Veg. Cucumber. The recipe actually calls for raw tuna, but we opted for a pan-fried piece of salmon, a few different blanched veg, a handful of chopped chilli and some coriander. Delicious.
For 2 you'll need:
- 2 salmon fillets, skin on
- juice 2 limes
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 a chilli, finely chopped
- 140g brown rice
- Purple sprouting broccoli, a handful
- Sugar snap peas, a handful
- 1/2 a cucumber
- Coriander, a handful
- 1 spring onion
- Pickled ginger, a few tbsp worth
Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl, and adding the finely chopped chilli. Set to one side.
Cook your brown rice in a big pan of boiling water with a pinch of salt. You don't need to worry about the 'absorption' method here as you can drain it and it'll be perfect. I cooked my rice for 20 minutes, then let it steam in the colander whilst it drained for a minute and it was just right.
Blanch your broccoli and peas in a pan of lightly salted water, for 2-3 minutes. I added the broccoli a minute ahead of the peas as there were a few chunky stems.
Using a speed peeler, peel your cucumber on four sides until none of the peel remains. Then cut it lengthways and scoop out and discard the seeds. Now cut these into centimetre pieces.
Lightly season and oil your salmon fillets and cook in a screaming hot non-stick pan for 2-3 minutes on the skin-side, until it is shatteringly crisp. Turn and cook the salmon for a further minute on the opposite side. You want the salmon to be rare in the middle.
Once your rice is cooked and drained toss it with 2/3 of the dressing.
Assemble your rice bowl! It looks really nice to assemble all the different components around and on top of your rice, so that every element is clear and vibrant. Finish by spooning over the rest of the dressing, a bunch of coriander and the pickled ginger.