Salmon with Pea Shoots and Oyster Sauce
Gathering the people you love around you to eat a meal together is something we should all do more often. But throwing a dinner party needn’t mean endless lists of ingredients and complicated cooking instructions. Simply cooked salmon with a fresh pea shoot salad is almost effortlessly easy to prepare. Fried shallots, although maybe not all that healthy, deliver wokfuls of flavour – but you can always leave them out if you are feeling especially virtuous.
- 1 x 800g skinless salmon fillet
- 2 tbsp rice bran oil or vegetable oil
- a 4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
- 100ml shaosing or dry sherry
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 6 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and finely sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 5 spring onions, trimmed and sliced into 1cm pieces
- 250g pea shoots
- salt and white pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350˚F/Gas mark 3. Tear off two sheets of foil a little longer than your fish fillet. Lay one sheet on a baking tray and drizzle with some of the rice bran oil. Place the salmon on top. Season with pepper and scatter over the ginger. Place the second piece of foil on top of the salmon and seal the foil on three of the sides; the parcel should be loose with plenty of room around the fish. Pour half of the shaosing into the open end, before sealing that side too. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Pour the vegetable oil into a large heavy-based saucepan to a depth of about 2.5cm. Heat over a medium heat to 170°C (if you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a small cube of white bread; it should turn golden brown in about 12 seconds). Carefully drop the sliced shallots into the oil and fry for about 5 minutes, by which time they should have turned a dark golden brown. Transfer to a piece of kitchen roll to drain off any excess oil (give them a light press to remove as much oil as you can). Season with a little salt and keep to one side.
In a bowl mix together the oyster sauce and soy sauce with the remaining shaosing. Heat the remaining rice bran oil in your wok over a high heat. Once hot, add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the garlic and spring onions. Continue to stir-fry for a further minute before reducing the heat and piling in thepea shoots along with the oyster sauce mixture and 2 tablespoons of water. Don’t worry if it seems like the pea shoots won’t all fit; they will quickly wilt. Give them a stir and when they have wilted, remove from the heat.
To serve, cover the base of a large serving dish with the pea shoot mixture. Carefully remove the fish from its parcel and place on top. Drizzle any of the cooking liquid over the fish and finish with a final flurry of the fried shallots. Perfect dinner party food to serve to your nearest and dearest.