Friday, December 18, 2009

Macadamia, panko and furikake crusted salmon

Crusted salmon
Originally uploaded by love_yellow

The last of the summer's stash of wild salmon came out of the freezer this week and was baked with a crust of panko, macadamia and Japanese rice seasoning, also called furikake.

Here's wikipedia's definition of furikake:

"Furikake (振り掛け / ふりかけ?) is a dry Japanese condiment meant to be sprinkled on top of rice. It typically consists of a mixture of dried and ground fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, salt, and monosodium glutamate. Other flavorful ingredients such as katsuobushi (sometimes indicated on the package as bonito), salmon, shiso, egg, powdered miso, vegetables, etc. are often added to the mix.

Furikake is often brightly colored and flaky. It can have a slight fish or seafood flavoring, and is sometimes spicy. It can be used in Japanese cooking for pickling foods for onigiri, or rice balls."

How it ended up in my pantry...
Yes, MSG is a no-no in my household... but I got addicted to this after babysitting my 4-year old nephew, who loves to eat rice seasoned with this stuff, so I'm making a small exception here. It was the only way he would eat the brown rice - and if you're a mom, you know how difficult it can be to get your kids to eat so you make exceptions every once in a while right? After feeding my nephew and eating with him for a week, I was hooked too and ended buying some when my sister and I visited the Japanese store.

I don't eat rice very often so my jar of furikake seasoning is getting close to expiring. I hate to waste food so that's how I ended up using this seasoning in my salmon crust. Plus I like how it adds some color to the crust, makes it look more appetizing.

Crusted with macadamia, panko and black sesame seeds

I've also used black sesame seeds to make my crust look more interesting and it gives it a nice flavor too. My husband and I cook/eat so much salmon throughout the summer season that I have to find different ways to prepare it. 9 out of 10 times we just throw it on the grill seasoned with just salt, white pepper and dill or sometimes I spice it up or marinate it. But when the weather gets colder I'm more inclined to turn on the oven - that's when I can experiment with making a crust.

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