Japanese Rice Soup with Salmon
My friend and I have been swapping recipes for a long time – we were roommates for most of college, and while our cooking then consisted mostly of large salads (or omelets or Cornish game hens prepared for boyfriends), we’ve both come a long way in our culinary repertoire. We were supposed to visit Japan in late 2020, so when she sent me a Japanese-inspired recipe from Food & Wine that she really enjoyed, and I knew I needed to make a version of it myself.The secret to this recipe, in my opinion, is the choice of rice. While the recipe called for long grain rice which stays fairly intact in the broth, the Japanese style would be to use a starchier rice and let it simmer until the rice is nearly broken down, creating a thicker sort of porridge like you see in the leftovers I had for lunch the next day.(The F&W recipe also had additional water added to the soup which would make it soupier and I wanted it a bit more like a stew.)Last year I joined Sitka Salmon Shares, a community supported fishery (CSF) that operates much the way my farm CSA does for produce. Fish, if you didn’t know it, is seasonal, and by being part of the CSF I get incredibly high quality fish delivered monthly. So far I’ve enjoyed rockfish, cod, and about 5 different types of salmon. Check out their website and give them a try!
- 12 ounces salmon, skin removed, cut into large cubes
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ cup Arborio rice
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups very rich chicken stock (homemade best!)
- 10 cilantro stems, left whole
- 2-3 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (see Notes)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon minced chives (you can use dried if you don't have fresh)
- Coat the salmon with soy sauce and sesame oil and refrigerate while the soup comes together.
- Combine the rice with the water and salt in a small saucepan, cover, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook until nearly done, about 15 minutes.
- Add the stock, cilantro stems, and ginger to the rice and simmer until the rice continues to break down and gives off enough starch to thicken the stock, about 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro and chives, then lay the pieces of salmon on top of the soup, cover and continue to simmer until the fish is cooked which should only take about 5 minutes.