Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Asparagus Salmon Fried Rice #BloggerCLUE

Crunchy asparagus just barely tossed in the hot pan with garlic and onions and chilies keep the fresh taste of spring, complemented by the tender poached salmon in this delightful, and delightfully easy, fried rice.

I’ve been making fried rice for a very, very long time. In fact, it’s such a common occurrence that I’ve never even considered posting a recipe on here. Fried rice has the advantage of being quick and easy, with the fabulous capacity to turn leftovers into something new and special. I never measure or quantify. It all just goes in. Roast chicken, grilled steak, boiled shrimp, pan-fried pork chops and myriad vegetables, sure. They’ve all become fried rice at my hands. But in all my years of making this dish, I have never once thought to use salmon. And that is why I love taking part in Blogger C.L.U.E. each month.

Blogger C.L.U.E. is a fun challenge where each participating blogger is given an assignment, another blog to poke around in and find recipes that fit our “clue” or theme of the month. I’ve been taking part for several months now and each time, I learn something new and my world opens just that much wider with possibilities.

This month my assigned blog is Lemon & Anchovies and I was hunting through Jean’s beautiful pages for spring vegetable recipes. And you know what I found! What is more quintessentially springy than asparagus? I am showing all of my 52 years now (I’m among friends, right?) but I remember a time when the only asparagus I’d ever eaten came from a can. Even as I got older and learned of fresh asparagus, the season was so short that folks waited all year for the first spears to appear and they were something special. When my husband and I first met, he had three things he would not eat: beets, olives and asparagus. Turns out he had never had a fresh asparagus either! He is now a fan of both olives and asparagus – Never mind about the beets. One has to choose one’s battles. – and he loved this fried rice, even taking the leftovers for two days running for his lunch.

I made very few changes to Jean’s recipe only doubling most of the ingredients so we’d have leftovers and putting fresh chilies instead of sauce but I’d like to encourage you to head over to her blog to read the post where I found this recipe. Her stunning photographs and glorious description of a daytrip to the coast will put you right there with her and give you pleasant dreams of days on the beach. And while you are there, have a poke about yourself. Jean cooks beautiful food and loves to travel. Her lovely crab, asparagus and avocado omelet post will also treat you photos from a trip to Maui  and a bacon and leek quiche also means a gorgeous recap of her two weeks of summer on the south coast of France.   Amongst others. Seriously, do go see. If you are anything like me, you’ll get trip envy bad. And want to cook all the things.

1 1/4 lbs or 585g salmon fillets
250g asparagus
6 1/2 cups or about 900g cooked long grained Basmati rice, cooled (Day old from the refrigerator is best.)
3 eggs
2-3 shallots
4 cloves garlic
2­3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 red chili peppers
2-3 tablespoons light soy sauce 
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more for serving, if desired

For serving and garnish:
Lime wedges
Fresh chives

Poach your salmon in a medium-sized covered saucepan, in simmering water that comes just half way up the fillets, turning the fish halfway through. You want the fish just barely cooked through so, depending on the thickness of your fillets, about 10-15 minutes ought to do it. Take it off the heat but leave the salmon in the poaching liquid until you are ready to use it.

Cut the hard ends off of your asparagus and pop them into a glass with some cool water, just as you would cut flowers.

Beat your eggs and drizzle a little olive oil into a non-stick skillet. Pour the eggs in and cook over a low heat, turning once when almost cooked through.

When the omelet is cool enough to handle, roll it up and slice it thinly. Set aside.

Slice your shallots finely, mince your garlic and red chilies. Cut your asparagus into shorter lengths.

In a pan or wok that is big enough to hold all of your ingredients eventually, drizzle in the oils and add in the shallots and chilies. Cook for just a minute or two.

Add in the asparagus and cook, stirring frequently, for just a few more minutes. You want the asparagus to stay nice and crunchy.

Add in the garlic and cook for about a minute, making sure not to let the garlic color.

Add in the cold rice and stir well. Drizzle on the soy sauces and stir again, so that the soy is well mixed with all the rice.

It will take a few minutes to get all of that rice hot, so take the time now to use a fork to break the salmon into fairly large pieces. Remember that it will fall apart a bit more as you stir.

Add in the salmon and fold it into the hot rice.

Now add the egg ribbons and do the same, cooking just until the salmon and egg are both hot.

Garnish with chopped green onion and serve with lime and extra soy sauce, if desired.


Here’s a list of this month’s Hunt for Spring Vegetables Blogger C.L.U.E. participants. I’ll be updating the list with their chosen recipes as the day progresses.

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