As I type, I can categorically say, I think spring has officially sprung – and what a wonderful feeling it is! The sun is shining and so is my vegetable draw with the year’s first haul of fresh and vibrant seasonal veggies. Particular favourites of mine this time of year include; purple sprouting broccoli, early cabbages and spinach that simply shout spring!
With such vibrancy, spring vegetables handle flavour with convincing confidence, making them the best for more exotic spice, heat and robust ingredient then the previous season’s veggies. Elevated by the intense flavours of chilli, ginger, garlic and citrus, vegetables such as purple sprouting and spring alliums and cabbages are unsurprisingly favourable in oriental cooking.
To keep their crisp, fresh texture, and refreshing palate, spring veg take very little cooking, making for quick and simple seasonal recipes. Stir-frying is a great way to ensure their vitamins and minerals are also maintained as well as their beautiful colour and vibrancy. This week’s recipe ticks all these boxes; Cashew crusted, Chinese spiced salmon with super seasonal stir fry veg.
Salmon is also bang on season, adding an unconventional twist to traditional oriental dishes. Much lighter than using pork, chicken or beef, salmon is great for your healthy protein fix, as well as marrying perfectly with the chilli, ginger and citrus. This recipe also works great with white fish too – for an extra special treat, try getting your hands on some dover or even lemon sole.
- 1 large thumb of ginger
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 red or green chilli, medium heat (plus extra for serving)
- 4 sundried tomato pieces
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 3 tsp five spice
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil (plus a little extra for frying)
- 4 salmon fillets
- Salt and pepper
- 100g unsalted cashew nuts
- 2 tbsp dark soy
- 4 noodle portions
- 3 carrots
- 1 pepper (or a selection of small peppers)
- 1 large red onion
- 1 bunch of spring onions
- 12 stems of purple sprouting
- Handful of Chinese cabbage (pak or bok choi)
- Make the marinade. Combine the ginger, garlic, chilli, sun-dried tomatoes, half the coriander, 2 tsp of five spice, lime zest and juice and oil in a blender – blend until a smooth paste. Place the salmon in a oven-proof dish and spoon over half the marinade. Cover with cling film and allow to marinate whilst you prepare the cashew crust and veg.
- Heat the oven to 180C. Roughly chop the cashews and a handful of coriander, and place in a bowl along with the remaining five spice. Set aside until the salmon is ready for the oven. Prepare the vegetables – slice the carrots, peppers and onions, and remove any woody ends to the purple sprouting.
- Scatter the cashew crust over the salmon fillets and place in the oven for 15 mins. In the meantime, spoon the remaining marinade into a dry pan on a medium heat. Allow to cook for a few minutes whilst ensuring it doesn’t stick. Add the soy to the pan and combine with the marinade. Cook for a further minute or two then spoon out into a separate dish until needed. Cook the noodles to packet instructions.
- Add a little oil to the pan, allow to heat then add the vegetables (with the exception of the Chinese cabbage). Stir fry the vegetables for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened before adding the sauce sauce. Cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes, then add the cabbage last minute, along with the cooked and drained noodles.
- Remove the salmon from the oven, and serve on the vegetable and noodle stir fry. Top with extra spring onions, roughly chopped coriander and chilli for additional heat.