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Speedy Sweet Chilli Salmon, Coconut Rice & Pickle

Succulent, crispy-skinned salmon meets Sileni’s beautifully balanced Pinot Gris

In so many ways, I can see myself becoming more and more like my parents as I get older: I know none of the songs on popular radio, I despair at how much time young people spend on their phones, and I misplace my spectacles (or sit on them) at least once a week. But perhaps the quirkiest habit of theirs that I’ve recently taken on is a requirement for certain foods to be cooked outside in the garden.

Let me explain.

For as long as I can remember, Mum has insisted that any sort of particularly fragrant cooking (stir-frying, deep-frying, pan-frying…) should be done outdoors. Rain or shine, she prepares most dinners outside, with her portable gas stove and wok perched atop the barbecue. Her reasoning is pretty sound: she doesn’t want all of those smoky aromas absorbing into her curtains and clogging up the indoor air! As a teenager I thought this was totally ridiculous, but now that I have my own flat and do most of the cooking, I completely get it.

The worst offender when it comes to smelly foods also happens to be one of my all-time favourites: pan-fried salmon. Oh, how I adore thee! But until recent times, when I moved to a new place with a garden, I hardly ever cooked salmon at home because the smell stuck around for ages in my tiny London living quarters. Now that I can set up my little camping cooker outside, I’ve become a bit of a salmon addict.

With the weather starting to warm up, I’m looking forward to eating my salmon outside as well as cooking it out there. And now that I’ve learnt so much from New Zealand wine expert Chris Stroud at our wine tasting session, I’m confident that I can pick lovely wines to enjoy with salmon too. When we sipped on Sileni Estate’s pinot noir and pinot gris, we recognised that both the red and white pinot wines would be a great match for a softly spiced salmon dish. The pinot noir had vibrant bursts of cherry and berry flavours and an underlying spice, all of which would stand up well against the similarly robust natural flavour of salmon. The pinot noir would also make a great accompaniment to other rich foods, such as crispy roast duck and our sticky pork belly.

In the end we decided to match our crispy-skinned sweet chilli salmon recipe with Sileni Estate’s pinot gris. This wine was absolutely delicious, and felt like summer in a glass. With its ripe juicy stone fruit, pear and citrusy flavours, Sileni Estate’s pinot gris really lifts and lightens seafood like our pan-fried salmon. The zesty yet balanced acidity of the pinot gris also ties in nicely with our super simple cucumber pickle. And at the same time, the delicate spice in the wine mirrors the gentle spice of our sweet chilli and soy sauce dressing. There’s so many reasons why Sileni Estate’s pinot gris matches up a real treat with our sweet chilli salmon! Give it a go and you’ll see how the flavours all mingle together in perfect harmony.

We’ve loved doing this New Zealand Wines series, and it’s been fantastic to discover that the right wine can truly elevate our food to new heights of deliciousness.

This post was kindly sponsored by Sileni Estates. All of the opinions expressed here and the recipes are our own. For more information, visit: http://www.sileni.co.nz

Serves
2, with coconut rice
Ingredients

1x recipe for perfect fluffy rice (enough rice for two people)
2 skin-on and boneless salmon fillets
1 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and pepper
75ml coconut milk
1 tbsp black sesame seeds (optional)

for the dressing
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce ½
1 tbsp light soy sauce

for the pickle
1/2 a long cucumber, sliced into angular batons
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp white vinegar

In so many ways, I can see myself becoming more and more like my parents as I get older: I know none of the songs on popular radio, I despair at how much time young people spend on their phones, and I misplace my spectacles (or sit on them) at least once a week. But perhaps the quirkiest habit of theirs that I’ve recently taken on is a requirement for certain foods to be cooked outside in the garden.

Let me explain.

For as long as I can remember, Mum has insisted that any sort of particularly fragrant cooking (stir-frying, deep-frying, pan-frying…) should be done outdoors. Rain or shine, she prepares most dinners outside, with her portable gas stove and wok perched atop the barbecue. Her reasoning is pretty sound: she doesn’t want all of those smoky aromas absorbing into her curtains and clogging up the indoor air! As a teenager I thought this was totally ridiculous, but now that I have my own flat and do most of the cooking, I completely get it.

The worst offender when it comes to smelly foods also happens to be one of my all-time favourites: pan-fried salmon. Oh, how I adore thee! But until recent times, when I moved to a new place with a garden, I hardly ever cooked salmon at home because the smell stuck around for ages in my tiny London living quarters. Now that I can set up my little camping cooker outside, I’ve become a bit of a salmon addict.

With the weather starting to warm up, I’m looking forward to eating my salmon outside as well as cooking it out there. And now that I’ve learnt so much from New Zealand wine expert Chris Stroud at our wine tasting session, I’m confident that I can pick lovely wines to enjoy with salmon too. When we sipped on Sileni Estate’s pinot noir and pinot gris, we recognised that both the red and white pinot wines would be a great match for a softly spiced salmon dish. The pinot noir had vibrant bursts of cherry and berry flavours and an underlying spice, all of which would stand up well against the similarly robust natural flavour of salmon. The pinot noir would also make a great accompaniment to other rich foods, such as crispy roast duck and our sticky pork belly.

In the end we decided to match our crispy-skinned sweet chilli salmon recipe with Sileni Estate’s pinot gris. This wine was absolutely delicious, and felt like summer in a glass. With its ripe juicy stone fruit, pear and citrusy flavours, Sileni Estate’s pinot gris really lifts and lightens seafood like our pan-fried salmon. The zesty yet balanced acidity of the pinot gris also ties in nicely with our super simple cucumber pickle. And at the same time, the delicate spice in the wine mirrors the gentle spice of our sweet chilli and soy sauce dressing. There’s so many reasons why Sileni Estate’s pinot gris matches up a real treat with our sweet chilli salmon! Give it a go and you’ll see how the flavours all mingle together in perfect harmony.

We’ve loved doing this New Zealand Wines series, and it’s been fantastic to discover that the right wine can truly elevate our food to new heights of deliciousness.

This post was kindly sponsored by Sileni Estates. All of the opinions expressed here and the recipes are our own. For more information, visit: http://www.sileni.co.nz

GET THE METHOD →

Start cooking the rice according to the instructions for perfect fluffy rice (see tip below).
OUR
TIP!
You don't need a rice cooker to make perfectly fluffy rice! We've developed a foolproof way to get it just right on the stove, every time. Click to find out how.
Prepare the pickle by mixing together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients, then set aside.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat. Season the skin side of the salmon with a few pinches of salt and pepper, then add them to the frying pan skin-side down and turn the head down to medium. Season the fleshy side, and use tongs or a spatula to press the fillets gently for maximum contact between the pan and the skin. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then flip the fillets and cook on the fleshy side for a further 1-2 minutes.
When the salmon is just about ready, fluff up the cooked rice then stir in the coconut milk and black sesame seeds. Drain any excess liquid away from the cucumber pickle.
Serve the salmon on a bed of coconut rice, with the crunchy cucumber pickle on the side and the dressing drizzled generously on top.
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