Japanese Style Risotto with Seared Salmon

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on a deal while I was doing my grocery shopping. Fresh Market has a whole salmon fillet on sale for $25. I wasn’t planning on making salmon and debated on buying it. I couldn’t pass up a deal like that bought a giant salmon fillet with no idea what I would make with it. I cut it up and froze the pieces as soon as I got home, then it was off to Pinterest to search for recipes. I decided on this Japanese Style Risotto with Seared Salmon recipe. The Japanese-Italian Fusion sounded intriguing and fit with my East Asian theme of late.

Savory, delicious and super flavorful. Soy glazed salmon piled over miso-flavored risotto packed with shiitake mushrooms. Made with simple ingredients and ready in about 40 minutes. A perfect dish to transform your dinner into a next-level flavor bomb!

Recipe Author: Anna Chwistek at Serving Dumplings
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The Ingredients

I read the recipe in advance and knew I wouldn’t find white miso paste at my usual grocery store, so I added some to an Amazon order. What I didn’t realize was it was regular miso paste, not white miso. Luckily, I noticed before I shopped for the other ingredients and was able to order the correct type of miso paste in time.

When it came time to try this recipe, I set a couple of the frozen salmon fillets in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Then I did my pre-shopping ingredient check. I had a few things like olive oil, low-sodium soy sauce, garlic, sake, chicken broth concentrate, and unsalted butter. I found everything else at my usual grocery store.

Japanese Style Risotto with Seared Salmon Ingredients
Salmon fillets, unsalted butter, olive oil, chicken broth, sugar, black pepper, chives, sesame seeds, sake, low-sodium soy sauce, sushi rice, white miso paste, celery, brown onion, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic

The Process

This recipe begins with making the marinade for the salmon. It mixes up quickly, and I was adding the fish fillets in no time. I made sure to place the fillets skin side up so the meat could absorb the flavor better. Also, the recipe doesn’t specify, but I marinated my salmon in the refrigerator to be safe.

Tip: Fish gets mushy if marinated for too long. Some sources say salmon can marinate as long as 60 minutes, but I find 20-30 minutes is safest. This is especially true if there are any acidic ingredients in the marinade, like citrus juice, wine, or soy sauce.

Marinating salmon fillets
Marinating the salmon fillets with the skin side up so the meat could absorb the flavors better

Making the Risotto

Once the salmon was marinating, I moved on to the risotto. I bought sliced shiitake mushrooms, so I didn’t worry about tearing them all. Instead, I tore the largest slices into smaller pieces so they were all more evenly sized.

Next, the mushrooms needed to be browned. The pan used for this would ultimately be used to make the risotto. I chose a deep saute pan because risotto needs a lot of stirring. The high sides keep things neater.

Browning the mushrooms took about 10 minutes, and left a lot of brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. It might look awful, but those brown bits add flavor. They all came up in the next step when I deglazed the pan with sake and a wooden spatula (it works better than a spoon).

Browned mushroom bits on saute pan
The mushrooms left a lot of browned bits in the bottom of the pan, but they came up easily when I deglazed the pan

I was soon ladling chicken broth into the pan with the toasted rice and sauteed vegetables. This part took patience! After the second round of ladling in broth, I started tasting bits of rice for doneness. It took a few more before they lost most of their crunch.

The instructions say this part will take about 15 minutes, but it took me a little longer. Okay, a lot longer! I eventually realized I set the heat too low and raised it from 2 to 4 to speed things along.

Otherwise, things went according to the recipe. I set my risotto aside and began the fish next. The texture was a little drier when I served it and not quite as creamy as I would have liked. A touch more broth would fix that.

Risotto in a saute pan with a wooden spatula
I used a wooden spatula to deglaze the pan and stir the risotto

Cooking the Salmon

Once the risotto was complete, I got started on the marinated salmon. This step was simple. I preheated a 10-inch non-stick skillet with oil. Butter has a low smoke point, so I only added it right before the fish.

Tip: Pat both sides of the salmon dry with paper towels before adding to the pan to ensure it develops a nice crust on the outside. Also, cook the meat side first, then flip so the skin side is down. Removing the fillets from the pan for serving is easier with the skin side facing down.

Four minutes per side was just right and gave my salmon a slight crunch outside and cooked it to medium. There was a slight bit of pink in the middle—not as well done pink, that is)—I’m sure because I didn’t allow it to come to room temperature before cooking.

Seared salmon fillets in a non-stick skillet
I seared the salmon fillets in a 10-inch non-stick skillet

Timing

This recipe listed 10 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to cook, and a title time of 40 minutes. Here’s how my time was spent:

  • 3 minutes to prep the marinade
  • 40 minutes to cook the risotto
  • 8 minutes to cook the salmon
  • 51 minutes total

The slow-down was while making the risotto. I had the heat set too low, and it took ages to stir in the broth. I have to admit I use packaged risotto when I occasionally make it, and it has spoiled me. It’s been years since I have made it from scratch!

So how was it?

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This Japanese Style Risotto with Seared Salmon made a dinner that tasted as good as it looked! The salmon was done perfectly with just a little pink in the middle and a crispy outside. The risotto was a bit salty with soy sauce flavor and a slight crunch from the shiitake mushrooms. It could have been a little creamier, but it was wonderful nevertheless. Making it wasn't difficult, and I didn't have any trouble following the instructions. Everything went smoothly, although the heat setting I used for the risotto was too low, making it take longer to cook. Everything was so delicious that even my hubby loved it, and he rarely likes cooked salmon. I was shocked! This was a Pinterest success for sure, and I'll be making it again!
Candice
Candicehttps://www.hungrypinner.com
I'm Candice, and I'm The Hungry Pinner. I created this blog to share my love for cooking and my experiences with the MANY recipes I've found on Pinterest over the years. Join me as I blog my way through those recipes to find out if they are worth trying yourself.

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This Japanese Style Risotto with Seared Salmon made a dinner that tasted as good as it looked! The salmon was done perfectly with just a little pink in the middle and a crispy outside. The risotto was a bit salty with soy sauce flavor and a slight crunch from the shiitake mushrooms. It could have been a little creamier, but it was wonderful nevertheless. Making it wasn't difficult, and I didn't have any trouble following the instructions. Everything went smoothly, although the heat setting I used for the risotto was too low, making it take longer to cook. Everything was so delicious that even my hubby loved it, and he rarely likes cooked salmon. I was shocked! This was a Pinterest success for sure, and I'll be making it again!Japanese Style Risotto with Seared Salmon