Wasabi-pea dusted salmon

Crispy-skinned, pan-roasted salmon with a dusting of ground wasabi peas and pickled ginger.

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I can't help myself: it's impossible for me to shop at my local Asian grocery store without snagging a couple of packets of wasabi peas. It doesn't help that they're right next to the cash register, in prime position to tempt addicts like me. I buy them so regularly that when I resisted them, just once, the woman who works the counter pointed to them and asked, as a polite reminder, "Peas?". She's my enabler.

If you like the horseradish heat of wasabi peas too, here's a different way to use them that amps up an ordinary weeknight standby into something special with minimal effort. Just smash them up, however you will, and transform them from snack to very pretty condiment that adds truckloads of flavour.

Another of my kitchen constants also makes an appearance here: juicy little shards of luridly pink Japanese pickled ginger. Add some steamed bok choy and you've got an easy, healthy and very tasty dinner.


Wasabi-pea dusted salmon

 

For 2.

30g (¼ cup) wasabi peas
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 salmon fillets, skin on
2 tablespoons pickled ginger (gari)
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper

Reduce the wasabi peas to dust, either in a blender or small food processor, or by putting them in a small plastic bag and smashing them to smithereens with a rolling pin. Set aside.

Set your oven to 180°C (350°F).

Heat the oil in an ovenproof pan over medium heat. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place them skin-side down in the pan. Press down with a spatula to hold the skin against the pan and cook for 5 minutes on one side only.

Transfer the pan to the oven – again, don't turn the salmon – and roast for 5 minutes or until cooked to you liking.

Plate the salmon, skin-side up. Using a tea strainer, sprinkle liberally with the wasabi-pea dust. Scatter with some pickled ginger and serve.