Trying to include more protein into a diet that also features carbohydrates and lots of vegetables in a creative way was the challenge for this evening. Conscious of both environmental and health concerns, I try to balance our need for protein-rich food with health concerns regarding the consumption of too much meat. Add to this issue the price of meat – both the monetary cost (which affects us), the environmental cost (which affects the larger world: it takes far more energy to raise animals that it does grain crops), and the concerns about food equity and distribution (which affects others: poorer people tending not to be able to access enough food, while richer ones have energy dense animal food at their finger tips) and shopping and planning for food can become somewhat overwhelming! This dinner has a little of everything, and, to top it all off, was very tasty!
lettuce leaves (ideally small iceberg or something that ‘cups’)
English/baby spinach leaves (finely sliced)
red capsicum (chopped into a smallish dice)
Lebanese cucumber (chopped in half lengthways and then into little semi-circles)
fresh beetroot (grated)
broccoli or brocolini (blanched and refreshed very briefly)
coriander (roughly chopped)
shallots or green onions (finely chopped)
canned pink salmon (mashed with a fork)
2-3 tbsp soy sauce (30-45ml)
2-3 tbsp rice wine vinegar (30-45ml)
1 tbsp light flavoured oil (e.g. peanut, sunflower) (15ml)
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tbsp finely chopped shallots or green onions
equal parts medium grain Japanese rice and water
your favourite rice sprinkle (found in Asian groceries)
a tiny bit of salt
1. Layer the vegetables inside the lettuce leaves, finishing off with salmon, onion and coriander – try to be conscious of making the salad look attractive as you arrange this!
2. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small jar, shake to combine and check for taste, adjust as desired. Pour over the lettuce salad cups.
3. Cook the rice as per the instructions for the rice cooker, when its done allow to cool slightly before beginning to make the onigiri. Add the sprinkle to the rice and fluff the rice. Wet your hands just a little, salt them lightly and then shape the rice using the palm of your hands and your fingers to create the triangle shape.
4. Enjoy this fresh and delicious dish!