Monash Cook-Off #1: Salmon Rice Bowl

Written and edited by: Chua Jia Ying & Cheah Wei Shang

Featuring: Kai Loon

With one extension after another, it’s no doubt that the Movement Control Order that has been in place since the 18th of March has got us feeling out of touch with reality. “Boring, very boring,” as Kai Loon would describe it. On the bright side, it’s the perfect opportunity to hone your culinary skills!

Kai Loon recalls having a few ingredients lying around in his kitchen and decided to try putting something together. He calls his dish the Salmon Rice Bowl. For those of you who are really missing and craving Kubis & Kale or any other Poke Bowls, you might want to read on to find out how to make your own version at home.

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Everyone has their own preference when it comes to Poke Bowls and the freedom to choose your own toppings/condiments is what makes them so delectable. Poke is one of the main dishes in Native Hawaiian Cuisine. Traditionally, Poke is actually made with Tuna or Octopus instead of Salmon, paired with condiments and seasonings such as maui onions, Inamona, Limu, soy sauce, green onions and sesame oil. More recently, these toppings have been adapted and influenced by Japanese cuisine. The Poke we find in Malaysia are often topped with fresh vegetables (carrots, cucumber, corn), edamame, ebiko, sesame seeds, seaweed, furikake and more!

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So, Kai Loon, what are the main ingredients in your dish and how do they differ from your traditional Poke?

“It’s the big mix of random ingredients. The bottom half the bowl is steamed Japanese rice. On top of that are layers of shredded red cabbage, edamame, beansprouts, pomegranates and guacamole. The star of the dish is the baked salmon, seasoned generously with salt before baking 45 minutes in the oven. To top the dish, I added some ebiko (fish roe) and sesame seeds.” (Kai Loon says that’s all for his dish, but we spot with our amateur eyes some freshly chopped chives).

“Oh! Those beansprouts are from my garden,” he adds on, proudly. (Pro tip: Growing your own herbs and vegetables can really cut down on your monthly grocery bills!)

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We can already tell that the dish is a feast for the eyes through the picture, but more importantly, how was the taste?

“Refreshing, fruity, herby, lemon-y and fishy.” According to Kai Loon, the acidity comes from his homemade guacamole. Guacamole is an avocado-based dip which usually calls for lime juice, cilantro and jalapenos. However, Kai Loon didn’t have any jalapenos on hand at the time so, he mashed the avocados with some potatoes instead.

That sure sounds like one filling dish packed with an abundance of nutrients. It isn’t a difficult dish to recreate and really easy for you to put your own spin on it, so Kai Loon hopes that you’ll give it a try at home!

Kai Loon, before you go, we have one last question; what are you going to do with your winnings?

“I’m going to buy a new grill pan.”

And that’s one recipe, see you next week! Oh oops, wrong blog. 

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