Sunday, 25 May 2014

Thermomix Teriyaki Chicken or Salmon Meal with Sesame-Miso Green Beans or Asparagus, Cucumber-Radish Pickles and Rice

Cooked in twenty minutes, with only a few minutes of preparation...

You choose whether you have chicken or salmon, and green beans or asparagus (I like green beans with chicken, and asparagus with salmon), and substitute as suggested to suit your diet. If you have time to marinade your chicken or salmon for half an hour first, that's great - but if not you could just steam it and toss it in the sauce at the end and it will still be tasty.

This serves two people, at 304 calories per serving for the teriyaki chicken (breast), green beans and cucumber-radish pickles, plus 76 calories if serving with 200g cauliflower rice per person (380 calories in total), or add on 175 calories for a 50g (raw weight) serving of rice (479 calories - although I find that I can only eat half of this quantity of rice with everything else on the plate, so it's 391 calories for me!). Oh and 3 calories a serving for the spring onion with the rice, if you're counting... ;)

For the teriyaki salmon, it's 409 calories for the salmon, pickles and vegetables, plus the rice as above.

If you're cooking gluten free, use tamari soy sauce, and gluten free miso, e.g. Clearspring's white miso or if you want a darker miso, go for a brown rice version.

[Calories in square brackets for those counting]


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken fillets, around 120g each, or 240g chicken mini-fillets/tenders [264] (or use 240g skinless, boneless thighs for 386 calories)
  • 2 boneless, skinless salmon fillets, around 120g each [473]
  • 2 tbsp mirin (check ingredients for gluten free, brands vary - if you don't want to use mirin, substitute 1 tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp water) [78]
  • 2 x 15ml tbsp soy sauce (30g, preferably Japanese, e.g. Kikkoman - use tamari for gluten free) [24]
  • 2 tsp sugar (golden caster - or you could substitute honey ) [32]
  • 1 tsp oil [45]
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds [19]

(If you like plenty of sauce, then double up the marinade ingredients; and if you want to mix it up a bit, you could also add grated ginger, garlic and chilli to the marinade and include sliced spring onions as an aditional garnish - see notes below)

For the Sesame-Miso Green Beans or Asparagus
  • 200g fine green beans, topped (and tailed, if you prefer)* [56]
  • 200g asparagus, woody ends snapped off [55]
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds [38]
  • ½ tsp (golden) caster sugar [8]
  • ½ tsp mirin** [6]
  • 1 tsp sake** (or you could substitute Chinese Shaoxing wine, or dry sherry - check ingredients for gluten free cooking as brands vary) [7]
  • 1 tsp miso paste (for gluten free, use Clearspring organic white miso, or similar - check ingredients) [4]

*Grab all the beans in your hand, tap the tops on a board to even them up, and then just snip the tops off in one go, or put on a cutting board and slice off all together. If your packet is around 200g, you don’t even need to open it! Just tap the top end so they’re lined up, put down and hold steady, and whip the tops off with a knife in one fell swoop.

**If you don't want to use mirin and sake (which are both alcoholic), substitute a tsp of soy sauce, and ½ tsp honey, for an equally tasty dressing

For the Cucumber-Radish Pickles
  • 100g cucumber (about a third of a whole cucumber) finely sliced [11]
  • 3 large radishes (about 40g) [5]
  • Fine salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice [1]
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar (check ingredients if cooking gluten free, you could also substitute apple cider vinegar to suit your diet) [2]
  • ½ tsp fine sugar (e.g. golden caster or you could substitute stevia, raw honey etc.) [8]

For the Rice/Cauliflower Rice
  • 100g easy cook rice (or your favourite, white or brown) [350]
  • 400g cauliflower florets [152]
  • 2 spring onions [6]


You will need one good, non-stick pan for this in addition to the Thermomix, to toast the sesame seeds in (not possible for this quantity in the TM - I tried on several speeds, they don't move once the oils start coming out!), reduce the marinade in, and optionally toss your chicken/salmon in the reduced marinade once cooked (or you can just drizzle it over).

N.B. If you would prefer to cook your chicken or salmon in the pan for extra flavour, as opposed to steaming it in the varoma, which the rice and vegetables are cooking, see here for the chicken instructions, and here for the salmon - you've already used the pan for the sesame seeds and you will have more control over the cooking, especially with the salmon, which comes in all shapes, sizes and thicknesses.

Remove any visible fat from the chicken, and cut each breast into 3-4 lengthways slices, about an inch wide. If you've got time to marinade your chicken/salmon, put the teriyaki marinade ingredients -the mirin, soy and sugar (or honey) - in a non-metallic dish which will snugly contain the chicken/salmon (or you could use a sandwich bag), stir to dissolve the sugar a little and put the chicken/salmon into the marinade, ensuring evenly covered. Leave for half an hour, or up to two hours if you have time.

If using white grain rice, fill the jug up to the 1 litre mark with (cold) water (or weigh in 1000g) - for brown rice you will need 1.25 litres of water (1250g). Put the internal steaming basket inside and weigh the rice in (maximum 400g). If making cauliflower rice, see here for TM instructions - if you follow this you could keep it warm in the thermoserver for the 10 minutes while the chicken/salmon and vegetables are steaming, or get the water hot first then put them all on together, if you don't want to microwave it at the end.

Add salt, then wash the (grain) rice with the water for 10 seconds, speed 5. Steam for 10 minutes / Varoma Temperature / Speed 3 (MC on) for white rice, or 30 minutes / Varoma Temperature / Speed 3 (MC on) for brown rice.

As soon as you've put the rice on for the first steam, finely slice cucumber and radishes (after taking off tops/tails) – easiest and quickest with a mandolin (watch those fingertips!), or in a food processor with fine slicing attachment. Shake salt over the slices, quickly massage through, and set aside in a sieve or colander to allow the liquid to drain over a bowl, or the sink. Finely slice the spring onions on the diagonal, give them a quick ruffle to separate the layers, and set aside to garnish the rice.

Toast all of the sesame seeds in a dry pan until starting to turn golden brown (keep them moving so they don't burn), and remove immediately and set aside. Keep the pan for cooking your marinade. Once cool, you can choose whether to leave them all whole, or to crush 2 tsps of them lightly in a pestle and mortar for the green beans/asparagus dressing. I like them both ways, and really couldn't choose!

Prepare the dressing for the green beans/asparagus – put the sugar, mirin, sake, miso paste, and the 2 tsp of sesame seeds in a dish large enough to hold the beans and combine thoroughly (a fork, or small whisk is sufficient for this).

Arrange the green beans / asparagus in the top Varoma tray, making sure there are gaps between them. Lightly oil the bottom of the Varoma, remove the chicken or salmon from the marinade (reserving the marinade), and (placing the Varoma on top of its lid to catch any drips) arrange the chicken or salmon in the base, leaving gaps for the steam to get through. Place the tray of beans/asparagus on top, ready to go. 

When the alarm goes on the TM to indicate the first steaming period is over, immediately remove the MC (wear oven gloves or similar to make sure you don't get burnt by any escaping steam), then place the Varoma on top, put the lid on it, and re-set the TM to steam for a further 10 minutes / Varoma temperature / Speed 3.

When it is near the end of the cooking time, gently squeeze the cucumber/radish to release any excess liquid and salt (rinse if you want to, but not necessary), add the other pickle ingredients, mix and set aside.

Add the reserved marinade to the pan, and bring it to the boil, shaking occasionally and stirring until it has reduced a little to a glaze (don't worry if it turns a little lumpy at first, keep stirring - use a silicone-coated whisk if you have one) - this won't take long, but be careful it doesn't burn around the edges of your pan, or it will taste bitter - if it reduces too quickly, you can always add more water, and if you want more sauce, you can always add more soy and mirin in equal quantities; then once you're happy with it (have a quick taste, you only need a little sauce for each serving - if it's too salty, add more water and/or mirin), remove it from the heat.

Once the final ten minutes are up, and the alarm goes off, carefully remove the lid, and toss the green beans/asparagus in the sesame-miso dressing and plate up with the cucumber-radish pickles. Quickly toss your chicken (or gently put your salmon in, then turn it) in the reduced marinade in the pan then plate it up,  pouring the remaining sauce over it, and topping with a sprinkling of the remaining toasted sesame seeds, and finally serve up your rice with spring onions scattered over the top and enjoy!

If you want to change the flavour profile a little, and stray from tradition, this is also delicious with some grated ginger (an inch or so) and a clove of crushed garlic added to the marinade, maybe even some sliced or finely chopped red chillies (with or without seeds depending on how hot you like it!).

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