If you love salmon and have an affinity towards sushi, then you should definitely try this Salmon Mentai Aburi Don, which is a seared salmon mentai rice bowl. It has a creamy, savory and smoky flavor that’s absolutely hard to resist! This dish has been gaining popularity in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore over the past 3 years. And it’s super easy to find the dish served in Japanese restaurants in that region.
The “Mentai” in the dish name stands for Mentaiko, which is cured salted pollack roe. It’s the signature ingredient that lends to the saltiness of the dish.
The Japanese word Aburi translates to “flame seared“, and utilising this technique makes the salmon become slightly smoky that makes it so tasty!
I used sashimi grade salmon for this recipe. But if you’re not using sashimi grade salmon, then you can blow torch both sides of the salmon on a fire-proof surface before placing it on top of the rice.
An option for those without blow torches is to fully assemble your rice bowl in an oven-safe pan, then broil it in the oven for a few minutes to get a similar char texture. However, it won’t have much of that smoky taste.
Salmon Mentai Don
- Blow torch
- 1 salmon fillet (sashimi grade)
- 4 tbsp Japanese mayo
- 3 tbsp sriracha/chili sauce
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cups rice
- rice vinegar (optional)
- chili oil (optional)
- furikake (optional)
- 3 tbsp mentaiko
- roasted seaweed (sliced)
- Season hot rice with rice vinegar, furikake and chili oil. Add to bowl.
- For the sauce, mix the Japanese mayo, sriracha, sesame oil and mentaiko.
- Cut the salmon fillet crosswise on the diagonal into slices. Place the salmon on half of the rice, slightly overlapping one another.
- Light the blowtorch and run the flame over the salmon for about 15 seconds, just long enough to lightly singe the edges.
- Add as much spicy mayo mentaiko sauce as you want on top of the salmon and run the flame over it until the mayo turns a deeper orange and it lightly singes.
- Garnish with sliced roasted seaweed. Enjoy!