Why It Works
- A quick marinade in soy sauce and other flavorful ingredients transforms plain salt-cured salmon roe into a version that tastes more like the Japanese kind.
- Letting the rice cool slightly ensures the heat doesn't cook the salmon roe.
Ikura don is a Japanese rice bowl topped with brilliant orange pearls of salmon roe. For this easy recipe, we quickly marinate the already-cured roe in soy sauce and other seasonings to infuse it with more flavor, then load it onto freshly cooked rice.
- 4 ounces (115g) cured salmon roe (see note)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) usukuchi (light) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) mirin or sake
- 1/4 cup (60ml) homemade or instant dashi
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked short-grain rice, cooled slightly
- Wasabi, for garnish
- Nori seaweed strips, for garnish
- Shiso leaf, for garnish (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine salmon roe with soy sauce, mirin or sake, and dashi. Let stand for at least 15 and up to 30 minutes. (This is a good time to cook the rice.)
Scoop rice into a serving bowl. Drain roe, then gently spoon onto rice. Garnish with wasabi, nori strips, and shiso, if desired. If you want, you can add other seafood to the bowl, like slices of salmon sashimi, picked cooked crabmeat, uni (sea urchin), or more.
If you can find Japanese cured salmon roe at a Japanese market, you can use it as is, without the marination step. Otherwise, salt-cured salmon roe (sold by good fishmongers) will work with the marination step listed here.