This is a totally unorthodox but delicious and interesting way of serving black rice. In Bali, black rice is normally eaten as a sweet morning or afternoon snack, but in this case I have matched the nutty chewiness of the rice with the full-bodied flavour of salmon – the salmon gloriously coral against the midnight black of the grain (I have in fact mixed the black rice with a little white rice as we do with rice pudding, to create a more complex and interesting flavour and texture.) Beyond visuals, there is the added bonus of omega-3 oils in the salmon and vital minerals in the black rice. This recipe is for one serve, easily tailored to suit your table.
600 g salmon fillet, skin on
5 tablespoons butter
4 medium leeks, sliced finely
1 cup black rice
¼ cup white rice
3 tablespoons seeded mustard
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 kaffir lime leaves
500mls chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper
oil for frying salmon
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons fried shallots
1 teaspoon palm sugar, grated
chopped chives to garnish
Soak the black rice in water to cover overnight. In a separate bowl, soak the white rice in water to cover for an hour. Strain the black rice and the white rice.
Add the 600mls water to a heavy-based saucepan with the strained black rice and white rice. Boil for thirty minutes together until the rice is cooked and the liquid has evaporated but the rice is still moist and glossy. Set aside for a minute.
Pat the salmon dry. Pour a layer of salt onto a plate and press the skin side of the fillet onto it. The salt will dry the skin out a little and will be wiped off before cooking. Set aside for up to an hour while you make the risotto.
Heat a wok or saucepan over low heat and add the butter. Once it has melted, throw in the leek and fry until wilted for a minute. Add the black rice, white rice, mustard, lime juice, lime leaves and chicken stock. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the rice is soft and the stock is absorbed.
As the rice begins simmering, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Use the blade of a knife to wipe off the salt and any moisture from the skin of the salmon, and season the fish all over with pepper and a sprinkle of extra salt for the flesh.
Heat a thin layer of oil in the pan and add the salmon skin-side down. Weight it down gently with a small plate, pressing the skin against the base of the pan. Cook for 1 minute with the plate on top, then remove the plate and cook for a further 2 minutes. Flip the salmon over and turn off the heat, allowing the fish to cook slowly for another 30 seconds or so. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Finish the risotto by stirring in the cream, palm sugar, pepper, salt and fried shallots. Taste for seasonings.
Serve the crisp-skinned salmon on top of the risotto and scatter with chives.