I’ve finally jumped onto the bandwagon and bought myself my very own slow cooker. I know, I know! I’m very late but at least I don’t have to switch from pan o pan to rice cooker to pot (and repeat) for everything now!
I got some sockeye and pink salmon from work on Saturday and I just had to make something with it in my new toy so why not combine the elements of my family favourite stir-fry with my favourite dish, risotto?
It’s not real risotto, I know, but I can’t have wine and I didn’t have any Arborio so looks like it’s a disguised dish? You can certainly substitute your lime juice with 1/2 cup white wine and your Jasmine for Aborio if you want a traditional risotto.
My family ABSOLUTELY loved this dish! My brother doesn’t care for fish as much as he does red meat so I was afraid that he would take only a bite before pushing it away but he in fact asked for seconds. My mother is not a fan of lime or cilantro and doubted my beginning slow cooking skills but she even suggested I bring some downstairs for my grandmother and grandfather to try (I think that’s what she said through the ‘mmm’-ing and the ‘awh’-ing).
Here is the recipe!
Prep time: 25 minutes (add one hour for defrosting fish if needed)
Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes
1 Large Sockeye or 2 Small Pink Salmon – defrosted (if needed), scaled, and diced/flaked
1 1/2 Cups Jasmine Rice – cleaned thoroughly
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1/4 White Onion – washed and diced
3 Medium Crimini Mushrooms – diced
1/4 Large or 1/2 Medium Cucumber – washed, peeled, and diced
3 Cups Chicken Broth – box, bouillon, or homemade
3-5 Stems of Cilantro
1 Packet of Old El Paso Baja Fish Spicing
3 Large Limes – cut in half
Prior To Cooking:
Defrost the crap out of that fish- if needed! At my work, we keep fish frozen and to preserve it for months, I like to keep mine in the freezer as well so I can use it later on instead of eating all fish in one week. For me, I like to take my fish out of the freezer and place it on top of our stove to defrost for an hour prior to using it. ALWAYS DEFROST FISH IN ORIGINAL PACKAGE! NEVER DEFROST FISH EXPOSED TO AIR! It’ll ruin your fish and you can definitely taste it in the fish later on. Instead, take the fish out of its package and clean it off after completely defrosting it!
<—- My Sockeye before defrosting!
Boil or heat up your chicken broth- depending on which you are using. I personally love to use bouillon cubes because I can control the flavour of my broth. For this recipe, I used 1 cube for 1 cup and then boiled it together on the stove for about 10 minutes on medium high (or until a white/light yellow froth begins to form on the top). Pour that carefully into your slow cooker.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the stone and drop in your diced onion and cucumber and sauté for about 2-3 minutes or until you see it browning very lightly. Next, drop in your jasmine rice and rest of your olive oil and continuously mix for about 5 minutes before immediately turning off your stove and transferring your rice mixture to the slow cooker, keeping an eye on that splat factor when combining with the broth. Throw in a little cilantro if desired, saving some for garnish later. Cook both on your highest setting for 50 minutes.
<— Step one and two combined!
While your rice is cooking, you should chop up for veggies now so that it preserves their freshness and you don’t get any discolouration or dryness. I chopped all my left over veggies (just the mushrooms, basically, unless you prefer chopped cilantro for garnish) and set them to the side while also moving onto my fish. I had cleaned my fish by now and descaled it and now had three large chunks of a fish. Slicing each third into strips, I diced the first third into small pieces, flaked the second third and then did both to the last third. I love the different textures when it’s mixed though if you have a preference, go ahead and cut your fish however you like!
<—- All veggies I used!<—- My Sockeye, almost ready for cooking!
Take out that lovely little packet of spicing from Old El Paso and first add half of the packet for your salmon, ensuring that there are no clumps and that it’s mixed thoroughly. Now mixed the other half just like the first. Separating it just ensures that there will be no spills of powder or clumping when mixing.
<—- The exact packet I used! Mild is my favourite but you can use any heat that you like. Careful though because mild does have a kick!
Now this is when your timer should be going off for your first cooking time. Stirring the rice mixture in your slow cooker, slowly add your salmon and combine thoroughly, making sure that the bottom rice if brought to the top so there is salmon everywhere in your dish. Now add your mushrooms and combine. Careful not to get any of the hot broth on you. I should’ve given myself that warning… Now! Squeeze 4 of your lime halves into the pot, making sure that each grain can soak up the juice so that a nice even flavour is dispersed. Turn the heat back up to high for another half hour.
<—- After 30 minutes of adding your fish!
Check your fish dish after half an hour and then put it on for another 15 minutes. Remember to stir well so that everywhere gets cooked well and evenly. After your last round of cooking, you’re done! You’ve successfully made your salmon “risotto”! Take your last lime halves and squeeze over your dished out bowls and serve to your family, guests, or colleagues! They’ll be begging to have more!
Remember, that I love comments and would love to see your versions of this dish if you decide to try it!