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Smoked Salmon & Oba Linguine

Hand on heart, this is the easiest, quickest way to make a delicious dish of pasta that I know. The dish features that delicious Japanese leaf vegetable - oba - which you might know as shiso or Japanese perilla. The other ingredients comprise: a small pack of smoked salmon, 1/2 a red pepper, a couple of garlic cloves and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. For seasoning, you'll need a tbsp of soy sauce and a generous shake of ground black pepper. I used linguine in this recipe but the dish works equally well with spaghetti, tagliatelle - well, just about any pasta really. In 15 - 20 minutes, you'll have a deliciously fragant dish of pasta for your table - guaranteed.

So what are the keys to this dish? The most important thing is not to overcook the ingredients. The minced garlic fries for around 3 minutes, the pepper 2 minutes and the smoked salmon and oba just go into the pan to warm up at the end but not enough to cook. (Remember the salmon is smoked, so it's safe to eat it without being cooked through.) The other thing to do is to add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water to the frying pan along with the pasta to keep everything nice and moist - don't worry it's all in the "how to" instructions below.

You might be wondering about the oba / shiso and where to get it. The most cost effective solution is to grow your own. I grow oba every year in my garden and this year I've had a bumper crop - the raised bed that I use to grow leaves is a mass of oba and mizuna this year. You can grow oba in pots as well - I grow some outside but I also grow some inside as well as the oba leaves grown inside have a sweeter flavour than those grown outside. You can buy oba leaves but they are quite expensive so I would really advise you to try growing some yourself - I don't consider myself a gardener, so if I can grow oba, then so can you!

So, with all that said, if you would like to try this recipe out, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Smoked Salmon and Oba Linguine. Or, just scroll to the bottom of the page. the written recipe is just below.

As for growing your own, click Grown your own Oba /Shiso for the Youtube tutorial or here for the written recipe.

Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.



(for 2 servings)

1/2 red bell pepper

2 cloves garlic

20g / 0.7 oz rinsed oba/shiso leaves

100g / 3.5 oz smoked salmon

1/2 lemon

1 tsp salt

170g / 6 oz linguine or spagetti

25g / 1 oz unsalted butter

2 tbsp cooking water from the pasta (once cooked)

some black pepper

1 tbsp soy sauce

25g / 1 oz grated parmesan cheese


how to:

cut the bell pepper in half, then slice thinly

slice the garlic cloves and then mince finely

make the oba leaves into a pile, roll up and then cut into shreds

cut the smoked salmon into rough 3cm / 1.5 in squares

squeeze the juice from the lemon and set aside

bring a large pan of water to the boil. add 1 tsp of salt and stir until dissolved. add the linguine or the pasta you are using and cook for 10 mins or according to the instructions on the packet

a few minutes before the linguine is cooked, melt the butter in a large frying pan

add the minced garlic and stir for 1 minute. then, add the pepper and stir for another minute

using a pair of pasta tongs, add the cooked linguine to the frying pan. also, add 2 tbsp of the water used to boil the pasta into the frying pan

sprinkle generously with black pepper. add the lemon juice, soy sauce and mix everything together well

add the parmesan cheese and mix again

add 3/4 of the shredded oba leaves and the smoked salmon. mix everything together quickly then turn off the heat

plate up your pasta and then sprinkle the last 1/4 of shredded oba leaves over the linguine before serving


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