Ever since the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak and the resulting quarantines, canned fish has been a staple in my pantry. So far, if I’m not mixing it with mayonnaise and eating it on a sandwich, I like to use canned salmon mixed into a quick and easy pasta dish. This penne with salmon, corn and miso cream sauce – an all-pantry-product meal, by the way – is one of my new favorite ways to use canned salmon.
“Miso? Corn? Cream? That’s a bit of an unusual combination of ingredients” you might think. True, I suppose.
For this seemingly strange combination of flavors, I was inspired by Japanese ‘wafu pasta’. In wafu pasta – the word referring to Japanese style pasta dishes, or ‘western fusion’ – you’ll find pasta such as spaghetti flavored with Japanese condiments such as dashi, soy sauce, rice vinegar and/or miso in combination with other ingredients such as Asian mushrooms (shiitake, enoki, shimeji), seaweed and tarako or mentaiko (salted pollack, or cod roe).
So, for my wafu-inspired dish I’ve combined delicate canned salmon (you can also use fresh, or frozen salmon, of course) with a savory, umami-packed miso cream sauce and some sweet corn kernels. To finish the dish, I like to sprinkle on some freshly chopped spring onion and some shredded nori seaweed, but I think some toasted sesame seeds, or katsuoboshi (bonito flakes) would be pretty nice too.
I suppose for many, the recipe below might still sound a bit odd, but I guess you’ll just have to taste it to believe it’s actually really good.
Pasta with Salmon, Corn and Miso Cream Sauce
- 350g penne, or other short pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or oil from the can of salmon)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 can corn (about 280g drained weight)
- 150g can boneless salmon, or a fresh salmon fillet
- 200ml whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- Optional toppings: shredded dried seaweed, finely chopped spring onion, toasted sesame seeds, or Katsuoboshi (bonito flakes)
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to instructions on the package
- Finely mince the onion and garlic clove
- In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent for about 5 minutes.
- Add the drained canned corn, the whipping cream and miso paste and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low. Cook until the cream starts to thicken, which should happen pretty quickly.
- When the cream starts to thicken slightly, stir in the drained canned salmon. Slightly break up the salmon and simmer for a minute just to heat the salmon.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add cooked and drained pasta. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce evenly.
- Serve immediately with some of your toppings of choice.