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It’s been another challenging year for Canberra’s beloved hospitality scene.
After a marathon 18 months of smoke, bushfire, hail and COVID-restrictions (cya later, Delta!), we’re wishing Canberra hospos a very merry Christmas, filled with food, wine and family.
But while Canberra’s chefs are sitting down to their favourite dish on Christmas Day—you can be too!
In partnership with local grocery delivery company Alpha Fresh (psst: Christmas pre-orders are now open!), we asked Canberra’s kitchen icons to dish on their favourite Christmas recipes, so you can have the best of Canberra’s food scene at your Christmas table.
This week, Penny University Café’s Head Chef Alexander Siu is giving us the recipe for his Salmon and Chorizo Salad with Bois Boudran sauce.
For Alexander—this recipe represents all the good things about Christmas food.
“Christmas makes me think of feasts with the family, sharing good times with friends, and relaxing with a good book,” says Alexander. “It evokes memories of hot days, the noise of cicadas, the smell of the eucalyptus, delicious seafood, and all the things that make up a quintessential Aussie Christmas.”
“This year my family is hosting, and I will be making a salmon and chorizo salad with bois boudran. I am planning a warm salad, but by substituting the salmon for smoked salmon, prawns, tofu, or other cold proteins, it is easy to adjust to a cold version.”
“The Bois Boudran reflects the red and green Christmas and is full of flavour. This sauce reminds me of the mentor who introduced it to me, invented by Michael Roux Senior it is a sauce I love, as it is very versatile. The salmon is marinated in Asian flavours which remind me of my family’s heritage.”
“Accompanying this dish, I plan to include a Bourbon glazed ham, turkey prosciutto roulade, seafood and summer salads. And my father is sure to bring along some of his delicious homemade dumplings. It is a family tradition that a pavlova is included for dessert, but I have some additional surprises to add. With mix of cultural cuisines, it is a feast that celebrates and brings people together. I hope you all have a merry holiday with your loved ones.”
Salmon and Chorizo salad with Bois Boudran
Note: This recipe serves one, but can easily be increased to however many people you like, both as individual serves or as a large salad to share.
- 120g salmon fillet (this salad will work with any protein you like i.e., prawns, chicken etc)
- 1 Chorizo sausage (sliced into disks)
- 5 spears of asparagus (cut each spear to 2 or 3 pieces) (use any green vegetable in season and you prefer)
- Kale (torn into bite-size pieces)
- Baby spinach leaves
- 5 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- Juice of ¼ lime
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp White Miso
- 1 tbsp Yuzu juice
- 2 tsp Soy sauce
Marinate salmon with white miso, yuzu juice and soy (allow to marinate for two hours or more).
Wash and pat dry salmon with paper towel. In a hot pan sear salmon and chorizo disks (salmon to your liking, I like it a little pink). Season to taste.
Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 1 minute until asparagus turns a vibrant green. Toss leaves, asparagus and cherry tomatoes with lime juice and olive oil. Season to taste.
Arrange salad on plate in a wreath (making sure cherry tomatoes are visible for colour).
Flake salmon to bite-size chunks and arrange salmon and chorizo on salad.
Spoon a little Bois Boudran on salmon (more if you desire).
Bois Boudran Sauce
- 85g of tomato ketchup, good quality
- 50ml of canola oil
- 50ml of white wine vinegar
- 4 tomatoes, peeled
- 2 French shallots, diced
- 2 sprigs of tarragon
- 10g of chives
- 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 5 drops of Tabasco
Mix the tomato ketchup, canola oil and vinegar in a bowl.
Peel and quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Discard the seeds and dice the tomato.
Finely slice the tarragon and chives. Add the herbs to the bowl along with the tomatoes, shallots, and Worcestershire sauce.
Add the Tabasco and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can add more Tabasco if you prefer it hotter.
Can’t wait to make this? Luckily, you can order all the fresh ingredients and more direct to your door via Alpha Fresh, with next day delivery.
Looking ahead to Christmas? Christmas pre-orders are now available. Head to shop.alphafresh.com.au to make sure you have the freshest produce for Christmas—without setting foot in a supermarket.
Photography: Botanist Creative