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Hey sesame!

Chef Rebecca Leader says she makes up recipes depending on what’s in season, on sale and what she has in her kitchen and garden. ‘I seem to have fads of favourite flavours — sesame is one of my favourites at the moment. I always make up recipes or variations of things I’ve made before. If I think they are good enough, I plate them, take a photo and send them to The Weekender . . . like this sesame maple salmon with Asian slaw; sesame, soy, lime dressing; pickled daikon; and sautéed mushrooms on rice.’

Sesame Maple Salmon


4 salmon pieces, deboned and skinned, about 100-150g each

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup soy sauce

½cup black and white sesame seeds

⅛ cup freshly-cracked black pepper


Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Marinate salmon in soy and maple for at least a few hours but preferably overnight.

Coat salmon with sesame and cracked pepper and place on baking tray.

Cook for about 10 minutes.

Asian Slaw


¼ red cabbage, shredded

1 red onion, diced

2 carrots, grated

¼ cup coriander, chopped


Mix all ingredients well.

Sesame, Soy and Lime dressing


2 tbsp tahini

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

Juice and zest of one lime

White pepper

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp tom yum paste

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp boiling water if dressing is too thick.


Blend together all ingredients except the water.

Check consistency and slowly add the water till the dressing is reasonably runny.

Sautéed Mushrooms


400g mushrooms, quartered.

Dash of olive oil.

Salt and pepper to taste.


Heat oil in a sauté pan, add mushrooms and sauté until cooked. Do this step while the salmon is in the oven.

Also put the rice on to cook now.

Pickled Daikon


1 daikon, thinly-sliced.

½ cup cider vinegar

5 cloves garlic, peeled but whole

1 onion, sliced thinly

3 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp turmeric powder.

1 tbsp ground cumin.

1 cup water

3 tbsp brown sugar


This can be made days before and stored in the fridge. You'll have a heap left over to use for other things, or just halve the recipe.


Bring all ingredients except the daikon to the boil.

Once boiling, add daikon and stir well. Bring back to the boil, turn off the heat and cover with a lid until cool.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

1 cup uncooked rice, cooked till fluffy.

Spring onions to serve.

To serve:

To serve put rice in the bottom of a bowl to one side and the Asian slaw on the other side, put mushrooms in a diagonal line across both then place salmon on top.

Place some pickled daikon to one side and drizzle liberally with the dressing.

Delicious . . . and healthy.

Rebecca's sesame maple salmon with Asian slaw; sesame, soy, lime dressing; pickled daikon; and sautéed mushrooms on rice. Picture by Rebecca Leader