A Down Under Dad in Beach Cottage Land

Wed 5th, Jun, 2013

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Morning ladies of Beach Cottage Land, hope you are all well, we have a sushi recipe with salmon here today, but not any old recipe from any old forty-is-the-new-thirty woman from Sydney.

Nup,brace yourselves, for a strange thing is going on here today, we have a man in the house and it’s not Mr BC, Mr TBC, or my littlest (and loudest) son and it’s not Barls either…nope, today we welcome a new friend of mine over here, his name is Matt and he is a blogging dad, he blogs over here… he also is from the Old Country but now resides in Melbourne and has been on a similar journey to us with a new life in this place they call Down Under….He’s kinda quietly cool in an English kinda way, his story of being at home is similar to mine and his sense of humour had me at hello, I think you are going to like him quite a lot…

But…wait…it gets better, much much better…not only do we have a male in the house, he has a recipe with him!

Hello,  I am a wife of a man who can do scrambled eggs and pasta at a push…so I find the whole man who can cook thing rather fascinating, so when I recently met lovely Matt I was like come on over matey and show us what you’ve got…let’s see if you can cut the Beach Cottage mustard…in the nicest possible recipe way…

Not just that though, as you know, I like blogs because they are unique, you read someone’s voice and I am a firm believer in that being a reason why a blog is good or not – Matt’s blog voice is definitely unique and I guess I like the Pommie humour in there among the parenting and the Melbourne stuff too…

So, I’ll hand you over to Matt  oh and his easy sushi recipe with salmon


I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Mrs BC recently; I liked her instantly, I liked that she drank beer (ahem, thanks Matt for telling the interwebs that I drink beer with strangers), I liked her dry sense of humour, I liked her giggle and I liked her innate Englishness (I’m a fair dinkum Australian now I’ll have you know), us Poms have to stick together!

She invited me along to Beach Cottage Head Quarters, the virtual one, on the condition I offer up a recipe, so here I am.


In blogging, I write a blog about my experiences of parenting; I don’t claim to know it all, I just write what I see and what I feel.  I also write about my desire to maintain the person I was prior to being Daddy (good luck there), that person was passionate about food and fitness and travel and fashion and I don’t want to forget him.  I pour everything into making sure Max is happy and loved and make time to love me and my wife Anna too.

I met Anna twelve years ago and she did some things and said some things and acted in some ways that made me think I would like to spend my life with her (oh my goodness, Mills and Boon stuff).  After our first date I told her that “I am going to have to insist that we do this again”, that remains the best thing I have said in our relationship (hahaha).

We moved to Australia 6 years ago as Mr and Mrs and it seemed rude not to have a little plus one to share our lives and loves with, take a bow Max Ross. These days I undertake the stay at home parent role and all that it entails (the most important job in the world?!), I love being Daddy and wouldn’t change a thing.


I always cook on Sundays, as a stay at home parent it’s my chance to be one step ahead of Max and feel a little bit prepared for the week ahead. This particular Sunday was all about Mum or Anna as she used to be known, this was Mother’s Day. The best way for me to say I love and appreciate you is to cook, I know you’re all rolling your eyes (I am so NOT rolling my eyes here) and thinking the best to show her you love her is to buy her something fabulous but I’m more comfortable cooking something fabulous (sheesh kebab are you, like, for real?).

Anna is a sushi fiend, she often remarks that she would happily eat only sushi, forever and ever (I like you Anna).  I have never made sushi, I’m all fingers and thumbs and it looks quite a delicate operation. I thought about the elements that make up sushi and convinced myself I could make a pretty sushi picture on a plate without any of the fussy rolling. Furthermore I think I could have the whole thing done, dusted and plonked in front of her in 15 minutes flat (wow I want to hear this!).

Salmon and Avocado Sushi Plate
Author: Matt, DaddownUnder
super easy sushi on a plate! no fussing and rolling
  • 1 salmon fillet skin on (check with your fish monger that it’s suitable for sashimi)
  • 1 cup of cooked and cooled Sushi rice (I had some cold already cooked jasmine rice in the fridge and that was lovely)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Pickled Ginger
  • Wasabi to taste
  • 1 lime
  • 1 Yaki Nori Seaweed Sheet
  • Japanese Mayonnaise (again I had some regular mayo in the fridge and this worked perfectly)
  • Black sesame seeds, Thumb sized piece of sliced red chilli, snow pea shoots – all optional all for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons Mirin or Rice Wine Vinegar
  1. Remove the skin from the salmon by gently sliding the knife between the flesh and the skin. Season both sides of the skin with salt and pepper and add it to a very hot frying pan (no need for any oil). Resist the urge to check the salmon and cook it for 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the other. Remove from the pan and leave to cool and crisp up on a chopping board, once cool it’ll be like crackling and you can cut it into thin strips. If the skin hasn’t crisped fully you can put it back in the pan for more cooking time.
  2. With the remaining salmon (make sure it’s cold) carefully slice thin strips width ways. Use nice clean slices (no serrated knives).
  3. Add the Mirin to the rice and stir. Traditionally its rice wine vinegar but I liked the Mirin and I may also have been swayed by the fact that that was what we had in the cupboard – you choose
  4. Take the flesh form the avocado, add the juice of ½ a lime, a tablespoon of mayo and a little wasabi, season with salt and pepper and mash until smooth. Adjust the wasabi and lime juice to suit your taste.
  5. Fold the seaweed sheet and cut it in half, and then cut those 2 pieces in half again until you end up with quarters. Place the four pieces on top of one another and then using scissors cut them into thin strips widthways.
  6. Amazingly that’s all the preparation you need to make and you’re ready to assemble the plate. I find it easiest to have all the ingredients in front of me and you’re basically layering the plate. The base layers are the rice, the salmon, the ginger, the remaining lime cut into slices and the avocado. Spread these elements out around the plate, try to arrange the rice and avocado in 4 or 5 clusters and then drape the salmon and ginger in and amongst them.
  7. Scatter with the pea shoots, the strips of seaweed, the black sesame seeds, the crispy salmon skin and the chilli. Stand back, take a swig of wine/beer/sake and admire the pretty little plate of Japanese yum that you just put together all by yourself. Serve with soy sauce and get dipping, chopsticks mastery is a must.


Anna was suitably impressed and I think I scored some big husband points. In truth though this is easy peasy, there’s very little cooking and it’s more about assembling things with a little bit of love. I won’t let the opportunity pass to also mention that the table runner and the leaf encased in Perspex were Mother’s Day gifts just in case dinner didn’t do the trick (wow you make sushi, on Sundays, and you buy home ware gifts too!  And there is no need for a Magic Wardrobe!  I am hoping Anna keeps you locked up my friend)

I hope you enjoyed Matt’s sushi post, I must say I loved it – I too am a sushi person and have never really made it and it’s been good enough…this on the plate way negates all that stressy rolling, pushing and pulling…I so don’t need that in my life, you?

You can find more of Matt’s recipes, his veggie growing (which sounds a tad more successful than mine) and his views on food here

See you next time beautifuls


Matt Ross is a stay at home parent and daddy blogger.   He has two children, one is The Boy who insists on following him everywhere and has a hankering for diggers and biccies, the other is his blog, don’t ask him to choose a favourite, a parent never tells.  Mrs Under plays the role of photographer, proof reader, bread winner and beautiful wife and she does them all very well.  

Matt comes from England and came to Melbourne in 2008 in search of sun, sea and sport and has since therefore come over all snobby about bikes, coffee and food which pretty much makes him a regular Melbournite. Australia is now his home and a very nice one it is too. Matt proudly wears the Modern Man label and writes about parenting from a Stay at Home Dad’s perspective plus food, fitness, fashion and travel with little people around.   He encourages his readers to get into the inner sanctum of the male psyche journeying through Dadhood or alternatively have a good laugh at how pathetic they are.


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20 Responses to “A Down Under Dad in Beach Cottage Land”

  1. IrishMum says:

    Glad to ‘meet’ you Matt. (Helps that he’s easy on the eye ;) )

  2. Kylie says:

    My husband can’t boil water. He once commented to me that “you have to remember that I grew up in a typical Latin American family & my mother did everything for us” (3 boys & a husband – poor woman). My response to that was “Well, we’re not a typical Latin American family & I’m not your mother”. So, what I’m trying to say in my long winded trying-to-set-the-tone is I would walk over burning coals for a man that could cook me a decent stir-fry (without using a recipe – an attempt by my husband before he was my husband – I should have run away screaming!) And I’m with Matt’s wife – thank god I live next door to the Sydney Fish Markets – I can have sushi & sashimi til I burst. One of my children would live on it also so – I’m taking that recipe Matt. Thank you BC & thanks for the loan of your husband! I have to live vicariously nowadays!

    • sarah says:

      oh you made me lol with your response, my kind of girl :-)

      I too would walk over burning coals for a decent meal made for me that does not

      1. ask me a million questions in the vein of how many exact grains of salt do I need to put in this water to boil potatoes, ditto exactly the same and size in centimetres the potatoes need to be cut

      2. mean that every utensil in the kitchen is put to use

      3. mean a massive exercise in dishwasher packing is taken on to allow dishes from said meal to fit in the thing causing so much noise and stress that I begin to think washing up would be much easier

      Fortunately I am very realistic and know that if I want something cooked for me without any fuss or questions I go scrambled eggs, at a push pasta…

      thank heavens my husband is very good at other things in life



  3. daddownunder says:

    Glad you like the recipe, I think you should leave it somewhere where hubbie can find it (apparently not the the kitchen) with a little “yes plaease” post it attached – he might surprise you?

  4. Oh what a fab lunch you had! And I can just imagine the conversation you would have enjoyed in all your English-ness!
    Sarah, your comments in Matt’s post did make me giggle – love that you always have the last word <3

  5. daddownunder says:

    I had no idea I was going to get the complimentary Beach Cottage commentary, I might also have giggled just a little and you’re right she does always have the last word ; )

  6. Hi Sarah…
    I have to say MY hubby is the BEST cook/chef a girl could EVER want to have…
    (when he is home…which is more away than not..just flown off to Darwin as I type)..

    He is meticulous in the kitchen…cutting every veggie up almost perfectly..
    cleaning as he goes..

    AND his dishes always taste fabulous…
    (some of mine are compared to HIS…and NOT the same taste test may I say)!~~

    He was one of 7 children…and his gorgeous Mum (left us on valentine’s day this year)..taught him and all his siblings how to cook…iron…appreciate the FINER things in life…

    He is a gem…when he is home..otherwise I am the “ad hoc” chef!~~~

    x andrea

  7. Neen says:

    A Beach Cottage does it again…..knocks my socks off, great recipe/interview with Matt. That recipe might just be perfect for males in my house to tackle ( males because a son is always in training ). Thankyou Matt and Sarah :) Neen

    • sarah says:

      my pleasure, thanks to Matt for this recipe, I need sushi like this in my life ;-)

    • daddownunder says:

      Thanks for your lovely comments Neen. Get the boys onto it, its a doddle and looks like it came straight out of a restaurant, they’ll be able to impress their girlfriends with it one day

  8. merilyn says:

    i love a man who can cook! luckily i do have one of those now!
    i was 24 years “head cook and bottle washer” as they used to say!
    and i don’t particularly like cooking anymore! i love raw unadulterated food … however i do produce some tasty nutritious meals mainly! always being concerned with what is healthy, slimming and tasty.
    matt’s salmon sushi is right up my alley! good on you matt!
    sarah also puts up some great easy, yummy recipes too! all good! cheers m:)

  9. Candy says:

    My wonderful husband says he wants to learn to cook and do it all when he retires. I’m holding him to that!! It’s not far off, either :-) Cannot wait as I am not a lover of the planning, prep, cook…okay, none of it is my cup of tea! Maybe that why he wants to do it…hmmm.

  10. Amanda says:

    Yum this food looks so delicious …fantastic photos Sarah as always.Glad you enjoyed your day.
    Thanks for introducing Matts blog its such a great read and true to life.
    Not sure I could be as brave as you both to leave good ole Blighty!!!

    • daddownunder says:

      It doesnt feel that brave when your sat on the beach, chugging away on an ice cold tinny inbetween prawns : ) In all seriousness i love lots of things about home and its probably taken moving here to realise how special it is. Glad you like the recipe!