These home-cured salmon canapés with seaweed crackers, nori sheets and Japanese mayo are a very simple, quick, yet super fancy idea for a party. So, if you’re about to host a New Year’s Eve party and don’t quite know what to put together for your guests, this would be a perfect solution! Just go to the fishmonger, get a fresh salmon fillet and get curing!
Cured fish, the starter of starters
I’ve been having quite a lot of homecured fish as a starter in a couple of restaurants that I’ve gone to lately. Two of my favourites were trout cured in gin and beetroot at the Three Birds in Edinburgh and salmon cured in earl grey and orange at Quaglino’s, in London. Curing is not exactly the most common of cooking concepts, at least not in my kitchen.[twocol_one] [/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last] [/twocol_one_last]
For some strange reason, and due to my personal ignorance on the matter, I’ve always imagined that curing requires some heavy machinery that creates a specific environment. I mean, I’ve told you stories about how in my family cooking has never been considered a pleasure…
Curing is so damn cool
Seriously! Once you’ve done it once and successfully, you’ll wish to do it all the time. Now my mortar has found a new place to live, in the fridge, pressing the next batch of home-cured salmon. By the way, as a tip, if you own a granite mortar, it will probably be the most practical heavy object to press your cured fish!
The process of curing is very simple: you coat the fish fillet in salt (and any other ingredients you decide to use), wrap it in cling film and leave it in the fridge for at least 48h. Ideally, you’ll leave it in for three to five days. Once that time has passed, you rinse it well to remove the salt, pat it dry and use within five days. And trust me – once you will have made home-cured salmon, you’ll never want supermarket smoked salmon ever again!
The seaweed crackers, nori and Japanese mayo
I came up with the recipe for this dish while I was preparing food for my Christmas dinner. The idea came rather quickly and fairly randomly, but it sounded delicious in my head so I gave it a try. And delicious it was! So delicious my boyfriend and I didn’t bother waiting to start our dinner before we finished all eight canapés I had made. As for the crackers, we’ve been nibbling them fairly often as well. They’re a perfect little snack.
- 1 large salmon fillet
- 3-4 tbsp seaweed infused salt (you can use plain salt as well)
- 2 tbsp gin
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp nori, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 nori sheets, cut into squares of 2cmx2cm
- 4 tbsp Japanese mayo
- 20 watercress leaves
- You will need to start with the fish, as it needs to cure for at least 48h hours before serving it (ideally for three to five days). First remove the skin. Slowly pour the gin onto the salmon, pressing the skin without breaking it, then coat it in the salt. Cover the salmon in cling film, then place it in the fridge with something heavy on top, to press it.
- When the salmon is done, rinse it well to remove the salt and pat it dry with kitchen towels. Use within five days and serve it in thin slices.
- To make the crackers, preheat the oven at 160ºC and mix all ingredients in a bowl.
- Use cookie cutters to shape them (I use 5cm diameter ones). They should be thin, less than 0.5cm, or else they will not be crunchy.
- Pinch holes in the crackers using a fork, then sprinkle some salt on top.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Finally, to assemble the canapés, place, on top of a cracker a nori sheet square, a thin slice of home-cured salmon, a bit of Japanese mayo and decorate it with a watercress leaf.
- Serve soon after preparing them.
Love, happyholism and nom-nom,