Crispy Japanese-style rice cakes studded with Alaska hot-smoked salmon, topped with spicy mayonnaise, cold-smoked salmon and a bit of green onion is a favorite appetizer at Tutka Bay Lodge.


For the Rice Cake:

11/2 cup short-grain (sushi) rice

11/2 cup water

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest

½ cup flaked hot-smoked (kippered) salmon

Rice flour for dredging

Canola (or other high-heat) oil for frying

For the Toppings:

Cold smoked salmon

1 cup soy sauce

¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons hot chili sauce

1 small bunch spring onion, chopped

1 small bunch cilantro, chopped

Foraged greens, herbs or flowers

Sea lettuce, dried and crumbled


  • Author: Kirsten Dixon


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the rice, water, rice wine vinegar, citrus zest, and flaked
hot-smoked (kippered) salmon into a medium stockpot with a good
fitting lid. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Bring the mixture to
a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or
until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the grains are tender.
Let the rice cool for 15 minutes.

Line an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with plastic wrap. Firmly press the
cooled rice into the pan, using water-moistened hands to prevent
sticking. Press the plastic wrap over the top of the rice and
refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight.

Make the honey-soy drizzle: Combine the honey, ¼ cup soy sauce, sherry
vinegar, and rice vinegar. Mix all and set aside.

Cut the chilled and firmed rice into 3-inch by 2-inch rectangles,
keeping your knife moistened with water to prevent sticking. Dredge
the rice cakes in the rice flour.

Heat the oil in a pan, deep enough to just about cover the rectangles.
Bring the temperature of the oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry the
rice cakes for about 5 minutes until they are golden brown. Drain onto
a few paper towels.

Combine the mayonnaise, chili oil, and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce.

Paint each rice cake with a little bit of the honey-soy drizzle. Top
each cake with a dollop of the spicy mayonnaise, a bit of green onion,
smoked salmon, and cilantro. Top with foraged greens, herbs or flowers.

Sprinkle with dried sea lettuce.

Makes 24 rice cakes.