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:
1–1/2 cup short-grain (sushi) rice
1–1/2 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
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.