For me, mayonnaise is indelibly associated with the summer; an integral part of food eaten outside. The picnic rugs and garden tables of my childhood were laden with bacon and mayo-dressed potato-salad, rich and creamy coleslaws, a huge bowl of tuna-sweetcorn-mayo and a bottle of homemade Marie Rose sauce to slather over burgers and sausages charred from the barbeque. And that remains the same today.
To celebrate the launch of their new [Seriously] Good Mayonnaise, Heinz have set a challenge to create a recipe including the new mayonnaise as a key ingredient; the recipe is to be presented on a spoon, a single mouthful packed with flavour. Given that canapés are often made in large numbers, I favour ideas that deliver hugely on taste but are quick and easy to make and don’t need a long list of ingredients. These Nori-Wrapped Hot Smoked Salmon Cubes with Miso Mayonnaise are my entry into the Heinz [Seriously] Good Spoonfuls Competition – simple, delicious four-ingredient spoonfuls based on my favourite Japanese flavours.
At the heart of these canapés is hot smoked salmon. You might be wondering what the difference is between regular smoked salmon, hot smoked salmon and gravlax? For the first, raw salmon is smoked without heat which cures the fish without cooking, resulting in a silky slippery texture that is best suited to serving in thin slices. For the second, the fish is either hung or laid out in racks within hot smoke, creating the wonderful flaky texture of cooked fish plus all that delicious flavour from the smoke. Gravlax and lox are both made by curing salmon without any smoke at all, applying combinations of salt, sugar, herbs and spices to draw out the moisture and preserve the fish – the texture is much like smoked salmon but the flavour is quite different.
Miso paste is a fabulously versatile ingredient and great for adding a savoury note to all manner of dishes. Made by fermenting soybeans with a fungus known in Japanese as kōjikin, the pungent, salty and umami-rich paste is used as a seasoning throughout Japanese cooking. There are many different varieties available in Japan, usually broadly divided by their colour. White is the mildest and sweetest. Red, aged for longer, is stronger and saltier. As it is aged miso paste darkens through red into brown. Some varieties have grains such as rice or barley added to the soybeans.
Nori is the Japanese name for edible Pyropia seaweed and usually refers to thin dried sheets that are made by shredding, pressing and drying fresh seaweed. These are most commonly used in sushi – particularly for maki rolls and gunkan maki and for tying toppings to nigiri sushi – but are also a popular garnish for all manner of dishes including rice and ramen.
Nori-Wrapped Hot Smoked Salmon Cubes With Miso Mayonnaise
Makes 12 one-bite canapés
Approx. 250 grams hot smoked salmon fillet (see note)
100 grams Heinz [Seriously} Good Mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons miso paste, to taste (see note)
1 sheet nori (Japanese dried seaweed)
Note: Hot smoked salmon is also known as kiln-roasted salmon. Look for pieces cut across the fillet – this will make it easier to cut evenly sized cubes.
Note: I used white miso paste for my Miso Mayo, as I had a tub open in the fridge, but you can use whichever you prefer. The saltiness and intensity of flavour vary hugely between different types and brands, so add a little and then taste before adding more.
- Carefully cut the hot smoked salmon fillets into evenly sized cubes. Depending on the shape and size of your fillets, you may get a few more than 12. The salmon is delicate and will flake easily, so be gentle!
- Weigh the mayonnaise into a bowl and add one tablespoon of miso paste. Mix thoroughly and taste before adding more if necessary.
- Carefully cut the nori sheet into thin strips.
- Carefully wrap a strip of nori around each cube of salmon, letting the two ends overlap underneath. They should stick easily to the oily fish and remain in place.
- Spoon a small dollop of miso mayonnaise on top of each piece and serve.
Other delicious Heinz [Seriously] Good Spoonfuls canapé ideas from some of my friends:
- Crispy Fish Balls with Easy Tartare Sauce
- Micro Quail Egg & Smoked Ham Danish Open Sandwich
- Mushroom, Walnut and Tarragon Mousse
- Rainbow Devilled Quails Eggs
- Rosemary Potato Stars with Lemon Mayonnaise
- Seriously Good Chocolate-frosted Black Forest Brownies
- Spicy Crab and Watercress Open Sandwich
Kavey Eats was compensated by Heinz Foods UK for the development and publication of this recipe.