Asian Fusion Appetizer: Salmon & Asian Pesto Packages
So perhaps this is not the most traditional of Chinese dishes for the Chinese New Year, but then again I am neither traditional nor Chinese. This is, however, one of the most delicious, most spectacular and well received recipes in my repertoire. I have been making these for years and have served them as an appetizer, as I did last night and as a main course, accompanied by a vegetable stir fry. When my kids were young this was one of their favorite meals.I rarely use cookbooks, but Fiona Smith's "Dim Sum~delicious asian finger food" , the cookbook I found these in is without a doubt one of my favorite possessions. If robbed at gun point I would fight for it to the end! About.com has it listed as one of the Top 7 Dim Sum Cook Books and once you try this recipe you will most likely feel compelled to buy the book.So without further adieu, here is the recipe which I promise will become one of your favorites too. In fact, I will offer you a money back guarantee: if you don't love this recipe, don't send me a dime!
This recipe contains fish (salmon), rice paper, cilantro (fresh), basil (thai), oil (peanut), chili sauce (sweet), garlic, cashews, salt (sea)
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
- 1 1/2 lb. lbs Salmon filets, skin removed, cut into 20 small pieces
- 20 dry Rice Paper Wrappers (Available in Asian Markets)
- 1 large bunch of Cilantro, plus 20 Cilantro Leaves
- 1 large bunch Thai Basil (Available in Asian Markets)
- 1/2 cup(s) plus 1 Tbsp Peanut Oil
- Sweet Chili Sauce (Available in Asian Markets)
- 4 clove(s) garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup(s) cashews
- Sea Salt
- 1. To Make the Asian Pesto:
- 2. Combine the large bunch of Cilantro (leaves only), Thai Basil (leaves only), garlic and cashews in the bowl of a food processor and grind to a fairly smooth paste.
- 3. With the motor running, add the 1/2 cup Peanut Oil to complete the pesto.
- 4. Season with Sea Salt to taste.
- 5. Dip a rice paper wrapper in warm water to soften.
- 6. Lay it out flat on a board and place 1 cilantro leaf in the center.
- 7. Place a piece of salmon on top of the cilantro leave.
- 8. Put 1 tbsp pesto on top of the salmon.
- 9. Fold the sides of the wrapper up, one at a time, to make a nice package. You may have to trim the wrapper with a scissor. The damp wrappers will stick closed.
- 10. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of Peanut Oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry the packages, cilantro side up for about 3 minutes. Do not try and cook too many at once as they will stick together and tear if they touch.
- 11. (If you want to serve these later you may stop at this point and steam them when needed.)
- 12. Transfer them to a steamer set over boiling water, again Cilantro side up, and steam 4-6 minutes.
- 13. Serve with Sweet Asian Chili Sauce