My Smoked Salmon Appetiser Bites have a Japanese twist. Instead of using crackers or sliced cucumbers as a base, I use sliced turnips with perilla leaves. The thinly sliced turnip is used as a wrap, with a perilla leaf, and a rolled smoked salmon is placed inside. Tying it with a stalk of chives makes the dish look like an edible parcel.
Smoked Salmon Appetiser Bites Wrapped in Turnip is a delicate looking finger food. It is so simple to make, and no cooking is required. You need to apply your craftsmanship when tying the wrapped smoked salmon with a chive stalk, but if it is too much for you to handle, there is always an alternative – use a toothpick to secure the parcel.
My Smoked Salmon Appetiser Bites is a perfect food for the festive season that is just around the corner.
What’s in my Smoked Salmon Appetiser Bites Wrapped in Turnip
There are only 4 ingredients and a bit of salt to soften the sliced turnips.
- Thinly sliced turnips, about 2mm/3⁄32″ thick
- Perilla leaves
- Sliced smoked salmon
It is important to make sure the turnip slice and perilla leaf are of comparable size, with a balanced amount of smoked salmon. I made 10 Smoked Salmon Bites with 150g/5.3oz of smoked salmon. My turnip was about 6cm/2⅜” in diameter, which just fitted in the width of my mandolin slicer. My perilla leaves were marginally wider than the turnip.
If the turnip is too big, it becomes too large to use as finger food. If it is too small, it is much harder to make. A turnip of 5-6cm/2-2⅜” in diameter (after peeling the skin off) is appropriate.
If the turnip is very large, which you often find at vegetables shops, you can cut out a smaller circle. It does not have to be a perfect circle. The leftover turnip bits can be used in salads, miso soups, or simmered dishes.
You can use daikon instead of turnip (photo below), but the flesh of daikon is not as dense as turnip because daikon contains more water. For this reason, you need to reduce the wilting time (as per the notes section of the recipe card) so that the daikon slice does not become too soft.
Slicing turnip or daikon so thin is a bit of challenge if you are not using a mandolin slicer. But if the slices are too thick, they will be difficult to bend even after wilting them. So, please try slicing very thinly. It is worth it.
How to make Smoked Salmon Appetiser Bites Wrapped in Turnip
- Submerge chives in boiled water for 30 seconds, then cool them down under running water.
- Sprinkle salt over the sliced turnips and leave for 15 minutes.
- Quickly rinse the turnips and pat dry them with kitchen paper.
- Cut the smoked salmon slices into strips with the width slightly narrower than or about the same as the diameter of the turnip.
- Roll smoked salmon strip.
- Place a perilla leaf on a turnip slice, then a rolled strip of smoked salmon on the perilla.
- Lift up both ends of the turnip to put them together at the top, then tie it with a chive to secure the parcel.
You might find that cutting smoked salmon into equal portions is a bit of challenge since salmon slices has irregular shapes. They sometimes come in different sizes too. I made 10 portions as per below.
- Work out the weight per piece. In my case, it was 15g/0.5oz.
- Take a large slice of smoked salmon, weigh it first, then cut about 15g/0.5oz out (top left photo above). You need to estimate it and it doesn’t matter if the slice is slightly more or less. Repeat for the rest of large slices.
- For the remnants, weigh 2-3 smaller pieces to make up for about 15g/0.5oz.
- You should have 10 portions – several large slices plus some portions with a few small pieces.
- Spread a few smaller pieces that make up a portion, trying to make a 5cm/2″ wide rectangle shape, slightly overlapping the joints (top right photo above). The smoked salmon is soft and sticky, so it should not be difficult to shape.
Fresh chives are easy to break, but they become hard to break when you blanch them. Instead of securing the wrap with a chive, you can use a toothpick if tying the chive is too fiddly.
The flavour combination of smoked salmon, perilla, and turnip is perfect, complementing each other. The sliced turnips are very lightly salted, which is sufficient because the saltiness from the smoked salmon makes the flavour just right.
For a very special occasion, you can transform these Smoked Salmon Appetiser Bites into a luxurious food by adding some ikura (salmon roe) on top. See the photos below. Aren’t they pretty?
These Smoked Salmon Appetiser Bites havr a Japanese twist. I use sliced turnips with perilla leaves as a base. The thinly sliced turnip is softened and used as a wrap, with a perilla leaf, and rolled smoked salmon inside. Tied with a stalk of chive, it looks like an edible parcel.
See the step-by-step photo in the post.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 150g/5.3oz sliced smoked salmon (note 1)
- 10 slices turnip (2mm/3⁄32" thick, round slices, note 2)
- 10 perilla leaves (note 3)
- 10 stalks chives (note 4)
- A pinch of salt (large pinch with two fingers and thumb)
Sprinkle salt over the turnip slices in a bowl. Mix the turnip slices well using hands, ensuring that salt coats all around them. Leave for 15 minutes to let them wilt.
Rinse the turnips quickly and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Boil water (not in the ingredients list) in a wide and shallow saucepan or a frying pan.
Put the chives in the boiled water for 30 seconds, then quickly cool them down under running water.
Cut the smoked salmon slices into 10 equal portions, i.e., 15g/0.5oz each. Where possible make 5cm/2" wide strips (See note 5).
Roll each portion into a log about 5cm/2" long.
Place turnip slices on a workbench, without overlapping. Trill the excess stalks off the perilla leaves, then place a perilla leaf on each turnip (note 6).
Place a piece of rolled smoked salmon in the middle of the perilla leaf, perpendicular to the midrib of the leaf.
Taking one turnip at a time, place a stalk of chive beneath a turnip, matching the direction with the midrib of the perilla leaf.
Lift the chive from both sides and tie it at the top (note 7).
1. The quantity of smoked salmon can vary if you want to have more or less per roll. It also depends on the size of your turnip. If your turnip is large, you will need more salmon to get a good balance between the turnip and smoked salmon.
2. I used the middle portion of my turnip to keep the size of the slices as consistent as possible. The diameter of my turnip was about 6cm/2⅜". The ideal size turnip is 5-6cm/2-2⅜" in diameter after peeling the skin off. If you only have a very large turnip, you can cut a smaller circle out of it.
The leftover turnip bits can be used in salads, miso soups, or simmered dishes.
I used a mandolin slicer, but you can slice it by hand with a sharp knife.
As an alternative to turnip, you can use daikon. Reduce the wilting time in instruction step 1 to 5 minutes.
3. The size of perilla leaves and turnip slices need to be similar. My perilla leaves were about 6.5cm/2 9⁄16" wide, which was just right for my turnip slices. If your perilla leaves are much wider than your turnip, you can tuck and fold the middle of the perilla leaf to adjust the width.
4. Instead of using chives to tie the roll, you can use toothpicks, which are less fiddly (see the sample photo in the post). Using chives makes the dish visually more attractive.
5. Due to the shape of the salmon fillet, it is not possible to cut out 10 slices of smoked salmon with the same shape. It’s OK to have 2-3 small pieces to make up 15g/0.5oz, as long as you can make a roll with the length of about 5cm. If you end up with a few small pieces, place them like a jigsaw puzzle to make a 5cm-wide/2"-wide piece. See the photo of how I cut the salmon slices.
6. If your turnip is not perfectly round, which is often the case, place the perilla leaf to match the midrib of the leaf vein against the longer diameter. This will give you an extra length of the turnip on the wrapping ends.
7. If you are using toothpicks to secure the rolls, lift up both ends of the turnip, meet both ends together, and put a toothpick through at the top (see the sample photo in the post).
8. For a special occasion, top Smoked Salmon Appetiser Bites with ikura (salmon roe) to make them luxurious (see the sample photo in the post).
9. Nutrition per piece.
serving: 26g calories: 21kcal fat: 0.7g (1%) saturated fat: 0.1g (1%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g monounsaturated fat: 0.3g cholesterol: 3.5mg (1%) sodium: 320mg (14%) carbohydrates: 0.7g (0%) dietary fibre: 0.2g (0%) sugar: 0.4g protein: 2.9g vitamin D: 0mcg (0%) calcium: 5mg (0%) iron: 0.2mg (1%) potassium: 47.5mg (1%)