These elegant Smoked Salmon Rolls are made with marinated daikon and perilla leaves. Even if smoked salmon is not a traditional Japanese cooking ingredient, today’s dish has an authentic appearance and flavour. It is so easy to make.
Smoked Salmon Rolls are typically made with cream cheese to roll up the salmon. But my Rolled Smoked Salmon recipe does not use cream cheese. So the calories are not as high as Western-style Smoked Salmon Rolls.
Daikon and smoked salmon are a good match. I talked aobut this in my post Smoked Salmon with Grated Daikon Dressing (Mizore-ae).
In the case of Smoked Salmon Mizore-ae, soy sauce and lemon juice are used to give a flavour to the dish. But for today’s dish, Smoked Salmon Rolls, I marinated Daikon in sushi vinegar.
What’s in My Smoked Salmon rolls
- Thinly sliced daikon (white radish) sheets – about 5cm / 2” wide, 10-15cm / 4-6” long
- Thinly sliced smoked salmon
- Shiso leaves (Japanese perilla), halved vertically
- Sushi vinegar – made from rice wine vinegar + sugar + salt, or store bought
Instead of smoked salmon, you can use smoked trout, which has a similar texture and taste.
I added perilla leaves as an accent colour to the dish. It can be omitted if you cannot find perilla. Alternatively, you can make a thin stick from a green vegetable, such as cucumber or asparagus, and place it in the centre of the roll.
I had a bottle of sushi vinegar that I bought from a Japanese grocery store, so I used it. But you can make it by mixing rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Please visit my post Japanese Dressings, which includes the recipe for making Sushisu (Sushi Vinegar).
How to Make Smoked Salomon Rolls
This is a very easy appetiser to make.
- Sprinkle salt over the daikon slices and let it soften (left photo above).
- Squeeze the water out of the daikon slices and marinate them in sushi vinegar for 5 minutes (right photo above).
- Cut the smoked salmon into the same size pieces as the daikon, but slightly shorter in length.
- Place a sheet of daikon on a cutting board, place a slice of smoked salmon, then a piece of perilla on top.
- Roll the daikon, salmon and perilla up together. Then cut the toll in half.
Since the salmon piece is inside of the daikon sheet, it gets pushed towards the end of the sheet as you roll the daikon. If the salmon is the same length as the daikon piece, you will end up with the end of the salmon piece sticking out of the daikon roll.
Sliced smoked salmon does not come in a rectangle or square shape. When you cut it into the same width as the daikon sheet, you will most likely end up with a few triangle-shaped small pieces. You can use them on the other daikon sheet by placing them like a patch work.
About Katsuramuki Knife Technique
Making very thin, wide, and long daikon sheets in the traditional way in Japan is a challenge. It is done by hand with a knife. This special technique of making a long thin strip of daikon sheet is called ‘katsuramuki’ (桂剥き). Because of the way it is peeled, it is well suited to making a roll like Smoked Salmon Roll with Daikon and Perilla.
You need to start with a cylinder-shaped daikon. The idea is that you slice thin strips by peeling thin flesh around the cylinder.
- Hold the daikon with your left hand (for the right hander) around the cylinder with the thumb facing to you.
- Hold a knife in your right hand and place the blade on the daikon next to your left thumb. Place you right thumb on the edge of the blade in the middle.
- Slide the blade up and down, while pushing it gently to the left and start peeling the daikon 1mm / 1⁄32″ thick.
- Continue to peel in the same way, slowly but steadily. You will rotate the daikon as you move the knife so that the cutting line is always in front of you.
- Peel the daikon until the cylinder becomes very thin or you have made the required length of the sheet.
You need to use a thin sharp knife. The shape of the blade should be straight for the length of the cylinder. If not straight, it becomes very difficult to make a continuous long thin slice.
The peeled long sheet is then cut into the required length to use. The shredded daikon garnish that comes with sashimi is made by finely slicing rolled daikon sheets made using this method.
The longest katsuramuki recorded in Japan is 465cm / 15¼’!!
Alternative methods for making thin daikon sheets
Method 1: Use a slicer
I tried the katsuramuki method, but it broke after reaching about 10cm / 4” long. It also took me so long to get one sheet. So, I used a slicer to make thin daikon slices for today’s dish.
- Cut a daikon into 15cm / 6″ long cylinder, then halve it vertically.
- Peel the skin off.
- Place the rectangle face down on the slicer, slice the daikon to 1mm thick.
The direction of the fibre in the daikon slices is not suited to rolling but because you wilt the daikon sheets with salt, it does not become a problem.
The photo below are the vegetable slicers / mandolines that I have. I used the larger one (ivory colour) since it can adjust to any thickness up to a certain thickness. The black one has 3 thickness levels- 0.5mm/1.3mm/2.0mm. You can get away with either 0.5mm or 1.3mm. If using the 0.5mm thickness, Press the daikon hard when slicing it through the blade so that you can get a tiny bit thicker slice than 0.5mm.
Method 2: Slice by hand with a knife or a wide peeler:
You can slice the halved daikon with a knife if you don’t have a slicer. Alternatively, you can use a wide peeler to slice the daikon if you have one. See how you can use a wide peeler to make a daikon slice. You also need to press the peeler down very hard onto the daikon whole peeling a slice so that you can get a thicker slice.
Method 3: Use a katsuramuki peeler
There is a tool that does katsuramuki like a magic. It is sold as a turning slicer because the vegetable (such as daikon) is placed next to a sharp blade and gets rotated by a handle. You can buy it on Amazon. It is quite expensive but using this tool, you can convert almost any root vegetable and even cucumbers into a long thin strip easily.
Whichever method you use, you need to make very thin 10-15cm / 4-6″ long sheets. If the daikon is shorter, the Smoked Salmon Rolls are thinner and you will need less amount of smoked salmon. The photo below are the rolls made with 10cm long diakon sheets.
These elegant Smoke Salmon Rolls are made with marinated daikon and perilla leaves. Even if smoked salmon is not a traditional Japanese cooking ingredient, today’s dish has an authentic appearance and flavour. It is so easy to make.
Prep Time assumes that you use a slicer or a peeler. Slicing daikon sheets by hand with a knife or using katsuramuki method will take a bit longer.
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.
- 2 shiso leaves (Japanese perilla)
Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the daikon sheets and leave them for 10 minutes to let them wilt. The water should come out of the daikon pieces.
Squeeze the water out of the daikon pieces, then put them in a zip lock bag.
Add sushisu to the bag and gently massage the bag ensuring that the vinegar coats every daikon piece. Leave for 5 minutes.
Cut the smoked salmon slices into 5cm / 2” strips. The long strip should be shortened so that the length of the strip is about 1.5cm / ⅝" shorter than the length of daikon. Don’t discard the small pieces as you can still make use of them.
Place a sheet of daikon on a cutting board vertically (see the step-by-step photo in the post).
Put a piece of smoked salmon on the daikon sheet, aligning the edge of the salmon and the daikon close to you. You should see that the salmon is shorter than the daikon on the other end.
Place a piece of perilla leaf (a half in my case) on the salmon, aligning on your end.
Starting from the edge close to you, tightly roll the layered ingredients together until the end. You will notice that the salmon is gradually pushed towards the other end and the gap between the end of daikon and the salmon piece reduces a lot (note 4).
Cut the roll in the middle to make two short rolls.
Repeat the steps 5-9 for the remaining 7 daikon sheets.
Place a perilla leaf on each serving plate. Place 8 pieces of Smoked Salmon Rolls on each plate, cut side up.
1. The traditional method of making thin daikon sheets is called ‘katsuramuki’. Please read the section About Katsuramuki Knife Technique in the post for details. If you can do katsuramuki, that would be great.
I can’t make 8 sheets of daikon using katsuramuki, so I use a slicer. Details of how I made daikon slices using a slice can be found in the section Alternative Method for Making Thin Daikon Sheets.
You can make skinnier rolls by using shorter daikon sheets, say 10cm / 4” long instead of 15cm / 6”. You can then reduce the quantity of smoked salmon to about 80g / 2.8oz.
2. I grow perilla in my backyard. They have overgrown and many of the perilla leaves are quite large. So, I used halved leaves. But if your perilla leaves are much smaller and the width is about 5cm / 2”, use a whole leaf per roll. You will then need 8 leaves.
It can be omitted if you cannot find perilla. Alternatively, you can make a thin stick from a green vegetable, such as cucumber or asparagus, and place it in the centre of the roll.
3. I had a store-bought sushi vinegar, so I used it. But you can make it at home with rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt.
4. If the perilla leaf gets pushed too far, fold the end so that the leaf does not stick out.
5. Nutrition per piece and serving. Sugar and salt are overstated since the entire marinade is assumed to be consumed. In reality most of them are discarded.
serving: 15g calories: 11kcal fat: 0.3g (1%) saturated fat: 0.1g (0%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g monounsaturated fat: 0.1g cholesterol: 1.7mg (1%) sodium: 196mg (8%) potassium: 28mg (1%) carbohydrates: 0.5g (0%) dietary fibre: 0.1g (0%) sugar: 0.4g protein: 1.4g vitamin a: 0% vitamin c: 2.3% calcium: 0.2% iron: 0.5%
serving: 121g calories: 89kcal fat: 2.6g (4%) saturated fat: 0.6g (3%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g monounsaturated fat: 1.2g cholesterol: 14mg (5%) sodium: 1568mg (65%) potassium: 220mg (6%) carbohydrates: 4.2g (1%) dietary fibre: 0.8g (3%) sugar: 3.3g protein: 11g vitamin a: 1% vitamin c: 18% calcium: 1.6% iron: 4.2%