A New Way To Enjoy Salmon

January 5, 2011

Last weekend my husband and I hosted a small New Year’s Eve cocktail party. In addition to some staple items that I always put out for these types of get-togethers like  a cheese plate and crudite, I decided to make a bunch of small bite foods, including white bean dip served with homemade pita chips, baked falafel balls, and pureed mushroom soup served in tea cups. So far everything I had was vegetarian, so I wanted to include at least one non-vegetarian dish.

In the past I have made Salmon-Cucumber Rounds, but I wanted to try something new. After searching some of my cookbooks, I came across a completely different salmon recipe: Black-Sesame Salmon Balls. Andy was skeptical (he’s not a huge fan of salmon, despite all the amazing health benefits!), but once he tried them he was raving about them to everyone who would listen! They’re fairly easy to make, so try them out — who couldn’t use a new twist for salmon?!

Black-Sesame Salmon Balls (from Food & Wine’s Annual Cookbook 2010)
Makes 2 dozen salmon balls (Note: I only got about 16 out of the recipe)

Ingredients:salmon hors douerves

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped water chestnuts
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 4 small scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil


  1. Spread the salmon cubes on a plate and freeze for 15 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a food processor. Add the water chestnuts, egg white, cornstarch, wasabi powder, three-fourths of the scallions, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the ginger, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and a pinch of pepper. Pulse 4 or 5 times, until the salmon is chopped and the mixture just comes together. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Spread the sesame seeds on a plate. Scoop the salmon mixture into mounds of 2 tablespoons each and roll into 24 balls. Roll the balls in the seeds and transfer to 2 glass pie plates. Set one of the plates in a large steamer. Steam the salmon balls over boiling water until firm, about 6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining salmon balls.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil with the remaining scallions and ginger. Serve the salmon balls with the dipping sauce.

What are some of your favorite cocktail party recipes?

*Note: I do not work with Food & Wine, nor was I compensated or asked to write this post.

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