Here is the first of my wasabi recipes as promised.
UPDATE 15/4/09: lots of people are asking in the comments what the leaves taste like. Check this post where I give a full description. Cheers!
The wonderful guys at Shima Wasabi sent me a pack with a wasabi stem, wasabi leaf stems and wasabi leaves to play with – and I’ve loved every minute with this gorgeous produce! I’ve even frozen the remaining part of the stem and crossed my fingers it’s still going to grate beautifully once defrosted.
Although I was initially intimidated by it’s bumpy looks the wasabi stem is indeed very friendly to the home cook. There’s no fiddly peeling or prepping as you simply grate the stem as is and let it release it’s pungent and beautiful aroma into your kitchen.
As the leaves perish the quickest I decided to come up with a recipe for those first. The size and shape immediately got me thinking of using them to wrap up a filling in one delicious mouthful. Much like betel leaves are used in Thai cuisine.
Smoked salmon was the next logical step as it’s easy to source and requires no cooking (which is always a plus when you’re entertaining). I’ve provided some variations below if you’re interested.
The last thing I wanted to mention was that I haven’t shown the sauce in the photo. I did take some shots with the sauce dribbled over but they looked pretty messy. The black/brown soy sauce refused to sit nicely in a neat pool, it just spread out everywhere. It was rustic in a really ugly way. Trust me.
If you’re serving these to guests I suggest putting the sauce in a shallow bowl on the side for dipping. Enjoy!
For the filling: add finely diced avocado, cucumber or capsicum. Replace the smoked salmon with mussels, prawns or diced silken tofu.
For the sauce: add some chilli sauce or fresh sliced chilli. Replace the soy with balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of fresh lime.
For the leaves: if you don’t have access to fresh wasabi leaves then simply substitute with betel leaves, baby spinach or trimmed iceberg lettuce cups.
Salmon wasabi leaf canapes w/ wasabi and soy dipping sauce (sauce not pictured)
12 wasabi leaves
12 slices smoked salmon
3 wasabi leaf stems, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated wasabi stem (or more, to taste)
60ml soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
ground white pepper, to taste
1. Place the wasabi leaves on a serving platter neatly spaced a few centimetres apart. Roll up each slice of smoked salmon and arrange on each leaf.
2. Sprinkle a few slices of the wasabi stem on top of each one.
3. In a small bowl whisk together the grated wasabi, soy, sesame oil and white pepper until well combined. Serve on the side for dipping.