Ah spring rolls, one of my fave foods to eat. It’s always light and fresh so you know you’re eating healthy, and I can’t help but love the versatility of wrapping just about anything you can imagine in rice paper. Typically, I opt for the traditional rice noodles, lettuce, shrimp, pork, fresh veggies and herbs, but this time I wanted to try something new. Luckily for me, a package of lovely pink salmon was nestled in my refrigerator, so I figured why not hit up the sea for this spring roll experiment.
Now I must introduce to you newbies Togarashi. It’s a dreamy Japanese spice mixture of ground peppers, orange peel, sesame seeds, ginger and nori (the seaweed sheet used for sushi). It may have a few other items in it, but all I know is that it is zesty heaven in a jar. A little goes a long way and since it is so convenient to use a premixed concoction of spices, I seasoned my salmon front and back with it. I used more of this spice than I usually do in other dishes mainly because the salmon was going to be sliced into 12 pieces and I wanted to make sure each spring roll incorporated as much of the Togarashi flavor as possible.
To keep this dish healthy and add some crunch (and sturdiness), I chose a lightly dressed cabbage salad that was pumped up with mint and green onions. I love green onions, so an entire stalk is perfect for me, but please make sure make adjustments as needed to this ingredient so you don’t feel overwhelmed by it. A thought to consider though is the vinegar helps to mild out the flavor of the green onion just a tad.
Okay, just a few last notes and I’ll let you get to it with making your own. When rolling the ingredients in the rice paper, be sure to move quickly once you’ve moistened the paper because it will stick to your surface making it difficult to roll and more than likely tearing the rice paper. I use a wooden surface – just in case you’re wondering – but I don’t think it makes a huge difference what surface you use as long as it is flat. When slicing the salmon, I will admit some of the slices began to crumble which made me sad, but because it was all going inside the rice paper it really didn’t make too much of a difference. But if possible, try your hardest to not let the slices crumble too much or feel free to slice before cooking and use your stovetop for uniform pieces of salmon. As for the sauce, I used a bottled sweet chili sauce with mine that can easily be found in any Asian market. If you’d like to make your own, here’s a recipe you can try. I will mention that the one I usually purchase has shredded carrots in it too, so you might consider adding that to your sauce if you make it at home.
- 1 lb salmon
- 2 tsp Togarashi
- 1 tbsp sesame or vegetable oil
- 1 cup cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
- 1 stalk green onions, chopped
- 3 sprigs mint, torn
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup white vinegar, just enough to coat
- 12 rice paper sheets
- sweet chili sauce, optional
- Prepare the salmon by coating it evenly on both sides with Togarashi; set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick, ovenproof pan. When the pan is extremely hot, place the salmon skin-side down in the oil to sear the skin until crisp – approximately 1-2 minutes. Transfer the pan into a 400-degree oven to bake for 15-18 minutes. Transfer the pan from the oven to the counter to cool to room temperature. Once the salmon has cooled, transfer it to a cutting board and gently slice 12 even pieces.
- Prepare the cabbage salad by combining both cabbages, carrots, green onions and mint in a bowl and tossing with vinegar until evenly coated. Cover the bowl and transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Fill a large bowl with water and place on the counter along with your other ingredients: sliced salmon, cabbage salad and rice paper. Wet one sheet of rice paper by submerging it in the water. Place the wet paper on your work surface and top one end with a slice of salmon and some cabbage salad. Roll eggroll-style to make your first Salmon Spring Roll. Repeat until all the spring rolls have been made. Serve with sweet chili sauce if you’d like.