Smoked salmon is wonderful over bread, toast or crackers; but when served over cucumber, it creates a lighter and gluten-free alternative to the standard canapé. Cream cheese also pairs well with smoked salmon and in the US this duo is often served with bagels and even in sushi (as in the famous Philadelphia roll). Combining cucumber and smoked salmon in a canapé gives a fun twist and a healthier alternative to serving a carb-based appetizer.
A little nutrition
Smoked salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids; however, for health reasons, it is best consumed in small quantities (such as in this appetizer) since smoked salmon has approximately 222 milligrams of sodium per ounce compared to approximately 17 milligrams of sodium per ounce in fresh, baked salmon. “Lox” which is sold in the US and often mistaken to be the same as smoked salmon has 567 milligrams of sodium per ounce. That is because lox is salmon cured in salt for several weeks while smoked salmon is cured and cold-smoked. (For more information please see The New York Times – Dining & Wine article: “Smoked Salmon Any Way You Slice It”).
About this recipe
The first time I made this recipe I was having guests over and didn’t want to use the same crackers for the smoked salmon as for another appetizer I was serving. I had cucumbers in the fridge and decided to use them since I like the combination of cucumbers and salmon in sushi. I was undecided as to whether put cream cheese or wasabi to add a dash of flavor, and experimented with different combinations to achieve the recipe below (I even tried adding a few drops of soy sauce to which I got mixed reviews, so I am adding it as an optional item for you to try). Feel free to modify the wasabi cream; it was merely a last minute invention to bring this canapé closer to a sushi base than the usual “bagels and cream cheese’ combination. I used wasabi powder which is what I use at home when making sushi, but you can use ready-made wasabi paste. I also used the Asian cucumber as they are thinner and more delicate portion-size for the canapé. However, you can use the standard-sized cucumber. Make sure to use a mandolin to cut the cucumber slices equally thin for a prettier presentation. The chives are not only decorative but also add to the flavorful combination of this elegant canapé.
Cucumber & Smoked Salmon Canapé with Wasabi Cream
Prep time: 5-8 minutes
Cook time: none
- 4 oz (120g) Asian cucumber (or any other cucumber)
- 3.5 oz (100g) smoked salmon (sliced)
- 1 Tablespoon cream cheese
- 2 pea-size amounts of wasabi (can use wasabi paste or wasabi powder mixed with water)
- 1-2 drops of soy sauce (low sodium preferred); optional
- Fresh chives, cut into 1 inch (2cm) portions
- Make wasabi cream by mixing the cream cheese with the wasabi paste.
- Note: You can make your own wasabi paste by mixing wasabi powder with water (approximately 1 part water to 2 parts powder).
- Slice cucumbers using a mandolin for even slices. Pat dry and plate them.
- Cut the fresh chives into 1 inch (2cm) portions, reserve.
- Cut pieces of smoked salmon slices and form small rolls. Place salmon rolls on top of the cucumber slices.
- Place a little bit of the wasabi cream on top of the salmon (you can pipe it on top for a prettier appearance). Finish by decorating with the fresh chives.
Enjoy this simple and delicious appetizer that will surely impress your guests!