Updated: Nov 29, 2020
After a vibrant scallop starter and a spicy herby cod dish, let's cleanse our palate for a bit with this toast. I am always fascinated by open-faced toast. From the Italian bruschetta to the French tartine, one that really intrigued me is the Danish Smørrebrød. You can feast your eyes by Googling. The open-faced toast is over the top beautiful, almost like a painting!
I personally think Smørrebrød deserves more recognition than the famous bruschetta and tartine. Sorry my lovely Italian and French friends, but Smørrebrød is far more beautiful and yummilicious in terms of presentation and flavor profile. I decided to take my own spin on this Danish toast for the holiday season. I invested the money in getting a Personal Size Stovetop Kettle Smoker from Nordic Ware. Finally, I can smoke my food in my small apartment kitchen.
Do you ever wonder what is the gross white stuff that came out of salmon when you are cooking or baking it? That white gunk seeping from your salmon is called albumin. It's a protein (not fat) that pushes to the surface of the fish when you heat it. And yes! It is completely harmless. Does wild-caught salmon make any difference? Definitely a yes! To minimize albumin from forming, we are gonna soak the salmon in brine between 24 to 48 hours.
As for the toast, rye bread is a must. You can use store-bought or homemade. As for the fruit, I find that fruits like figs balance out the whole dish with its honey-liqueur-like sweetness. It even adds some texture too. If you can't find any figs, my best bet would be blackberries; you can experiment around with different seasonal fruits and trust your palate.
The final sprinkle of masago and nori flakes with that drizzle of sesame oil sorta wakes up the whole dish. Every bite is a flavor bomb. The ingredient list may seem long, but the steps are pretty easy and straight forward. In closing, I really hope you will give this recipe a try.
Salmon, 6 Fillets Preferably Wild Caught
Sea Salt, 75g
Demerara Sugar, 150g
Mustard Seeds, 2g
Black Peppercorn, 2g
Fennel Seeds, 1g
Coriander Seeds, 4g
Pink Peppercorns, 1g
Chili Flakes, Pinch
Cinnamon Stick, 1/4 Inch
Bay Leaves, 2
Sea Salt, 5g
Demerara Sugar, 10g
Black Pepper, 8g
Coriander Powder, 5g
Pink Peppercorns Freshly Ground, 1g
Chili Flakes, Pinch
Dried Mushroom Powder, Pinch
Sour Cream, 1/4 Cup
Wasabi / Horseradish, 1/2 TBSP
Fresh Dill Finely Chopped, Pinch
Fresh Lemon Juice, 1/2 Lemon
Fresh Lemon Zest, 1/2 Lemon
Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese 7 Spice), Pinch
Masago (Roe), 1/2 TBSP
Rye Bread, 12 Slices
Unsalted Butter, 6 Spread
Masago (Roe), Sprinkle
Nori Flakes, Pinch
Fresh Dill, A Handful
Sesame Oil, Drizzle
White Pepper, Pinch
Stove Top Smoker Pan / Grill Smoker
Please visit my "How To Make Easy Rye Bread" page for the recipe.
Prepare the brine.
Check for any bones on the salmon fillets.
Wash and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
In a large container, combine all the ingredients together.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Add in the salmon fillets.
Cover with cling film or lid and chill in the fridge for 24 to 48 hrs.
Prepare the rub.
Combine everything together.
You can grind the pink peppercorn in pestle & mortar or in a pepper mill.
Prepare the sauce.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
If you are using fresh wasabi or horseradish, grate them freshly. I am just using store-bought wasabi.
Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
Smoking the salmon.
After in the brine for 24 or 48 hrs,
Remove the salmon fillets from the brine.
Place them on a wire cooling rack.
Pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper on both sides.
Sprinkle the rub onto the salmon fillets, both sides too.
Prepare your smoker as per the instructions manual.
If you have a outdoor grill and smoker, it will be awesome too.
Assembling the toast.
Spread butter onto the rye bread slices, on 1 side only.
You can toast this in a toaster or a skillet, but I decided to smoke the rye bread, buttered side down.
Why not infuse all the flavors from the salmon 1 last time?
Once the bread has been toasted or smoked, transfer onto serving plates, buttered side down.
Spread the sauce onto the bread.
You can slice the salmon and lay onto the bread. But I decided to flake them into pieces and place them one by one overlapping one another to sorta create like a fish scales effect.
Place the figs on top of the salmon.
Sprinkle some masago, nori flakes and dill over the top.
Lastly, drizzle sesame oil over the top.