There will be just the odd one or two (or more) delicious smoked salmon recipes coming up this month on Gastromony while I take part in the Huon Bloggers’ Challenge. I love eating just about anything that comes out of the ocean or river so the invitation to participate in this challenge thrilled me no end. Huon Aquaculture has a fantastic range of cold and hot smoked salmon and ocean trout which I’ll be concocting some recipes for.
First up, I tried out Huon’s Honey Cured, Hot Smoked Salmon and I hereby declare it the acquatic equivalent of bacon. It has everything right going on: sweet, salty, smoky and mildy fatty. I didn’t imagine that I would be able to eat a lot of it on its own but as it was deceptively soft and moist, a sizeable portion of the fillet disappeared swiftly during the tasting phase. I had to put the rest away until I was ready to use it in my recipe.
I’m sure most people are familiar with cold-smoked salmon (it’s the type usually used for sandwiches and canapes) but if you find it a little on the ‘raw’ side then I must urge you to try hot-smoked salmon. It’s beautiful to eat cold but there’s no reason why you can’t stir chunks of it through a creamy pasta or risotto dish. Oh the possibilities!
I’ve certainly got some tasty ideas for hot-smoked salmon but I’m starting off with a simple favourite of mine: Japanese style milk bun with a special filling. It’s my go-to bun as the recipe is very easy and versatile, and the dough works well with both savoury and sweet ingredients. I’ve used it with everything from Nutella to blue cheese.
This time, I made a filling of hot-smoked salmon flakes mixed together with Kewpie mayonnaise, Kiri cream cheese, salt & pepper and some fresh chives. Salmon and cream cheese is a no-brainer combo of course but I opted for the more fresh taste of Kiri cheese (it’s almost like solid creme fraiche) and as for the addition of Kewpie, that stuff just makes everything taste better (like this potato salad!).
I did wonder about whether smoked salmon would work well in baking but I needn’t have worried. The Kiri cheese and mayonnaise kept the salmon from drying out in the oven, and the flavours all came together perfectly. I happily tucked into a couple of buns for lunch that day and a visiting friend who doesn’t like sweets enjoyed one for afternoon tea. I might make some mini versions to serve as appetisers one day :)
- 200g plain flour (or high protein, bread-making flour)
- 30g butter
- 7g of dry yeast
- 20g sugar
- one egg + extra egg yolk, beaten
- 70ml milk (lukewarm)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Salmon filling: In a medium bowl, mix together 50g (1/3 cup) of Huon's hot-smoked salmon (flaked), one tablespoon of Kewpie mayonnaise, 3 cubes of Kiri cheese cut into smaller cubes, chopped fresh chives and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Place flour, sugar, yeast and butter into mixer bowl. Using a kitchen mixer (or Thermomix on Turbo for a few bursts), combine ingredients until a crumbly mixture forms. This process can be done by hand if needed.
- Place a third of the milk into egg mixture and combine. Place remaining milk into dough mix and mix until well combined.
- Pour egg/milk mixture into dough and mix again by hand or kitchen mixer. If using the Thermomix, use the Knead function for a minute. Once a good dough has formed, place on floured surface and knead well.
- Place rolled dough ball into a bowl, cover with wrap and allow to prove in a warm place for 50 minutes.
- Once the dough has risen to about twice the original size, place on floured surface again and remove air bubbles from dough by kneading.
- Form small balls and place on lined tray. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for 20 minutes. Knead the balls again to remove air and prove one last time for another 20 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 180C while waiting.
- Make a small well in each bun and fill with 1 tablespoon of the salmon mixture. Brush each bun with an egg wash if desired.
- Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until buns are golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. These buns are best eaten on the same day.