Surimi Salad on Toast
A few weeks ago, we made homemade sushi, and I had some left over surimi that I had been putting in salads all week. Now, I'm from Baltimore, so there's really no substitute for crab, but I've found it's actually a highly versatile and flavorful ingredient when treated as its own thing (and not a substitute for something else).
So, when we had friends over for dinner recently, I decided to whip up something a little extra special, using surimi as the star ingredient (a fresh package, not the leftovers from our sushi night).
I'd seen something like this at various restaurants, on cooking shows and websites, and I'd never tried making anything this fancy. The final product had a great balance of textures and flavors: Salty, fatty, creamy, slightly sweet, slightly sour, soft AND crunchy. I found it surprisingly easy to make, though there are a lot of small, time-consuming steps. All in all, I think it took me about an hour to get a plate of these together. But it was worth it!
Below is the recipe. I apologize for not taking pics of the work in progress, but the process wasn't particularly as interesting as the final product.
One note: You can do a lot of variations on this dish. For example, I used smoked trout, but you can use smoke salmon. You can use real crab, shrimp, or other cooked, soft whitefish (smoked herring might actually be nice). You can pickle a variety of veggies to throw on top, as well.
- 8 ounces shredded surimi (you can get whole surimi and shred if it's easier)
- 1/4 cup frozen green peas (or fresh if you can find them)
- 4 oz smoked trout (or smoked salmon)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 10-12 slices of crusty French bread
- Approximately 4-6 ounces Boursin herbed cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 radishes, sliced thin
- 1 small red onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- Handful of fresh arugula leaves
- Small handful of fresh chives, chopped
- Place frozen peas in a small sauchepan. Swirl over medium heat until defrosted but not cooked. (Skip this step if you're using fresh peas).
- In a mixing bowl, combine surimi, creme fraiche, defrosted peas, salt and pepper to taste.
Things to cut
Use a mandoline to thinly slice:
- red onion
Slice smoked trout into thin strips, about 1/4 - 1/3 inch wide.
Things to quick pickle
I only pickled the red onion, but you can pickle the radishes, too, if you'd like. Or feel free to pickle other thinly sliced veggies to add.
- Mix vinegar with a cup of water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan.
- Boil over medium-high heat until
- Allow to cool.
- Place onion slices into a bowl. Pour cooled pickling liquid over vegetables.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Brush bread slices on one side with olive.
- Arrange on flat baking sheet.
- Broil in oven on medium until golden brown. Watch them very carefully, as they tend to burn quickly!
- Remove and allow to cool.
- Spread a thin layer of Boursin on each piece of toast.
- Place 3-4 slices of smoked trout on toast. Do not cover entire toast.
- Using two spoons, form spoonfuls of surimi salad into a small quenelle, pressing the mixture firmly together to approximate size and shape of toast. Place on top of smoked trout.
- For each toast, lightly shred 2-4 arugula leaves. Gently layer them on top of the surimi salad, pressing gently to hold position.
- Arrange 2-3 slices of pickled onion and 3-4 radishes on top of the salad, gently pressing to hold into position.
- Mixing bowl
- Small bowl
- Baking sheet
- Small saucepan