Crispy Salmon Rolls
These salmon rolls are pretty, displaying pink salmon and flecks of green onion and cilantro. The salmon is cut into julienne rather than ground into paste so that its texture and color may be enjoyed. The tofu sheets are available in large supermarkets and in Asian markets. Catfish may be substituted for the salmon if desired.
- Salmon fillet - 1 pound, cut in 1/4-inch julienne
- Water Chestnuts - 1/2 cup, coarsely chopped
- Cilantro Sprigs - 10, coarsely chopped
- Green Onions - 2 to 3, slivered
- Ginger - 1/4 cup, finely shredded
- Salt - 2 teaspoons
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- White Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- Rice Wine or Dry Sherry - 1 tablespoon
- Egg White - 1
- Cornstarch - 1/4 cup
- Dried Tofu or Bean Curd Sheet - 1 large round 18- to 20-inch diameter
- Flour - 1/2 cup
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Cornstarch - 1/2 cup
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Vegetable Oil - 1 quart
- Finely shredded lettuce or cabbage
- Sweet and Tart Pickled Vegetables - (optional; see separate recipe)
To make the filling: Combine all the ingredients for the filling except the egg white and cornstarch in a large bowl and toss to mix. Add the egg white and cornstarch and blend into the ingredients.
Spread the tofu sheet on a work surface and fold in half; cut off the curved edges to make a rectangle (save the scraps for other uses). Cut along the fold to cut the rectangle in half. Cut each sheet in half lengthwise to make four long strips, about 4- to 5-inches wide by 15- to 17-inches long.
Mix the paste together in a small bowl. Whisk the batter together in another small bowl.
To assemble: Divide the filling into four equal portions. Place 1 tofu strip on a work surface with the longest side nearest you. Place one fourth of the filling along the long edge nearest you, making a compact strip or log one inch in diameter. Using a brush or your fingers, brush about one inch of paste along the opposite long edge. Roll the tofu skin over the filling, compacting the filling as you roll. Overlap the long edges together to seal in the filling. The resulting roll will be about 15 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Cut the roll crosswise into five equal rolls, each about 3 inches long. Repeat with remaining tofu strips and filling, making a total of 20 small rolls.
To fry: Heat the oil to 365 F in a wok to 365 F. Dip each roll in the batter to lightly coat just before frying. Place about five or six rolls in the hot oil and fry 3 minutes, until light golden and crisp, turning the rolls and spooning hot oil over them as they cook. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining rolls. The frying cooks the fish. The rolls may be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for a few hours at this point if desired.
To re-fry: Reheat the oil in the wok of 365 F. Deep-fry all the rolls at once for1 to 2 minutes, until the outside is very crisp and golden brown. This frying re-crisps the rolls. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Make a bed of shredded lettuce or cabbage in a large platter. Cut each roll diagonally in half. Place the rolls, cut-side up, on the bed of lettuce. Garnish with Sweet and Tart Pickled Vegetables. Alternatively, the rolls may be served on individual plates.