Smoked Pink Salmon Sushi
Smoked (mild-kippered) pink salmon: Thaw pink salmon fillets and place flesh-down on 1/4-inch layer of salt. Sprinkle another layer of salt over the skin side and allow to sit 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and lay skin-down on rack of portable electric smoker to dry in cool, dry place, about 1 hour. Rub fistful of brown sugar liberally over flesh. Allow to air-dry 2 hours. Smoke 4 to 6 hours with a single pan of alder chips to produce a mild, golden kipper. Refrigerate overnight.
Sushi Rice: Cook rice and cool 10 to15 minutes. Put rice in large mixing bowl and sprinkle with rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Fold mixture at least 3 minutes. The more you cool and air rice mixture, the shinier its texture.
Use tweezers to remove small pin bones from kippered pink salmon fillet. Place skin up on plastic wrap twice as wide as fillet. Carefully lift off skin. Peel and slice lemon paper-thin, removing seeds. Lay single layer of lemon slices on fillet. Take ?Gari? or pickled ginger and squeeze out as much juice as possible. Place layer 2 slices thick, over lemon. Wet hands (so rice won?t stick) and spread rice over top of pickled ginger to form neat layer, no more than 1/2-inch thick. Lift plastic wrap up and over fillet. Wrap securely by compacting contents with hands. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to further firm rice.
Serving Suggestions: Remove plastic wrap so rice is on bottom. Moisten blade of sharp knife with water and slice diagonally, into individual servings 3/4 to 1-inch wide. Garnish with your choice of greens, and extra portions of pickled ginger and sliced lemon.
Recipe courtesy Hank Pennington