Cut the salmon in 4 equal pieces and place in a small hotel pan or baking dish. In a bowl, mix together mirin, water, sugar and salt, stir until dissolved. Add ginger and peppercorns to liquid. Pour brine on salmon and marinate for 1 hour. Pull salmon out of brine and place in a bamboo steamer.
In a wok lined with foil add the rice, sugar and tea. Mix well and turn wok on medium heat. When mixture starts to smolder, place bamboo steamer on top. Seal the seam between the bamboo steamer and wok with wet cloths. Turn wok down to low and smoke for 15 minutes. Turn wok off and let smoke another 15 minutes. Salmon will be about medium rare and should be served warm.
For the "latkes": In a bowl, mix warm potatoes and butter. Mix in scallions, horseradish and wasabi. Season with salt and pepper. Shape potato mixture into 2 1/2 inch diameter cakes. Dredge the cakes in flour followed by egg and finally panko. Deep fry cakes at 350 degrees until golden brown.
Plating: Put a small mound of apple salad in the center of the plate, a potato cake on top and the salmon on top of the cake. Drizzle emulsion around the plate and garnish with chives.
Adapted from a recipe Copyright, 1999, Ming Tsai, All Rights Reserved