This simple yet delicious and easy main course salad is truly a mingling of Eastern and Western cuisines, a fusion of cultures and ingredients to create something new and exciting for your palate. The main ingredients –raw sashimi-grade fish and Japanese herbs – are unmistakably Japanese, but the presentation is a Western – style salad. This has become a popular style of salad in Japan and is the perfect summer salad– fresh, tasty, and an energy – giving dish for the long sultry days of August.
Fresh Fusion Sashimi Salad for Summer
You can really play with it, substituting your favorite vegetables, fish, or salad dressing – just as long as you keep all the ingredients and tastes in harmony. I have suggested two possible dressings, but there are many other variations that would also be delicious. A smaller portion of the salad makes an excellent first course, any time of the year. Remember, since this salad is made with raw fish, buy and use only the freshest sashimi-grade fish possible and serve on the day of preparation.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun with this salad! Play with the fish and veggie combos, and make the dressing your own. Every time I make this salad, it is a little different depending on what I find at the market and what is in my frig. I am thinking next time I make it to try using gochujang (Korean red chili paste) instead of wasabi for a different taste profile!
Fresh Fusion Sashimi Salad
- 1-1/4-1-1/2 cups fresh sashimi-grade yellowtail, salmon or tuna, coarsely chopped
- 5-1/4 oz smoked salmon (or 16 slices)
- 8 fresh sea scallops
- 5 perilla (shiso) leaves, finely chopped
- 4 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1-2 medium – size cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed
- 1/2 cup finely shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup celery, cut into matchsticks (may replace with daikon radish or udo*)
- 1/2 cup fresh fennel, trimmed, thinly sliced into strips, optional
- 1/2 cup finely shredded semi-peeled cucumber
- 1 bunch watercress (or kaiware radish sprouts), trimmed, roughly chopped
- 8-16 Belgian endive leaves, separated (or parboiled young asparagus)
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce, or to taste
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp smooth Dijon mustard, or to taste
- 1 tbsp finely chopped perilla leaves (shiso)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 tbsp Japanese sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, or to taste
- 4 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp wasabi horseradish, or to taste
- 1 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
- 1 tsp dry sake
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 knob fresh Myoga, a type of Japanese ginger, finely chopped
- Place the chopped fish in a bowl, add the perilla leaves, scallions, and mashed garlic, and mix well. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Make your chosen dressing(s) by combining all the ingredients and whisking well. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
- Divide the fish mixture into eight little portions (two per person). Wrap each portion in two slices of smoked salmon. Alternative is to lay the smoked salmon in the center of a large plate and top with sashimi mixture.
- To server, place small mounds of carrot, celery or daikon, fennel, cucumber, and watercress or kaiware around the rim of each individual plate. Place four endive leaves in the center, and arrange the two sea scallops and two fish bundles on top or mound the fish in the center on top of the smoked salmon, placing the belgian endive around the 4 corners, creating a circle. Drizzle the dressing generously over the salad and serve immediately. If you decide to make more than one dressing, then serve these at the table, and let your guests serve themselves.