Asian Fusion Appetizer: Salmon & Asian Pesto Packages


1 1/2 lbs Salmon filets, skin removed, cut into 20 small pieces
20 dry Rice Paper Wrappers (Available in Asian Markets)
1 large bunch of Cilantro, plus 20 Cilantro Leaves
1 large bunch Thai Basil (Available in Asian Markets)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp Peanut Oil
Sweet Chili Sauce (Available in Asian Markets)
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cashews
Sea Salt


To Make the Asian Pesto:
Combine the large bunch of Cilantro (leaves only), Thai Basil (leaves only), garlic and cashews in the bowl of a food processor and grind to a fairly smooth paste.
With the motor running, add the 1/2 cup Peanut Oil to complete the pesto.
Season with Sea Salt to taste.
Dip a rice paper wrapper in warm water to soften.
Lay it out flat on a board and place 1 cilantro leaf in the center.
Place a piece of salmon on top of the cilantro leave.
Put 1 tbsp pesto on top of the salmon.
Fold the sides of the wrapper up, one at a time, to make a nice package. You may have to trim the wrapper with a scissor. The damp wrappers will stick closed.
Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of Peanut Oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry the packages, cilantro side up for about 3 minutes. Do not try and cook too many at once as they will stick together and tear if they touch.
(If you want to serve these later you may stop at this point and steam them when needed.)
Transfer them to a steamer set over boiling water, again Cilantro side up, and steam 4-6 minutes.
Serve with Sweet Asian Chili Sauce


So perhaps this is not the most traditional of Chinese dishes for the Chinese New Year, but then again I am neither traditional nor Chinese. This is, however, one of the most delicious, most spectacular and well received recipes in my repertoire. I have been making these for years and have served them as an appetizer, as I did last night and as a main course, accompanied by a vegetable stir fry. When my kids were young this was one of their favorite meals.

I rarely use cookbooks, but Fiona Smith's "Dim Sum~delicious asian finger food" , the cookbook I found these in is without a doubt one of my favorite possessions. If robbed at gun point I would fight for it to the end! has it listed as one of the Top 7 Dim Sum Cook Books and once you try this recipe you will most likely feel compelled to buy the book.

So without further adieu, here is the recipe which I promise will become one of your favorites too. In fact, I will offer you a money back guarantee: if you don't love this recipe, don't send me a dime!

Other Names:

These beautiful packets of pink and green peering through translucent rice paper are as delicious as they are stunning. Serve with Sweet Asian Chili Sauce on the side and enjoy!


20 Salmon & Asian Pesto Packages


Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 9:25am

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