Dinner Party Appetizer: Sesame-Soy Salmon w/ Crispy Brown Rice Cake

For my dinner party I wanted to start with a fish course; I like Asian flavors for salmon, so I created a sesame-soy marinade with a little bit of sriracha for heat. While the salmon lay soaking up those wonderful flavors, I put together an accompaniment for the plate. I wanted something with crunch and texture to help offset the softness of the salmon, so I decided to make brown rice cakes that I pan fried until they were nice and crispy. I should have made more–they were the hit of the night!

Sesame-Soy Salmon


1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar (I used garlic flavored)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp agave, honey or brown sugar
1/2 tsp sriracha (more if you like it spicy)
1.5 lbs salmon, cut into individual portions


  1. In a large ziploc bag, mix together soy sauce, vinegar, oil, sesame seeds, agave and sriracha. Add salmon and marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Remove salmon from marinade, place on baking sheet and bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through.

Crispy Brown Rice Cakes


1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
5 cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely grated
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 egg
oil for frying (I used vegetable)


  1. Heat oils in deep saute pan and cook garlic over medium-low heat until browned, 5-6 minutes. Add mushrooms and carrots and cook 5-6 minutes until soft. Remove from heat.
  2. Combine mushroom mixture with cooked brown rice and salt. Allow to cool (you don’t want to scramble the egg). Add egg and stir until evenly mixed.
  3. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in saute pan.
  4. Divide rice mixture into balls about the size of a ping pong ball (I made 15 or so), then flatten into thick patties. When oil is hot, fry patties 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.

The cost:
salmon: 9.16
rice: 2.99
carrots: .99
cremini mushrooms: 1.99
other ingredients: <1.00

Grand total: $16.13; serves 8-9 as an appetizer

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