Nyrere Cox likes all kinds of fish, and one of his favorites is a recipe that combines salmon and crab.
Making his Salmon Ceviche Crab Rolls it is not hard, he says, but they do require quite a few steps. “Cutting and rolling the salmon is probably the biggest thing,” Cox says. “Everything else is easy.”
Buy a whole salmon fillet that weighs about 4 pounds. You can ask the fishmonger to remove the skin, the belly fat and any bones, or do it yourself. When pounding the salmon to an even thinness, be careful not to tear it.
Planning is important with this recipe: The salmon soaks in a marinade for four hours to give it a nice flavor. The salmon does not need to be cooked because the curing makes it safe to eat.
Cox says the recipe was a big hit when he prepared it at the Blue Sky restaurant, where he is serving his apprenticeship.
About the chef: Nyrere Cox grew up in Long Island, N.Y., and moved to Kansas City during his high school years. He is a second-year student in the culinary program at Johnson County Community College. The 22-year-old is an apprentice at the Blue Sky Restaurant at the Tall Grass Creek Retirement Community in Overland Park.
About the stylist: Kaarin Nelson is a fourth semester interior design student at Johnson County Community College. She styled the photo.
About the column: Cooking 101 is a column exclusive to The Star designed to introduce home cooks to basic cooking techniques and showcase young chefs attending culinary school. The recipe, food styling and photography are a joint project between culinary students and instructors at Johnson County Community College's Hospitality Management Program.
Salmon Ceviche Crab Roll With Wasabi Aioli
Makes 8 appetizer servings
Whole salmon side (average weight 4 pounds, pin bones and skin removed)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups diced mango
2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons wasabi powder
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup crab meat
1 Roma tomato, seeded and small diced
10 sprigs fresh chives
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Korean chili powder (available at Asian supermarkets)
2 cups cooked sushi rice, cooled to room temperature
1 bunch green onion
1 red pepper, cut in julienne strips
1 yellow pepper, cut in julienne strips
1 cucumber, seeded and julienned
Microgreens or spring lettuce, depending on availability
Place salmon fillet on cutting board and make a horizontal cut half the thickness for the fillet along the bottom, leaving the two slabs connected like a hinge on the top side of the fillet.
Place plastic wrap under and on top of butterflied fillet, lightly pound to 1/4 -inch thick with meat tenderizer. Remove the top layer of plastic and season with salt and pepper
In a large mixing bowl combine lemon juice, minced ginger, salt, diced mango and red onion.
Place the salmon filet in a 20-by-24-inch pan, cover with the lemon-ginger-mango marinade. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let fish marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
For the Wasabi Aioli: Combine the mayonnaise, wasabi powder, rice vinegar and ground ginger and mix; refrigerate.
For the Crab Roll: Combine the crab meat, tomato, chives, mayonnaise and chili powder and mix; season to taste and refrigerate.
To assemble: When the salmon is done marinating, remove the salmon from the marinade and place it with the side that had the skin on it facing up on your work surface.
Spread the sushi rice in small batches on the top side of the salmon and spread throughout until the salmon is completely covered. Take small half handful portions of each of the green onion, peppers and cucumber and spread throughout until the rice is completely covered. Spread the Crab Mix over the salmon until vegetables are completely covered.
Roll salmon into a large tube and cut into 1-inch slices. Serve with a side of the Wasabi Aioli and garnish with microgreens or spring lettuce.
Per serving: 561 calories (61 percent from fat), 40 grams total fat (6 grams saturated), 87 milligrams cholesterol, 28 grams carbohydrates, 29 grams protein, 436 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.