Salmon Hand Rolls with Spicy Kimchi and Kumquats

My baby slept well last night, so naturally, I was awake and thinking about breakfast while it was still dark outside. It reminded me of the early days, when he was a newborn and the birds would sing in the spring around 4 or 5 in the morning and I would think, I made it through another night, and I would be so excited for the sun to come up. The birds brought the dawn and the sun followed and made me feel awake and capable, and as the sun went down, I thought about the birds and how their song would comfort me and remind me the sun was coming.

Now, my baby sleeps (usually), but I still wake up sometimes in these dark pre-dawn moments and it’s winter so the birds aren’t singing yet, but thoughts about my morning coffee and what to make for breakfast today provide me with the same comfort and same excitement when the sun comes up and the day officially begins.

When the sun came up today, I made these salmon hand rolls. If you can find kumquats and a good quality, spicy kimchi, they add the requisite sweet, spicy, and sour these hand rolls depend on for tastiness beyond the ordinary. I thoroughly enjoyed eating these for breakfast, as did my little man who appears to especially enjoy the feeling, sensation and surprise of salmon roe in his mouth.

Salmon Hand Rolls with Kimchi and Kumquats

Several sheets of Nori, cut in half
1 filet of salmon (6 oz.)
1 meyer lemon
5 kumquats, thinly sliced
Kimchi, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 handful of arugula
Greek yogurt
Salmon Roe
Togarashi
Ghee
Sea salt

Method:

  1. Mise en place! Prepare your ingredients so you can get rolling. Your station will include: cooked salmon, sliced kimchi, avocado, Greek yogurt, salmon roe, togarashi and arugula.
  2. Heat a cast iron to medium and add a spoonful of ghee. Season the filet of salmon with salt and a generous squeeze of lemon and cook for a few minutes on each side. Medium-low and slow works well for salmon and I always turn the heat off before it’s done so it doesn’t dry out and overcook.
  3. During the last few minutes of cooking, throw the sliced kumquats into the cast iron and cook until the salmon is finished.
  4. With two forks, gently flake the fish apart in the pan, mixing in the juices and kumquats.
  5. Lay out the nori sheet horizontally and place the fillings on the left mid-upper quadrant. Carefully tuck the outer edge under the ingredients and roll into a cone. I am not an expert hand roller and a quick google search about how to roll one is better than any text instructions I can offer.
  6. Eat the hand roll right away. Alternatively, set out all of the ingredients and let people roll their own and serve with a side salad of arugula dressed simply with olive oil and more sliced kumquats.

Sourcing: My wild salmon filet and roe came from Loki Fish Co., meyer lemon and kumquats from the food coop, arugula from my garden, Greek yogurt from Straus, kimchi from Mother in Laws, and togarashi from Healdsburg Shed.

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