As an afternoon tea groupie, I’ve certainly had my fill of Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches. Open-faced, in between slices of whole wheat, whipped up into a mousse–Smoked Salmon is classic tea menu fare.
Looking for a way to spruce up the standard, I’ve invited nori to the tea party today. The briny, ocean-like essence of crisp seaweed is so perfect here, highlighting the flavors of soft fish and fresh herbs.
If you don’t want to bake your own buns, you can always just attach pieces of nori to the tops of any bread or roll with a smear of softened butter, mayo or cream cheese. For a decorative touch, you can even cut out shapes from the nori sheets with a paper punch.
Nori Buns are made by simply attaching nori to the shaped dough after you’ve brushed it with egg wash and before it goes into the oven. You can use your favorite bun dough recipe, or cheat with store-bought frozen bread dough like I have here. The storebought version tastes surprisingly great and is super easy to bake up.
These sandwiches are delicious with any Japanese green tea, but I’m gonna give an extra push for Gyokuro, those emerald green leaves that yield a luxuriously intense cup. The strong marine and umami essence of this shaded tea is bold and energizing, like a fresh sea breeze.
“X” marks the spot for this must-make tea time recipe for Nori Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches. These have a rich character and taste, not to be confused with your typical dainty finger sandwich!
Makes 12 small sandwiches.
|- 2 sheets Yamamotoyama’s Kiku Ariake nori||- 6 oz. smoked salmon|
|- 12dough balls of frozen bread dough||- fresh dill springs|
|- 1 egg, beaten wit 1 tsp of water||- 5 oz. herb or shive flavored cream cheese, at room temp|
|- 1 lemon juiced|
|- black pepper, to taste|
1. Make the Buns. Thaw the frozen bread dough balls to room temp, then shape them into mini bun rounds. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the dough rounds on a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Use a pastry brush to paint the tops of the buns with egg wash. Place 1/2" x 2" strips of nori atop the buns in an "X" pattern. Bake the buns for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Wait to cool completely, then cut in half horizontally using a serrated knife.
2. Flavor the Cream Cheese. Add the lemon juice and black pepper to the softened cream cheese and mix together thoroughly. Spread this generously on the cut sides of each split bun.
3. Assemble the Sandwiches. Cut some shreds of niri atop the cream cheese on the bottom half of each bun. Place 1-2 small slices of the smoked salmon atop the nori, then top the fish with a few fresh tips of dill and the top bun. Best served immediately with generous cups of Gyokuro!