Ideal for cocktail parties, the little won ton cups contain a rich filling of smoked salmon and avocado, brightened with lime. You can make the won ton cups up to 6 hours ahead, and the filling, except for the avocado, can also be done in advance. Add the avocado and toss to coat just before serving; it will turn brown if you cut it too far ahead. Hot-smoked salmon is also called kippered salmon (see "Smoked Salmon: The One-Minute Guide," below).
24 square won ton or shumai (dumpling) wrappers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
4 ounces hot-smoked salmon (see Notes), flaked into small pieces
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions, including tops
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small avocado, finely diced
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Lay 12 won ton wrappers flat and, using about half the butter, brush both sides. Press into mini muffin cups (2 tbsp. size), pleating each to form a small cup. Sprinkle wrappers with half the sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown (watching carefully; they can burn easily), 7 to 9 minutes. Loosen from cups with a small spatula and put on a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining 12 won ton wrappers, butter, and sesame seeds.
In a small bowl, combine salmon, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, ginger, and salt; mix well. Add avocado (see Notes) and toss very gently until well combined. Put a generous spoonful in each won ton cup. Serve immediately.
Smoked salmon: The one-minute guide.
More than any other fish, salmon lends itself to being smoked. Superb smoked salmon comes from Canada, Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and the United States—and it all falls into two basic categories.
COLD-SMOKED: The salmon is cured in brine or with sugar, salt, and spices, then smoked over wood chips at a low temperature (usually 70° to 90°) for anywhere from a day to three weeks. The smoke doesn't actually cook the fish, so it stays silky and has a mild smoke flavor. Nova salmon is cured in a mild brine solution. Scottish-style uses a dry rub that is rinsed off before smoking. Indian-cure salmon is first brined and then smoked for up to two weeks, until it has the texture of jerky. Lox, the bagel's best friend, is brined and sometimes (but not always) lightly smoked, and tends to be on the salty side. Scandinavian gravlax is not smoked at all, just dry-cured with salt, sugar, and dill.
HOT-SMOKED: As with cold-smoked, hot-smoked—or kippered—salmon is cured first. Then it's smoked at a higher temperature (generally 120° to 180°) for a shorter period, typically no more than 12 hours. The result: a flaky, cooked texture and a deep, smoky flavor.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per 3-won-ton serving.