Yuzu Salmon Crispy Rice

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
May 3, 2024 | Updated on May 6, 2024

Crispy rice is fried until toasty and golden brown then topped with a creamy yuzu salmon mixture. Munch on these for a savory snack, enjoy them for lunch, or serve them as a crowd-pleasing party appetizer.

Looking for other delicious raw fish recipes? Check out my Yuzu Salmon Poke Bowl, Hamachi Crudo and Tuna Tartare Recipe next.

plated salmon crispy rice with ponzu dipping sauce

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Yuzu salmon crispy rice is one of those dishes that’s hard to put down. It’s a mouthwatering mesh of crunchy and creamy textures, with bold umami flavors. You order it at your favorite Asian fusion spot, paying a premium for a few pieces, but you’re often left feeling unsatisfied.

That’s why I was so delighted to finally make these at home, where I can devour them until my belly’s content! I have a feeling you’ll enjoy them too.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Perfect Party Appetizer – The shape and size of these make them perfect finger food options, and they also present beautifully. If crispy rice is good enough for Nobu, then your guests will absolutely adore them!
  • Delicious This recipe offers a delicious combination of yuzu, a citrus fruit, with rich, buttery salmon and is an indulgent and refreshing treat.
  • So Versatile – Crispy sushi rice is a delicious base for a variety of toppings so if salmon isn’t your thing, I have some other tasty suggestions.
crispy rice topped with yuzu sushi grade salmon and jalapeños beside ponzu sauce

Tools You’ll Need

Ingredients You Will Need for Yuzo Salmon Crispy Rice

Here is a breakdown of what you will need to make this crispy rice. For actual measurements, see the recipe card at the end of this post.

ingredients for crispy rice

Sushi Rice

  • Rice vinegar – It adds to the overall flavor and isn’t as harsh as white vinegar.
  • Sugar – Use this to season the rice. The sweet, savory balance makes it taste even better.
  • Kosher salt – I always use Diamond Crystal.
  • Short-grain rice – Use cooked sushi rice that’s still warm. This makes it easier to combine the ingredients and infuse the rice with flavor. Short grain rice tends to have a sticky consistency, which is what you want for this recipe. If the grains stick together, you get little blocks of goodness.
  • Avocado oil – Use this oil for frying. It’s how you get that beautiful brown crispy coating for each rice patty.
sushi grade salmon filet on a cutting board beside a large sharp knife

Yuzu Ponzu Salmon

  • Kewpie mayo – This enriches the mixture and has a deeper flavor than regular mayonnaise due to its egg yolk base.
  • Yuzu kosho – This spicy and citrusy Japanese condiment made from yuzu peel, chili peppers, and salt adds a vibrant kick to the salmon mixture.
  • Yuzu extract – The extract intensifies the citrusy flavor of the dish, adding brightness and a refreshing aroma that complements the richness of the salmon.
  • Sesame oil – This imparts a deep, nutty aroma.
  • Soy sauce – Adds the perfect amount of saltiness to the mixture.
  • Salmon – Use finely chopped sushi-grade salmon. Sushi-grade fish is frozen before it is sold, to kill parasites, making it safe to eat raw. For the best quality fish, visit your local fish monger and ask for sushi-salmon.
  • Scallions – Add this finely chopped for a pop of bright, onion flavor.
sushi rice tightly packed into a plastic wrapped, rectangular shaped pan

Garnish/Dipping

  • Toasted sesame seeds – This recipe calls for using toasted white and black sesame seeds for added crunchy texture and amplifies the nutty notes.
  • Jalapeño – Thinly sliced peppers add a spicy kick.
  • Ponzu sauce – Use this for a dipping sauce. It’s bright, zesty, and tangy so it perfectly balances the crispy rice with yuzu salmon.

How To Make Crispy Rice

Below is a summary of how to make salmon crispy rice. For a complete and detailed list of steps, see the recipe card at the end of this post.

overhead view of salmon fixture

Sushi Rice

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour the vinegar mixture over the warm rice and fold with a spatula until the liquid is absorbed.

3. Line an 8 x 5-inch container with plastic wrap, then add the sushi rice and press down in an even layer. Fold the plastic wrap over rice to cover, then freeze for 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the yuzu ponzu salmon.

salmon mixture in a bowl

Yuzu Ponzu Salmon

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the kewpie mayonnaise, yuzu kosho, yuzu extract, sesame oil, and soy sauce until combined.
  2. Add the salmon and scallions to the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture.

3. Mix until evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

a large rectangle of sushi rice

Fry Sushi Rice

  1. Heat the avocado oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 375°F (190°C).
  2. Remove the sushi rice from the freezer.

Then cut into 12 even rectangles. Discard any loose pieces of rice.

sushi rice packed into rectangles on a cutting board

3. Carefully add 3–4 of the rice rectangles at a time to the hot oil. If the oil splatters, cover the skillet with a lid until it subsides. Cook for 3–4 minutes, or until golden brown, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 3–4 minutes more.

Transfer to a wire rack to drain and repeat with the remaining rice.

4. Transfer the salmon mixture to a zip-top plastic bag and snip an ½-inch opening in one corner. Gently pipe the salmon on top of each piece of crispy rice. Sprinkle each piece with the toasted white and black sesame seeds and top with a slice of jalapeño, if using.

5. Serve immediately with ponzu sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

crispy rice frying in a pan

Tips and Tricks

  • Be sure to use short grain rice, which has a higher starch content than long grain rice. Otherwise, the rice won’t stick together.
  • Don’t skip the freezing process for the rice. It needs at least 1 hour to solidify. Then it’s easier to slice and more likely to stay in tact when frying.
  • Use a cast iron skillet for the best results. A heavy bottom pot evenly distributes heat, ensuring the rice gets crispy.
plated salmon crispy rice with ponzu dipping sauce

Variations

  • Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice – Instead of yuzu salmon, top the crispy rice with sushi-grade tuna mixed with mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, and sesame oil. Garnish with sliced green onions and a drizzle of spicy mayo.
  • Crab Salad – You can top each rectangle with crab salad. Take lump crab meat, kewpie mayo, lemon juice, and Old Bay seasoning and mix them together. Sprinkle with some freshly chopped parsley.
  • Smoked Salmon Tartare Combine this aesthetic appetizer with another elevated starter. It’s a mix of smoked salmon, capers, lemon zest and juice, dill, shallots, and chives.
plated salmon crispy rice with ponzu dipping sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

What is crispy rice?

Crispy rice is seasoned sushi rice, that’s compacted then fried. It’s popular across the world and is featured in Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Iranian cuisines.

What is crispy rice made of?

Crispy rice is made with short-grain rice (usually sushi rice), rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and oil. This base works for a variety of toppings.

What is considered sushi grade salmon?

Sushi-grade salmon is fish that has been frozen to specific standards to kill parasites, making it safe to consume raw. It is typically of high quality, fresh, and handled carefully to maintain its texture and flavor.

plated salmon crispy rice with ponzu dipping sauce

Looking for More Delicious Salmon Recipes?

Loving this Crispy Rice Recipe?

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plated salmon crispy rice with ponzu dipping sauce

Yuzu Salmon Crispy Rice

Crispy rice is fried until toasty and golden brown then topped with a creamy yuzo salmon mixture. Munch on these for a savory snack, enjoy them for lunch, or serve them as a crowd-pleasing party appetizer.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill Rice 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 12 pieces
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Appetizer, Lunch
Cuisine Asian

Equipment

  • Bread Loaf Pan, 8½ x 4½
  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Wire Rack

Ingredients

Sushi Rice

  • tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
  • cups short-grain rice, cooked, warm
  • 1 cup avocado oil, for frying, plus more, if needed

Yuzu Ponzu Salmon

  • tablespoons Kewpie mayo
  • teaspoons yuzu kosho
  • 1 teaspoon yuzu extract
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ pound salmon, sushi-grade, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped

Garnish/Dipping

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, black
  • jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • ponzu sauce, for dipping

Instructions

Sushi Rice

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves.
  • Pour the vinegar mixture over the warm rice and fold with a spatula until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Line an 8 x 5-inch container with plastic wrap, then add the sushi rice and press down in an even layer. Fold the plastic wrap over rice to cover, then freeze for 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the yuzu ponzu salmon.

Yuzu Ponzu Salmon

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the kewpie mayonnaise, yuzu kosho, yuzu extract, sesame oil, and soy sauce until combined.
  • Add the salmon and scallions to the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture. Mix until evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fry Sushi Rice

  • Heat the avocado oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 375°F (190°C).
  • Remove the sushi rice from the freezer and cut into 12 even rectangles. Discard any loose pieces of rice.
  • Carefully add 3–4 of the rice rectangles at a time to the hot oil. If the oil splatters, cover the skillet with a lid until it subsides. Cook for 3–4 minutes, or until golden brown, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 3–4 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to drain and repeat with the remaining rice.
  • Transfer the salmon mixture to a zip-top plastic bag and snip an ½-inch opening in one corner. Gently pipe the salmon on top of each piece of crispy rice. Sprinkle each piece with the toasted white and black sesame seeds and top with a slice of jalapeño, if using.
  • Serve immediately with ponzu sauce for dipping. Enjoy!
Keywords crispy rice, crispy rice ingredients, crispy rice recipe, crispy rice salmon, crispy rice sushi, crispy rice with salmon, how to make crispy rice, salmon crispy rice, what is crispy rice
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plated salmon crispy rice with ponzu dipping sauce

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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