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Pain au Saumon Japonais

So what exactly is Japanese salmon bread or salmon bread Japanese-style, as the title of this recipe suggests it is? Or what exactly is it about this meal that makes it bread or Japanese? These are questions we had going into it that still weren’t answered when it was done. But I promise this falling-apart block of stuff was pretty tasty and would be a good party appetizer.
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Here is the recipe and directions as my grandmother wrote them:
1/2 lb of cooked rice cooled (I used 1 cup of cooked rice)
1/2 box of green peas (I used 1 can)
3 hard-boiled eggs
1 onion
1 spoonful of vinegar
1 big box of salmon (I used three packets of pre-cooked, pre-cut salmon)
1 cornichon
4 big spoonfuls of mayonnaise
crushed garlic
  1. Put the cooked rice, green peas, chopped hard-boiled eggs in a bowl.
  2. Add the salmon very well broken up and the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Put all of it in a pound/book of fish.
  4. Put it in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours at least.
  5. Turn it over on a bed of lettuce and serve with mayonnaise.
After a text message conversation with my mother to decipher a few things, here’s what I did:
  1. Daniel cooked rice in a rice cooker and hard-boiled eggs since I can’t do either. (Shush! I’m not interested in your judgment!)
  2. Then I put the cooked rice, green peas, and hard-boiled eggs into a bowl and chopped and mixed it all up.
  3. I emptied the salmon packetsĀ into the bowl.
  4. Next, I chopped up an onion, several cloves of garlic and one cornichon and put them all in the bowl.
  5. I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed it all well.
  6. Then I placed it all on the cutting board that I had been using and shaped it into a block. I’m hoping that’s what she meant by that book of fish instruction!
  7. I set it in the fridge for 6 or 7 hours to firm up.
Then I pulled it out, placed two large lettuce leaves on top and flipped it over onto a plate.
And then it fell apart!
But I served it with Triscuits and it still tasted good. I think next time I would do a rough chop in the food processor so the consistency was closer to a pate and make it easier to stay shaped as a block and spread on a cracker.

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