Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Salmon in Crisp Rice Paper with Sweet & Spicy Sake Essence

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) and rice-paper wrappers are available in the Asian food section of grocery stores. If you can’t find rice paper, the salmon can be seared without it.


For the sake essence:

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. sake
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. seeded and minced fresh serrano chile
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs. finely diced red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbs. finely diced yellow bell pepper
  • 2 Tbs. finely diced zucchini (skin side only)
  • 2 Tbs. finely diced carrot
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro; more sprigs for garnish

For the salmon:

  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (about 6 oz. each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 rounds rice paper (8 to 10 inches in diameter)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 710
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 320
  • Fat (g): 36
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 100
  • Sodium (mg): 680
  • Carbohydrates (g): 27
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 35


To make the sake essence:

  • In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine the sake, mirin, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, and serrano. Bring to a boil over high heat, and reduce to about 1/2 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the peppers, zucchini, and carrot until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and vegetables to the sake essence; set aside and keep warm.

To prepare the salmon:

  • Sprinkle both sides of each salmon fillet with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little of the vegetable oil, using 1 Tbs. total for the four fillets. Completely immerse one round of rice paper in a bowl of warm water for a few seconds. Transfer to a work surface and let stand until pliable, about 30 seconds. Set a salmon fillet in the center of the softened rice paper. Fold the paper over one long side of the fillet, and then fold the paper in over the two short sides. Roll the fillet over until it’s completely enclosed by the rice paper. Set it aside with the seam side down. Repeat with the remaining fillets.
  • Heat the remaining 3 Tbs. oil in a heavy  12-inch skillet over medium to medium-high heat until it’s hot and shimmering but not smoking. Put the wrapped fillets in the skillet without touching and sauté, turning to brown top and bottom, until the rice paper is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side; don’t overcook. (If the fillets are very thick, you can also brown the sides for 1 minute each, but most fillets will be cooked through—just barely opaque—if just the top and bottom are seared.) Transfer to paper towels and let drain.
  • Stir the chopped cilantro into the sake essence and spoon some onto each of four warm dinner plates. Put a salmon fillet in the center of each plate, top with a cilantro sprig, and serve at once.

Make Ahead Tips

The sake essence can be made several hours ahead and kept covered at room temperature. Wait to sauté and add the vegetables until just before serving. The fillets can be wrapped in rice paper up to two hours ahead. Put them on a plate in a single layer without touching. Drape with a damp paper towel, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to cook.

This recipe calls for sake, which would make for delicious sipping with the finished dish, as well. Try Ginyushizuku Samurai Shion or Nigori Takara.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • TheIneptChef | 09/12/2019

    I should have never made this. My "lazy" day of cooking a family meal is salmon day (a bit of seasoning and in the oven for 15 minutes). Well.. now that they've tasted this sauce they're going to want it again! So delicious. Do use a 2 quart saucepan (I tried to downsize and almost ended up with a mess-- this mixture bubbles a lot as it boils). I have hot-pepper-handling-phobia so I cheated with red pepper flakes. More confessing: I was too lazy to do the rice paper thing. While I'm certain I'll be making this again for the family, it is most certainly is a company-worthy creation. Nicely done, FC.

  • fortkcook | 09/14/2012

    Love the sauce -- have made this recipe at least a couple dozen times, always with great success. Like some other reviewers, I found the rice paper addition wasn't worth the extra work, so I just pan sear the salmon and, if the pieces are thick, finish in the oven. Good served with rice.

  • adventuresuz | 12/06/2011

    This is an outstanding recipe. Made it at least 10 times to rave reviews and requests immediately for the recipe. This is my go to recipe for special occasions and people.

  • whatscooking | 11/04/2007

    The Sweet and Spicy Sake Essence deserves 5 stars. It is really great and you could easily serve it over sauteed or grilled salmon or halibut to wow your guests. My only quibble is the call for yellow and red pepper in such little amounts. Unless you have them around, it is not worth buying two peppers. I used just a bit of a red bell pepper. I halved the sauce recipe with no problems.The rice paper coating on the fish is interesting. My curiousity about its texture is what initially inspired me to make this dish. It turned out fine and wasn't too much work or mess, but really... it didn't do all that much for the salmon. I did enjoy the crispy edges but I don't know if I'll be rushing to make it again. The sauce however will be made again and again. It's a keeper.

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial