Making your own cured salmon is a lot easier and gratifying than most people would think. The ingredient list is very simple and the process even more so, requiring only a bit of planning and commitment. Reduced down to its most basic core, the cure is a salt and sugar mixture with a few added ingredients to bring forth flavour layers. The use of beet adds subtle earthy sweetness and an irresistible fuchsia hue. Smoked or cured salmon paired with egg salad is an undeniable and winning combination. This is why adding the delicate layers of this cured salmon to a Tamago Sando, a Japanese egg salad sandwich, is a no-brainer. The use of Shokupan aka Japanese milk bread is preferred but can be difficult to source so if necessary, sub in a good quality sliced white bread.
Tamago Sando With Beet Cured Salmon 11 Steps
Prepare the beet cured salmon: make sure the salmon is dry and trimmed of any excess belly fat, you want it to be as even in thickness as possible throughout.
Toast the peppercorns, coriander seeds and juniper berries in a small pan until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind. In a mixing bowl, combine the spices with the kosher salt, brown sugar, lemon zest and mix well.
Line a baking sheet or baking dish with plastic wrap with enough to eventually wrap over the entire piece of salmon (be sure that the tray or dish being used is large enough to eventually fit the salmon comfortably) and lightly sprinkle 1/3 of the cure on top of the plastic wrap in an even layer in the approximate size of the salmon fillet. Carefully lay the salmon skin side down on this first layer of cure. Sprinkle the remaining 2/3 of the cure on top of the salmon on its flesh side, making sure to cover all exposed areas and gently pressing into the flesh. Next, top with the grated beet, once again covering all of the surface and gently pressing into the flesh. Wrap well with the plastic wrap and top with another tray, lightly weigh down with a few cans of soup or a pan and allow to cure in the fridge for 48 hours.
After 48 hours unwrap the salmon and remove the cure and grated beets, wiping clean with a damp cloth. Place on a rack lined baking sheet and allow to dry out in the fridge overnight.
Once the cured salmon has dried overnight, use a slicing knife and slice thin slices of cured salmon on a slight angle leaving the skin behind. You will only need about 10-12 slices for this recipe, the remainder can be sliced and kept in the fridge for up to 5 days wrapped well. Alternatively you can also leave the entire salmon in one piece and slice as needed.
Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil and drop in the 6 large eggs carefully and set a timer for 7 minutes (for the soft boiled eggs). At 7 minutes remove 2 of the eggs and water bath immediately. Set the timer again for an additional 5 minutes for the remaining eggs to be cooked until hard boiled. Once those are cooked, ice water bath as well.
Peel the hard boiled eggs and roughly chop. Combine in a mixing bowl with the Kewpie mayo, sliced scallions and mix until even. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed, set aside.
To assemble the sandwiches, remove the crusts from the sliced shokupan if desired and lay out flat. Place a few pieces of the beet cured salmon on 4 of the slices of bread, these will be the bases.
Next, dollop a few tablespoons of the egg salad mix on top and using the back of a spoon make a small well for the soft boiled egg half to go.
Peel the two soft boiled eggs, cut in half and place one half on top of each egg salad base. Top with the remaining sandwich slices. At this point you can wrap with sandwich paper if you wish.
Using a very sharp knife (serrated would be best) cut each sandwich in half and plate cut side up, sprinkle with furikake if desired before serving.