Wild Alaska Sesame Seed Salmon

This is Recipe #3 of 9 in Barbra’s Salmon Challenge series. The spotted seal ohashi-oki (chopstick rest) was made by an artist in Shishmaref of walrus ivory and baleen.

I’m not sure why I mailed as many containers of sesame seeds to the bush as I did this year, but we have them in abundance. And we have lots of salmon. So…

This dish is easy to whip up, invites seasoning substitutions and additions, is visually attractive and really tasty. The other nice thing about this dish is that the crunch and flavor combinations lend themselves to accompaniment by a wide variety of condiments, from Japanese and Chinese dipping sauces to tartar sauce to a simple squeeze of lemon. Whatever you serve them with, they’re bound to disappear quickly.


  • 3/4 pound salmon filet cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes – skin on or skin off, cook’s preference (I left the skin on)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Saltine crackers, crushed fine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 5 tablespoons sesame seeds (light or dark or for an attractive presentation, both)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • approx. 1 1/2 quarts oil for deep frying (I used light olive oil)

1. Season the salmon cubes with sea salt and pepper and set aside.

2. In a glass bowl, mix together the sesame seeds and the crushed crackers.

3. In a Ziplock bag, mix together the flour and the ginger.

4. In a pan on the stovetop or in a deep fat fryer, heat oil to about 350 – 375 degrees. (I heat oil on a stovetop and check for readiness by dropping in a pinch of damp cracker crumbs. The crumbs will bubble fairly vigorously when the oil is ready. Don’t let the oil overheat or smoke).

5. Set oven on low “warm” heat.

6. Place 2 – 3 salmon cubes in the Ziplock bag and shake till thoroughly dredged with flour. Using tongs or chopsticks, coat the dredged cubes in egg, then roll them in the sesame seed & cracker mixture. Set aside. Repeat till all salmon cubes are coated with sesame seed & cracker mixture.

7. Place salmon cubes in hot oil, a few at a time. Oil should roil fairly vigorously around the cubes. Fry for about 2 minutes. If cubes begin to rise to the surface, you may be cooking them too long. Place cooked cubes on a plate covered with a paper towel to drain oil and keep warm in oven set on low heat.

8. Serve with fresh lemon wedges, tarter sauce, or other dipping sauce.

Serves 2 – 3. I found myself craving a hefeweizen with these.