14 Ways To Get Creative With Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon, with its silky irresistible texture, is simply divine. You can eat the delicate slices straight from the packet as the fish has already been smoked and is typically salt-cured. Both hot and cold smoked varieties are available, each with a different consistency. It's also handy to keep it in the fridge for when the craving strikes, as it lasts longer than fresh fish. 

Meanwhile, it's incredibly versatile and goes well with bread, cream cheese, crème fraîche, and fresh herbs. It seems the popularity of smoked salmon is rising too, in the U.S. at least. With a market that's valued at $116 million as of 2022, according to Intrafish, smoked salmon consumption has risen by 34% in the past three years despite a decline in other seafood markets. 

There's nothing wrong with appreciating a simple slice of smoked salmon. However, if you feel there are more culinary creations than meet the sockeye, you'd be right. Grab yourself a pack of your favorite brand and sample our curated selection of ways to get creative with smoked salmon.

1. Roll up some smoked salmon sushi

If the only thing stopping you from enjoying sushi rolls is the idea of chowing down on raw fish, then why not try our smoked salmon sushi recipe? The texture of the smoked fish is silky and soft and tastes great paired with avocado and rolled in sushi rice and seaweed sheets. Serve it with spicy mayo or some Sriracha hot sauce.

To vary this recipe, follow a recipe posted on TikTok and add cream cheese, long cucumber slices, and a sprinkling of seasoning in the middle. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into shorter sushi bites. Another smoked salmon sushi recipe by @meganseelinger uses smoked salmon in place of seaweed and skips the rice for a low-carb version. Lay overlapping slices of smoked salmon on plastic wrap and add cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, and Japanese seasoning. Roll the salmon using the wrap so that it's tight and chill it for an hour in the refrigerator. Then, simply slice it into rolls and dip them in soy sauce. 

2. Follow Ree Drummond and add it to scrambled eggs

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond is known for adding her own tasty takes to classic recipes that are both delicious and simple to recreate. With just eggs and smoked salmon she manages to create a stunning dish that's perfect for breakfast or supper as she demonstrates on the Food Network Facebook channel. Her scrambled eggs are given a luxurious upgrade thanks to the rich saltiness of smoked salmon paired with the creamy, silky texture of the eggs.

To recreate it yourself, whisk six eggs together and then pour them through a strainer into a bowl. Add ¼ cup of half-and-half and black pepper and mix with a balloon whisk. Slowly cook your eggs in a non-stick frying pan, regularly stirring the mixture with a spatula. Chop smoked salmon into small pieces and throw them in with the eggs as the curds are coming together. Once the dish is ready, you'll have fish dotted throughout the scrambled eggs. This tastes great on a toasted bagel, and don't forget to add some chopped chives for a burst of color.

3. Add it as a fresh pizza topping

You might envisage sophisticated brunches or summer lunches when creating smoked salmon dishes. The delicate texture and distinct fresh taste mean it goes well with crunchy cucumber and soft cheeses. A classic way to serve smoked salmon is with cream cheese on a bagel. So, is it too much of a stretch to imagine it on a pizza? Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck doesn't think so, and his famed eatery Spago offers a smoked salmon pizza on its menu.

Roll over pepperoni, smoked salmon is a fresh pizza topping that transforms the Italian classic into a lighter-tasting favorite. Puck's version is topped with dill cream and salmon pearls, but you can make a simpler rendition with our Wolfgang Puck's smoked salmon pizza with a twist recipe

Use store-bought pizza dough if you don't want to make your own and bake it blind by first pricking holes into the top of the dough so it doesn't rise in the oven. Once it's cooked and has cooled down, spread sour cream on the base. Elevate the flavor with some lemon zest and chopped scallions. Cover it with slices of smoked salmon and add some extra spoonfuls of sour cream in the middle. Sprinkled on chopped chives to garnish and cut it into slices to serve.

4. Use it for a luxurious yet easy pasta dish

Some culinary ideas are impressive because they save time and are super easy. Adding smoked salmon to pasta is a prime example. If you want to quickly rustle up a bowl of pasta on a weeknight without having to do a lot of extra cooking, smoked salmon instantly elevates the dish. Try it for yourself with our easy smoked salmon fettuccine recipe.

While smoked salmon has a slippery translucent texture, it turns opaque and develops a meatier consistency when cooked. Instead of cooking a salmon filet from scratch and adding it to your pasta, you can get the same effect with smoked salmon. Fry a few cloves of garlic in a pan and add cooked fettuccine. Then, add some grated Parmesan and chopped smoked salmon, and give everything a good mix. Sprinkle the dish with fresh parsley and serve it with garlic bread or salad.

5. Present it as a feature on a brunch board

Most people have nibbled on items from a cheese or charcuterie board. Then along came the butter board trend, which is a fun way to serve butter with extra ingredients and condiments to spread on bread. When it comes to sharing dishes for a tasty snack, you just can't beat a stylishly presented array of goodies served on a wooden centerpiece.

Try adding different ingredients that go well with smoked salmon to your board. The fish will be the main attraction, but you can pick and choose the other elements to include in your final dish. Try creating a visual salmon feast to serve as a breakfast or brunch platter. Add smoked salmon to your board, as well as other types of salmon if desired. For example, you can experiment with regular and peppered hot smoked salmon varieties. Continue to build the salmon-scape with bagels, cream cheese, lemon, dill, and olives. Add hard-boiled eggs, pickled shallots, and capers, as well as avocado, fruit, and salad veggies like sliced radish.

6. Make a creamy soup with smoked salmon

Knowing a few tips for making soup taste better proves that a simple bowl of broth can be elevated with the right ingredients. Fish soup is served in a variety of ways, from a hearty cod chowder to a rich bouillabaisse. Meanwhile, cioppino recipes typically call for mussels, clams, shrimp, and white fish, which you can easily replace with salmon. However, while swapping types of fresh fish in a soup is not such a creative leap, using smoked salmon instead is a novel twist.

Soup is wonderfully nourishing and adding smoked salmon enhances the protein and B vitamin content (via Eating Well). As well, it's full of omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart and other organs. Since smoked salmon is high in sodium, you may want to go easy on the seasoning if you're including it in your soup. 

Artisan UK smokehouse Coln Valley suggests making a leek and potato soup with smoked salmon. Chopped pieces of smoked salmon pieces sprinkled on top complete this fishy soup. The velvety texture of the soup is contrasted by bursts of salty salmon, intensifying the taste and overall experience.

7. Spice it up for a dip

If you buy good quality salmon, you don't need to do much to it. A little cracked black pepper on the top and a squeeze of lemon suffice. However, if you want to be creative then there are plenty of options you probably don't associate with smoked salmon. If you're a fan of dipping celery and crackers into a creamy fish paste, you should consider using smoked salmon as the base.

Try @mamacookslowcarb's jalapeño smoked salmon dip recipe, made using cold smoked sockeye salmon. Add smoked salmon, salt, pepper, dried dill, minced garlic cloves, chopped-up jalapeños, and cream cheese to a bowl. Mash everything together so that the salmon breaks up and creates a creamy, peppery dip. Why not try making your own smoked salmon dip by using your favorite ingredients in a creative fashion? You can easily modify the heat to suit your taste.

8. Make ceviche

One of the most renowned Peruvian dishes is ceviche. It's made with sushi-grade fish and lime juice is traditionally added to cure the seafood. Various cuisines from South and Central America specialize in making ceviche, with add-ins like herbs and chilis. Try our simple ceviche recipe with salmon marinated in lime juice, soy sauce, and mirin. Another option is to use smoked salmon in place of raw fish.

Smoked salmon is advantageous because it's potentially more affordable, less of a hassle to prepare, and has fewer food-safety issues compared with plating up raw fish. To make your own version, spread out smoked salmon slices on a plate and drizzle them with a homemade dressing made from lime juice, sugar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add a layer of halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber wedges, and sliced avocado. Spoon on some more dressing. For the final layer, add sliced red onion, chopped jalapeños, and chopped fresh cilantro, plus some more dressing. 

Another variation is to add the smoked fish to a bowl with peeled and chopped fresh ginger, cucumber, mango, cilantro, scallions, and diced onion. Add cherry tomatoes, hominy (dried corn kernels), plenty of lime juice, and freshly cracked black pepper to the dish. Be sure to chill the preparation before serving to give the flavors time to absorb.

9. Fill rice paper tacos

Being creative in a culinary sense means using fun ingredients such as smoked salmon and playing around with different types of cuisine, textures, and flavors. In other words, forget classics and traditional recipes, or at least give them your own twist. If you love Asian and Mexican food and are a fan of smoked salmon, then you might want to try making crunchy rice paper tacos. This idea comes from @xoxoiac on TikTok and tastes as good as it looks.

Fry a circular rice paper sheet in a pan with hot oil. It will immediately curl and crisp up into a bowl-like shape, so use tongs to take it out after a second or two. Add some crunchy salad to the bowl with sliced cucumber. Layer on pieces of smoked salmon and squirt it with mayo and Sriracha. Sprinkle Everything but the Bagel Seasoning on top and finish it off with a few drops of soy sauce. 

An alternative filling to try is chopped smoked salmon, Tajín seasoning, mayo, sesame oil, and hot sauce. Add it to small squares of fried rice paper and sprinkle chopped green onions on top.

10. Bake smoked salmon bread

Smoked salmon sandwiches served on brown bread are pretty straightforward. But what about baking bread with salmon inside it? You can turn this creative idea into an appetizer for two thanks to The Regency Grill's YouTube video. Cut the top of a small sourdough boule and scoop out the middle. Blend smoked salmon, spinach, cream cheese, and spices to make a creamy filling. Add it to the hole and cover it with a buttery parsley Panko crust. Bake it in the oven and serve it with grilled bread.

Meanwhile, try an easy recipe from TikTok that's as simple as putting smoked salmon pieces on top of a focaccia bread dough. Grease the dish first and stretch out the dough, making indentations on the surface. Add the salmon and bake it in the oven until the bread is cooked and tinged golden brown. Add some thin slices of red onion over the top and dig in.

11. Make cucumber salmon rolls for a party

If you serve a simple plate of smoked salmon at a buffet, you're definitely going to get some praise. And if it's an amazing quality that's organic, wild, and sustainable, you're really upping the food bar. While plating slices of smoked salmon may be enough to satisfy a small group, you can make it go further with a bigger crowd. For example, create an attractive and tasty snack by making cucumber and smoked salmon rolls courtesy of Scrambled Chefs Recipes on YouTube.

Thinly slice a cucumber lengthways and pat it dry with a paper towel. Then slather on cream cheese, add some chopped parsley, and cover it with smoked salmon slices. Roll up the cucumber with the filling and skewer it shut with wooden cocktail sticks. Lay it flat to serve so you can show the inside of the roll, keeping the stick in place to hold it all together. Sprinkle it with black and white sesame seeds and enjoy.

12. Craft smoked salmon flowers

If you've dined out at a fancy restaurant then you may have come across carved fruits and vegetables served as garnish. They're often for show rather than for eating; however, you can create an edible floral display that's perfect for a creative snack, appetizer, or buffet table. 

TikToker @lunchboxdad specializes in roses made out of smoked salmon. To do the same, roll up a thin strip of smoked salmon. Stand the roll up and tightly wrap a larger strip around it. Add two more layers so that you're essentially building up a flower shape. Use a knife to push the petals or layers of smoked salmon into position by flaring them out and separating them.

If you want to push your creative floral-themed talents further, consider incorporating other ingredients. Jasma Fusion Cuisine shares stunning ideas such as a party-perfect posey. Cut thin strips of red onion, cucumber, and beets, as well as orange, yellow, and red sweet peppers. Fold a slice of smoked salmon and add a selection of veggies and some pea shoots at one end. Roll the fish and stand it up so that the filling sticks out of the salmon base like a bouquet of flowers.

13. Serve a salmon cake

Before you think the culinary world has gone too far, remember that a cheesecake is made with cream cheese. With that logic, it shouldn't be too much of a leap to add salmon to the mix. Delicious Tasty Good demonstrates this surprising combination via YouTube, starting with a crumbed oatcake and butter base. Then, mix cream cheese and crème fraîche with horseradish, black pepper, freshly chopped dill, chives, thin slices of smoked salmon, and lemon juice. Spoon the mixture onto the biscuit base and refrigerate it to set. Top it with an extra slice of smoked salmon and serve this fun treat.

Another creative smoked salmon idea by Giallozafferano Italian Recipes is to make an iced cake. Whisk cream cheese with lemon zest, chopped dill, milk or cream, and a pinch of salt. Spread it onto slices of pumpernickel bread and layer it with smoked salmon and fresh spinach leaves. Now, blend cream cheese and smoked salmon with a small amount of milk. Once the consistency is smooth, refrigerate it for 30 minutes then spread it over your smoked salmon bread cake as if it was icing. Refrigerate the dish for an hour before slicing and serving.

14. Try salmon ice cream

You've heard of salted caramel ice cream, right? So that means that you're on board with the idea of a sweet and savory mix. Even so, you might need a moment to consider the idea of ice cream with smoked salmon. It might sound strange, but Malaysian artisan ice cream maker Minus 4 Degrees has created smoked salmon ice cream that one eatery is serving with toasted sourdough (via Facebook).

Of course, you could whip up a savory dairy delight at home with an idea by TikToker @icecreamoclock. Make ice cream by heating whole milk, half-and-half, and sugar. Add whole eggs and strain the mix into a bowl of cream cheese. Whisk it and add pieces of smoked salmon and a dash of vodka before refrigerating. Before it sets, mix in diced red onion and capers and pop it into the freezer. Garnish it with Everything but the Bagel seasoning. 

Meanwhile, in 2017 Trend Hunter revealed that Canadian ice cream maker Mister was making smoked salmon ice cream sandwiches. Using liquid nitrogen to produce the ice cream, this limited flavor was made with cream cheese and wild smoked salmon from British Columbia.