Wasabi and Sesame Salmon Balls

Just enough wasabi to know it’s in there, but not so much that it overpowers the salmon.

As always, any wild salmon, preferably fresh, is better than farm-raised.

Wasabi and Sesame Salmon Balls

Our Wasabi and Sesame Salmon Balls have just enough wasabi to know it’s in there, but not so much that it overpowers the salmon.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 6


  • 3 cups cooked salmon fillets flaked
  • 1 8- ounce can water chestnuts drained and chopped
  • 3 green onions minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh gingerroot minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • cold water
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup Japanese breadcrumbs panko

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place salmon and next 8 ingredients in a food processor. Add 1 egg. Pulse until mixture is blended, but still just a little lumpy. While pulsing, scrape down sides to incorporate into mixture.
  • Transfer salmon mixture to a work surface or cutting board. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions. Form 6 balls out of each portion.
  • Whisk together remaining 2 eggs with 1 or 2 tablespoons cold water. In a shallow bowl, combine sesame seeds and breadcrumbs. Dunk balls into egg mixture, then roll in sesame seeds and breadcrumbs.
  • Place salmon balls on a lightly greased sheet pan and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 5 minutes, then roll over to brown other side. Cook until evenly browned.
  • Whisk together dipping sauce ingredients and serve with salmon balls.


If your fish is frozen, make sure that it has been thoroughly dried before preparing this recipe or the salmon balls won’t hold together when cooked. Wrap them snugly with two-ply paper or cloth towels until dry, really dry...really.
How you cook the fish prior to forming into balls isn’t critical. It can be poached (and then dried again), smoked, grilled, broiled or leftover from last night’s dinner.
Shop for sesame seeds in the Asian section, not the traditional spice section of your market. You’ll save a bundle.

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