Cucumber Canapés with Smoked Salmon Mousse – don’t let the name fool you, this is cinch to make in vast quantities, making it my idea of the perfect finger food! These cucumber bites are an appetiser that’s accidentally healthy, with a mere 26 calories per piece.
Wonderful to pass around at parties, this was a hit over the Christmas party season!
These canapés are a terrific combo – the cool, juicy cucumber with the rich creamy salmon mousse. But the really great thing about these Cucumber Canapés is that it’s speedy to make loads of it. I’m really not one for fiddly assembly and am always in awe of caterers who put together vast platters of delicately constructed hors d’oeuvres and finger food that people inhale in one bite!
So one of the reasons these rate highly in my world is that they look like cute little finger food that took ages to make – but with the help of a piping bag, it’s super quick to assemble!
What you need for this Cucumber Canapés
Here’s what you need. This makes around 40 – 45 pieces.
Cucumbers – Use 3 long cucumbers (Telegraph / English cucumbers) or 6 standard cucumbers (alley Lebanese cucumbers in Australia). I prefer Telegraph cucumbers because they are less watery so when you bite into them, the salmon mousse is diluted less when munching away;
Smoked salmon or smoked trout;
Cream cheese – Use the firm block cream cheese. If you can only get the softer spreadable cream cheese sold in tubs (such as in the UK and some parts of Europe), then you’ll need to skip the sour cream because otherwise the mousse may not be firm enough to hold its shape once piped;
Sour cream is to lighten up the richness of cream cheese a bit and the mayonnaise adds flavour and a touch of richness. These can be omitted / substituted; and
Dill is a classic pairing with smoked salmon but it’s also lovely with chives or even just parsley.
The filling makes a terrific “formula” to make your own variations of Cucumber Canapes. Switch the salmon and dill with things like sun dried tomato and chives, or olives and shallots, artichoke and spinach. I’ve popped some ideas in the recipe notes.
How to make it Cucumber Canapés
And here’s how to make them:
Scooping out the cucumber serves 2 purposes: removes the watery centre (so it doesn’t dilute the salmon mousse as much when eating it) and makes a well so you get a better ration of cucumber to mousse;
I use a small melon baller but a teaspoon will work just fine, the edge just isn’t (usually) as sharp;
If you do not scoop out the watery centre then just cut thinner cucumber slices and pipe the mousse on top;
Blitz the salmon mousse until smooth;
Refrigerate until firm – takes around 5 hours;
Pipe onto the cucumbers. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can even just dollop it on – once garnished with a sprig of dill, it will pretty it up!
The rich, creamy smoked salmon mousse and fresh crunchy cucumber go together so well!
Sensational make ahead appetiser
This is brilliant transportable finger food that’s easy to put together just prior to serving and doesn’t require reheating. Piping it onto the cucumber is really fast!
When I served this at a Christmas Party last month, I took the cucumbers already prepared and the mousse already in a piping bag. Spread the cucumber on serving platters, pipe away then top with dill, then walk the platter around and soak up the praises!
Pre dinner cocktails
Pass around trays of these Cucumber Canapés with pre dinner drinks. You could just stick to the usual wine and champagne…. or step it up a bit with one of these cocktails!
By the way, just between you and me – the Smoked Salmon “Mousse” is simply my smoked salmon dip blitzed until completely smooth and slightly aerated.
But no one else needs to know that. I mean, restaurants embellish the names of dishes all the time – why can’t we?
“Coulis of seasonal berries with single origin slow roasted legume pate served with homemade snow bread” = peanut butter and jam sandwich.
So just tell everyone it’s a “mousse”. They won’t know any better! 😉 – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Cucumber Canapés with Smoked Salmon Mousse
Smoked Salmon Mousse:
- 150g / 5 oz smoked salmon (Note 1)
- 150g / 5 oz Cream Cheese , softened (I use Philadelphia, Note 2)
- 2 tbsp/ 30g sour cream
- 2 tbsp/ 40g mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup fresh dill , roughly chopped (sub chives)
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 2 tsp lemon zest (1 lemon)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper , each (Note 3)
- 3 long cucumbers (Telegraph / English) OR 6 standard cucumbers (Note 4)
- Extra dill sprigs
- Lemon slices , for serving
- Place Salmon Mousse ingredients in a food processor. Blitz until completely smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- Fit piping bag with wide star tip nozzle (1.5-2cm / 0.6 - 0.75" wide), then transfer Mousse into piping bag. Refrigerate for 5 hours until firmed.
- Cut into 1.5cm thick / 0.6" slices.
- Use a small melon baller or teaspoon to scoop a well out.
- Pipe mousse into cucumbers. Top with dill and serve immediately.
Scooping - better ratio of cucumber to mousse, and also removes watery centre.
If you can't be bothered to scoop out the centre, make the cucumber slices slightly thinner so you end up with a similar ratio of cucumber to mousse. 5. Making ahead - place mousse in piping bag, ready to pipe. Keep up to 3 days in fridge. Cut and prepare cucumber. Assemble just before serving.
Once assembled, the cucumber starts sweating at around 30 - 45 minutes (still super tasty though!). 6. Variations - these are variations I served at a gathering last month using the same base "mousse" recipe:
- Sun-dried tomato - switch salmon and chives with 225g/7oz sun dried tomato strips in oil (including oil) and chives. Blitz until smooth, use per recipe (makes slightly more in quantity)
- Olive - switch salmon with 200g/6.5oz green or black olives, and parsley or chives for dill. Blitz until ALMOST fully smooth - little bits of olive is nice.
More bite size food to pass around at parties
Food you can eat with one hand while clutching a wine glass rates highly in my world.
Life of Dozer
He loves the pool in our new home!! He doesn’t really leap gracefully into it. More like an awkward belly flop 😂