Sushi doesn’t have to be confined to restaurant orders only. It’s easy, quick and perfect for steamy evenings when you don’t want to turn on the stove. Best of all, you don’t even need any special equipment. A few weeks ago I was trying to figure out what to make with a leftover piece of grilled salmon and decided to venture down the sushi route. Having lost my college-days sushi mat, I used parchment paper instead to help roll. It worked like a charm. Ella helped me pat rice all over sheets of nori, then top them with julienned cucumbers, slices of avocado and flakes of the cooked salmon. We rolled everything up with the help of the parchment, and alas, Sizemore sushi night was born.
Of course, you can use any fillings you want. Vegetable rolls with shreds of carrot, julienned cucumber, sprouts and avocado slices are delicious, as are rolls with kimchi and avocado. For a “spicy salmon” version, I mix cooked flaked salmon with Sriracha and mayonnaise (chopped cooked shrimp also work well). And if you can get good quality wild fish, go ahead and use it raw.
As for the other components, you’ll need sheets of nori, which you can find at almost any good supermarket these days, and short grain (a.k.a. “sticky”) white or brown rice. Cook the rice (either in a rice cooker or on the stove) then season it with a few dashes of rice vinegar and a light sprinkle of salt (taste it—it should taste lightly seasoned, but good). Get all of your ingredients ready, then start layering and rolling. Ella loves to help with this, and sushi has quickly become one of her most requested meals.
Serve the sushi with soy sauce or tamari for dipping, along with wasabi and pickled ginger (which you can find at good supermarkets, or at sushi joints, which usually will sell them for next to nothing). Let your own sushi tradition begin!
- Parchment paper or bamboo mat
- Bowl of water for dipping your fingers
Ingredients (feel free to get creative here with any fillings you like!)
- Julienned cucumber
- Avocado slices
- Leftover flaked salmon (for a “spicy salmon” variation, mix the salmon with Sriracha and mayonnaise)
- Cooked sushi rice (short grain white or brown rice) seasoned with rice wine or apple cider vinegar and sea salt
- Nori sheets
- Soy sauce or tamari for serving
- Wasabi for serving
- Pickled ginger for serving
Place a sheet of nori, shiny side down with the long side closest to you, on a square of parchment paper or on a bamboo sushi mat. Spoon some rice on top of the nori. Dip your fingers in water (this will help prevent the rice from sticking), then pat the rice into an even layer, going all the way to the sides but leaving a 1-inch border across the top and bottom. Line a few julienned cucumbers horizontally across the bottom third, topped by a couple of avocado slices and some flaked salmon.
Now it’s time to roll! Hold the parchment (or sushi mat) and use it to roll the nori over the filling. The first roll should go all the way around the filling. Use the parchment to tighten the first roll, squeezing the filling into a nice compact log. Then continue rolling, using the parchment as leverage. Once you get to the end, wet the edge of the nori and seal it. Continue with all of your rolls. Once your rolls are ready, slice them crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Serve the sushi with soy sauce or tamari for dipping, along with wasabi and pickled ginger.