There’s something oh so great about Sushi dinner, isn’t there? Sushi just makes you think of something delicate and fancy….. the expertly sliced salmon, delicately marinated tuna belly, thinly sliced squid, paired with sweet tangy rice and topped with bright orange fish roe…. just heavenly!
But what do you do when you’re in quarantine and can’t leave the house to go to your favorite sushi spot or go get some sushi grade seafood to make your own?! Well that’s when you pull out the canned, smoked, frozen, supermarket seafood and make unconventional sushi rolls.
We made 4 different kinds of rolls. Instead of fresh seafood, we used smoked salmon, frozen shrimp and canned tuna.
About the recipes:
Many people have the misconception that sushi is meant to be something made with raw seafood. In truth, sushi refers to the actual rice, which is a vinegared rice that has a sweet and sour taste. In all honesty, if you can master the rice, whatever you put in or on it will taste great!
For our “Quarantine” sushi night, we tried 4 different rolls. Again, these are not your traditional sushi recipes, so keeping an open mind is key. I’ve listed our menu below, we loved all of them but #1 was both our favorites. I will provide the full recipe for our favorite roll and will note the pairings for the others.
Go ahead… give it a go!!
Our Menu included:
1. Salmon Cucumber Uramaki **our fave
2. Salmon Roll
3. Spicy Shrimp Eggplant Roll
4. Spicy Tuna Roll
Sushi Rice (for 4 rolls):
- 2 cup sushi or short grain rice
- 2 1/8 cup water (about 1.1 times the amount of the rice)
- 2 1/4 tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp Sugar
- 1/4 tbsp Salt
Salmon Cucumber Uramaki
- 1 sheet of Nori
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 5-7 thin slices of smoked salmon
- ¼ cucumber, thinly sliced long-way
- 1/2 tsp mirin
- 1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 3 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbsp nori komi furikake ** See note 1
- Wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. It is important to wash all the starch out of the rice before cooking.
- Add the rice and water in a pot and cover with a tight lid. On high heat, bring the water to boil. Once it boils, lower the heat to the lowest setting possible on your stove. Simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest with the lid on for 10 minutes. **see note 2
- In the meantime, mix the rice vinegar, sugar, salt and set aside.
- After 10 minutes, transfer the rice to a large bowl and pour the vinegar on the rice. With a large spatula, mix the vinegar into the rice. Working very gently, start diagonally folding the vinegar into the rice. The idea is to get every grain coated with the vinegar without smashing or breaking any grain. Once mixed set aside.
Salmon Cucumber Uramaki
- Mix rice vinegar, mirin, soy sauce and heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Once completely cooled, add the smoked salmon and set aside to marinate.
- Wrap sushi mat completely with plastic shrink wrap.
- Place the nori sheet (seaweed) on the mat, shining part down and cut traces perpendicular to the mat sticks. With wet hands **see note 3, spread a thin, even layer of sushi rice on the nori sheet. Then turn it upside down, so that the rice is on the bottom and the nori sheet is up.
- Lay the marinated salmon, cucumber along the length of the rice.
- Lightly pull up on the edge of the mat closest to you and start rolling by bringing it over sushi so it starts to curl in on itself. Every time you roll, tuck it back a tiny to make sure it’s tight. Roll until you reach the end and have a complete roll.
- Sprinkle the furikake on top of the roll.
- Slice and serve with soy sauce and wasabi 🙂
The other rolls included:
- Spicy Shrimp Eggplant Roll — Pan seared shrimp with sambal with pan fried eggplant. (another fave of mine)
- Spicy Tuna Roll — Canned tuna, sambal, mayo.
- Furikake is rice seasoning, usually made of dried fish, sesame seeds, seaweed, sugar, salt. There’s many varieties of furikake, you can use your favorite kind or skip it all together.
- When cooking the sushi rice, it’s important to keep the lid on the entire time. You need the rice to actually steam in the pot to get fully cooked. It is also important to add the vinegar to the rice while it’s still warm, this is because rice can absorb more vinegar while it’s warm and you want to make sure your rice is fully flavored.
- When assembling your sushi rolls, keep have a wet towel handy. You need to use wet hands when working with the sticky rice.