Sushi Roll Salad
I love sushi, so I was naturally drawn to a Gourmet recipe on epicurious for “California Roll” Salad. I made a few changes and came up with this Sushi Roll Salad to take to a potluck party.
The original recipe uses long grain rice. I used a Japanese brand of medium grain (sushi) rice because I thought it would be more authentic. It was very good, and it is the rice used in sushi, but I think I would use long grain rice next time. The texture of long grain rice might be a bit better in a salad. Many of the reviewers raved about their results with Jasmine rice, so that may be the way to go.
“California Rolls” typically are made with cucumber, avocado, and surimi. Surimi is also known as “imitation crab”, “mock crab”, or sometimes “Krab”. It’s made from white fish, often pollock, and quite a list of additives to make an inexpensive substitute for crab. The Gourmet recipe included the option of adding surimi to the salad, but pointed out that the recipe can be successfully made without the surimi for a vegetarian version.
I thought about making a vegetarian version since I don’t like using surimi, but I liked the idea of using some kind of seafood. I chose fresh Oregon shrimp meat and I think it worked really well!
I used 50% more wasabi and ginger juice in the dressing, and I’m glad I did. As one who likes the spicy Maki rolls, I thought it was mild but the flavors were still distinct. A couple of people told me that they liked the fact that it wasn’t “too spicy”. If I make it again for a party, I will probably make it with the same dressing, but have some extra wasabi and ginger on the side for people to add to their servings if they like it spicier.
Despite the fact that I would try a different type of rice next time, I really liked this Sushi Roll Salad. Several people at the party told me how much they enjoyed it.
Bob, my ever-willing in-house taste tester, said he didn’t think it was good enough to be “blog-worthy”. I disagreed, suggesting that perhaps he felt that way because he’s not that crazy about sushi. He admitted that his indifference towards sushi could have influenced his opinion. Well, I amcrazy about sushi, and I loved this salad! If you’re crazy about sushi, you may love it, too!
Sushi Roll Salad
(Adapted from a July 1994 Gourmet recipe on epicurious.com)
Serves 8 as a side dish (Cut the recipe in half for fewer servings because it won’t keep too well.)
I used, and photographed, medium grain sushi rice. I suggest that you try the recipe with long grain rice, perhaps the Jasmine variety.
1½ cups long grain rice
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
¼ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons oil (I used grapeseed)
2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled ginger
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (1 or 2 green onions)
½ cup finely shredded carrot
1 large seedless cucumber (about 1 pound), quartered lengthwise, cored, and sliced
2 sheets roasted nori
Juice from a couple of wedges of a lime
(Optional) 8 ounces cooked shrimp (Oregon shrimp meat, if you’re on the West Coast)
3 teaspoons wasabi (Japanese green horseradish) powder
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons ginger juice (I used the juice from the jar of pickled ginger.)
Wasabi powder (Mix with water to make wasabi paste to serve with the salad.)a
1. Wash the rice in several rinses of cold water to remove some of the starch. The water will be quite cloudy at first and become clearer as you continue to rinse it.
2. Cook the rice using your favorite method. I used my rice cooker with 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons water.
3. While the rice is cooking, put the 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook just until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
4. Toast the sesame seeds in a small pan, stirring often, until they are golden brown. Remove the seeds from the pan and set aside.
5. When the rice is done, put it in a large bowl and stir the vinegar/sugar/salt mixture into it. Allow it to cool.
6. Gently stir, using kind of a folding motion so you don’t break up the rice too much, the sesame seeds, oil, ginger, green onions, carrot, cucumber, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar into the salad.
(The salad can be covered and refrigerated at this point for up to a day. Bring to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.)
7. Make the dressing. Stir all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until well-combined.
8. Cut the nori into thin strips and then cut the strips into small pieces, about 1½ – 2 inches long. Kitchen scissors probably work best for this.
9. Stir 2/3 of the nori strips into the salad.
10. Cut the avocado into small cubes and gently toss them with the lime juice. (This helps to keep the avocado from turning brown.)
11. Gently toss the avocado, shrimp, and the dressing into the salad.
Folding in the shrimp
12. Put the salad in a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining nori strips. Serve with extra wasabi and pickled ginger, if desired.
This photo was chosen as one of the Foodbuzz Top 9 for June 13!