Yes, that's right--sushi salad. And in case it needs to be said: Sushi purists--move along please. Nothing to see here. But to the parents of young ones who used to go out for sushi once a week but now do not because picking flicked about bits of sushi rice off of lovely restaurant shoji screens does not a nice dinner make--read on.
Every couple of weeks or so I make a deconstructed sushi salad for dinner. It's by no means the real deal but it is enough to satisfy a craving, if you are the sort that craves sushi. The bonus is it introduces the boys to sushi flavors in a non foreign way--they are used to seeing dinner plates with rice, vegetables, and a protein. I just don't serve their portions tossed together.
Sushi Rice Salad
Adapted from Epicurious
- 1 1/2 cups short-grain sushi rice
- 1 3/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 1/4 teaspoons wasabi paste (Japanese horseradish paste)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 large seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped), peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and chopped (1 cup)
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
- 3 tablespoons drained sliced Japanese pickled ginger, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 firm-ripe California avocado
- 4 sheets toasted nori cut into very thin strips with scissors (I like to buy the bags of preshredded nori)
- soy sauce
Extra add-ins we enjoy:
- cooked protein, such as cooked shrimp or crab/surimi stick
- rice seasoning (we love fumi furikake)
- spicy sauce (recipe follows)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp (more or less depending on taste) hot chili sauce, like sriracha
- 1 tbs sesame oil
Rinse rice in several changes of cold water in a bowl until water is almost clear, then drain in a colander 30 minutes. Bring rice and 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, then simmer, covered, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let rice stand, covered, 10 minutes (do not lift lid). Note--I just use my rice cooker for the rice. But I will assume most of you did not grow up in an Asian household (where one learns how to cook rice at such a tender age that it is now possible to do so one-handed, with a baby on the hip). So the above is what Epicurious says to do.
While rice is standing, bring vinegar, sugar, and salt just to a boil in a very small saucepan, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool for 2 minutes.
Spread hot, cooked rice in a large, shallow bowl. Fan to cool slightly, then drizzle with vinegar mixture and toss with a wooden spoon.
Note: I prep the veggies and protein ahead of time so I can just toss after the rice is prepared. Shave thin lengthwise slices from carrot with a vegetable peeler, then cut slices diagonally into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Whisk together wasabi, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons water, and oil in a bowl, then add rice, carrot, cucumber, scallions, and pickled ginger and toss gently.
Halve, pit, and peel avocado and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Place rice in individual serving bowls. Drizzle with soy sauce of choice (we like the low sodium). Top with the dressed veggies and any cooked protein, if using. Top with nori shreds and optional sesame seeds/rice seasoning. Add a dollop of spicy sauce and top with avocado. Makes approximately 4 servings. Dig in!