About this recipe:Japanese food tends to be low in fat, and these stylish sushi rolls are no exception. Now that the ingredients are available in supermarkets, it is easy to make them yourself. You must use sushi rice, which is sticky when cooked.
300 g (10½ oz) sushi rice
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 spring onions, very finely chopped
30 g (1 oz) piece of cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
115 g (4 oz) smoked salmon
4 sheets of sushi nori, about 10 g (scant ½ oz) in total
2 tsp wasabi paste
To serve (optional)
gari (pickled ginger)
shoyu or tamari (Japanese soy sauce)
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:30min › Ready in:1hr
Cook the sushi rice in a saucepan of boiling water according to the packet instructions.
Meanwhile, put the sugar, salt and vinegar in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. When the rice is cooked, drizzle the mixture over it, then add the spring onions and cucumber, and mix. Cover with a tea-towel and leave to cool.
Divide the sushi rice into 4 equal portions. Cut the salmon into strips about 1 cm (½ in) wide. Place a sheet of nori, shiny side down, on a bamboo mat, or on a sheet of baking parchment on a board. Spread a portion of rice over the nori, pressing it down evenly and leaving a 1 cm (½ in) space at the top and bottom. Place one-quarter of the salmon along the middle of the layer of rice, then spread the salmon with ½ tsp of the wasabi paste.
With the help of the bamboo mat or parchment, roll up the nori and rice into a neat tube. Roll tightly to ensure that the rice sticks together and holds the filling in place. Make 3 more rolls in the same way.
Using a wet knife, cut each roll across into 8 slices and stand them upright on a serving plate. Rinse the knife between cuts. If liked, garnish with pieces of gari and offer a small dish of shoyu or tamari for dipping.
Some more ideas
*For prawn sushi, chop 115 g (4 oz) cooked peeled prawns and stir into the cooled rice in place of smoked salmon. Omit the wasabi. *To make mushroom and carrot sushi, put 4 large dried shiitake mushrooms in a small saucepan, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Lift out the mushrooms and remove their stalks. Return the mushroom caps to the soaking liquid in the pan, together with 1 small carrot, cut into matchstick strips. Simmer for 4–5 minutes or until tender; drain. Thinly slice the mushrooms. Cut ½ cucumber into quarters lengthways and remove the seeds, then cut into very thin strips the same length as a nori sheet. Spread each sheet of nori with sushi rice, then place a line of cooked mushrooms and carrot down the middle and top with a few strips of cucumber. Roll up and slice as in the main recipe. Sprinkle 2 tbsp black or toasted white sesame seeds on a plate and dip in the ends of the sushi rolls to coat lightly.
Like other foods from the sea, nori – a dark brownish seaweed – is a good source of iodine, essential for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland. It also provides excellent amounts of calcium, potassium and vitamin A.