Recipe: Sushi Salad

by Celeste Heiter, Jun 20, 2009 | Destinations: Japan
Sushi Salad

Sushi Salad

Sushi Salad

A variation on the classic Japanese dish Chirashizushi, this salad has all the components of sushi rolls arranged in a bowl instead, with a few liberties taken.

Sushi Rice:
2 cups dry white sushi-grade rice
2 cups water

Vinegar Dressing for Sushi Rice:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt

Cook the rice in an automatic rice steamer, or use the stovetop instructions on the package. When the rice is done, dissolve the sugar and salt in the rice wine vinegar in a small pan over low heat. Sprinkle the vinegar mixture into the cooked rice and fluff gently with a wooden rice paddle to mix.

Place the cooked rice in a large wooden bowl or spread on a baking sheet to cool. Fan the rice with a pleated fan or piece of stiff paper for 8 to 10 minutes, tossing and stirring every few minutes. This will produce an attractive sheen and helps keep the rice sticky. When the rice is cool to the touch, you can begin using it to make the sushi salad. Do not refrigerate sushi rice. Instead, prepare it up to two hours ahead and cover with a damp dish towel until serving time.

Salad Ingredients
1/2 pound sushi-grade salmon, with skin
1/2 pound spicy tuna (see recipe below)
6 cups sushi rice (prepared according to directions above)
2 avocados, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 nori sheets, cut into 2" squares
1/2 cup pickled ginger

Using a very sharp knife, trim away the salmon skin and set aside for later use. Cut the remaining salmon into thin slices and set aside until time to assemble salads.

Spicy Tuna:
1/2 pound sushi-grade tuna, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2 teaspoon togarashi (Japanese chili powder, substitute cayenne pepper to taste)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and stir gently but thoroughly to evenly mix. Place in the refrigerator until time to assemble the salads.

Crispy Salmon Skin:
Trim the skin away from the fish, leaving a thick rind of fish on the skin. Slice the salmon skin into 1/2 inch strips and fry in hot oil until crispy and lightly browned. Drain on paper towels.

Sushi Salad Dressing:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste (more or less to taste)

Combine ingredients in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to thoroughly blend. Set aside until serving time.

To Assemble the Sushi Salads:
Place 1 1/2 cups sushi rice in the left half of a large shallow bowl. Arrange the spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber slices, crispy salmon skin, and pickled ginger in the other half of the bowl next to the rice. Tuck a few nori squares into the edge of the bowl. Top the rice with slices of salmon. Serve the sushi salad dressing on the side. Dressing may be poured directly over the salad, or into a dipping dish.