Thursday, September 20, 2012

Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Cucumbers, and . . . sushi?

Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Cucumbers, and . . . sushi?

Smoked salmon, cucumber, and cream cheese in a homemade sushi roll.
It helps me to divide up all my ingredients by the number of rolls I am making.
My family isn't crazy about cucumbers.  But our farmers have always provided us with farm fresh cukes.  So when I'm not pickling them, or donating to the food bank, or keeping it simple, I do like to make sushi.  It keeps the kitchen cool on a summer day, it's a great portable lunch when we're out on an adventure, it makes a terrific lower-fat and messy hand free snack for watching football, and the whole family loves it.

For other recipes using cucumbers, please see my Cucumber Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Want to know how to Use This Blog? Click here.
I learned how to make sushi before I lived in Japan, but I really came into my own with respect to the various combinations of meats and vegetables that you can wrap up inside a roll of rice while living in Hawaii.  One tool that I think you need to have sushi-- a bamboo or silicone rolling mat.
Bad photo, but even the more expensive bamboo mat is under $2. Don't buy this online.
I'm supposed to be spreading this evenly across the nori sheet.
 I bought my bamboo mat decades ago.  I wrap it in plastic wrap before each use to keep it clean.  You can buy them in Asian grocery stores or in the Asian section of larger grocery stores.  If you don't have a source near you, put the idea in your back pocket until you are in a larger city--the bamboo mat is easy to transport and so cheap it's not really worth it to buy online.
starting to roll once all ingredients are on board
peel back the bamboo once you've made a complete revolution
Give it a squeeze.  Squeezing is very important.
Presto!  You've made sushi!

Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Cucumbers and . . . sushi?

3 cups of sushi rice (I buy Calrose or Hinode), raw, combined with water and cooked in a rice cooker
1/3 cup (80 ml) seasoned rice vinegar (Asian section of larger grocery stores)
1 package sushi nori (8 to 10 sheets) (Asian section of larger grocery stores)
1 cucumber, julienned (I like my Benriner for this!)
6 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon
6 oz cream cheese (I used an entire 8 oz package and it was too much, I recommend 6 oz)
Mayonnaise, the secret Hawaiian ingredient (optional)

Cook the rice according to your rice cooker or package directions.  In a large bowl, combine rice and 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar.  Fold the vinegar into the rice while your servant child fans the rice so that each grain is individually enrobed with vinegar.  Or just use a rice paddle or spoon to fold it until the rice and vinegar are thoroughly incorporated. In the bowl, pat the surface into a smooth shape.  Divide into equal portions based on the number of rolls you will be making (usually 8 to 10).

Separate the remaining ingredients into equal amounts based on the number of rolls you'll be making.

Put a sheet of nori, shiny side down, onto the bamboo rolling mat.  Top with an even layer of rice.  Dip your hands frequently in water (I fill up the rice cooker bowl with water to save on dishes) so the rice doesn't stick to everything.  Along the bottom edge of the nori, layer the cucumber, the smoked salmon, and the cream cheese.  Add a thin swipe of mayo along the top of the rice if you like.

Start to roll up from the bottom, rolling away from you.  Once you've made a complete revolution, peel the bamboo mat back and continue rolling away from you.  Once you've finished rolling up the sheet of nori, give it a squeeze to secure the contents.

Set the roll aside and continue with the next sheet of nori.  When you're out of ingredients, it's time to slice.  Wet a serrated knife and slice a roll in half.  Place the two halves together and slice them into 4 pieces each.  Wipe off the knife on a wet towel as necessary.  Feed your family the uneven ends.

Serve with soy sauce and wasabi for dipping.

This post is linked on Food on Friday at Carole's Chatter! Twice!


  1. I hope I've done this properly-thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thanks for linking this super salmon post in to Food on Friday. I am now signed up to follow you on Google Reader. A follow back to Carole's Chatter would be wonderful – or are you already following? Cheers

  3. Wow, I used to make California rolls and it takes so long. I only do it when my mother forces me to now. Salmon though might just be the motivation for me!

    1. It does take a long time, so it's not a weekly thing. Though I hear that we're getting kohlrabi in the farm share soon, so I'll be making my Inside Out Spam Musubi sushi rolls with that. Must plan an afternoon for that.
      Thanks for stopping by!