I did this sushi without a bamboo mat. My hands had not contributed much too as I did not shape each piece of sushi one by one. To admit, this is a tweaked recipe but is also a tidy way for making sushi if you don’t mind not taking the art of making sushi so seriously.
It is not that I don’t like mat-rolled sushi (makizushi or nori-maki). On the contrary, I love them very much with the fresh nori. By fresh, I mean it is just wrapped with the rice and has not been moistened (top-notch nori may stay crisp longer). However, it is not always the case we could finish the sushi rolls all at once. That is why, I settle on this idea: prepare sushi in advance and wrap it up while eating; that is, pick up each piece of sushi with a nori and send it to mouth directly.
To shape the sushi neaty, still, we need a gadget to put things together. Mine is a mold measuring about 10cm x 10cm, in which I made one large piece of sandwich-like sushi before cutting it into smaller pieces.
Like cuttng a sushi roll into slices, we need some patience and a sharp knife, which is a ceramic knife in my case. For picnic, you may even consider slicing the sushi on the spot, minimizing the chances of deforming any well-shaped sushi while traveling with it.
Honestly, sushi is not the most frequent way I enjoy with my grilled salmon fillet. And it does not have to be a leftover; very often, I like topping a bowl of rice with the flaked fillet I purposely prepared, sprinkling both green onions and roast white sesame over it (plus a dash of ground black pepper sometimes) – simple yet as good as a sushi meal.
- ~2 cups cooked sushi rice (from ~150g short grain rice)
- 100g grilled salmon (seasoned with pinch of salt and pepper), mashed
- 1 sprig green onion, thinly sliced
- nori (Japanese dried seaweed) for wrapping sushi
- kelp, about size of 2 credit cards, optional
- dash of sake, optional
- Homemade sushi vinegar
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- adapted from the The Japanese Kitchen
Cook rice with water according to package instructions, add dash of sake and a piece of kelp (make a few cuts in it) if using. Discard kelp after rice is cooked.
Mix well all ingredients for sushi vinegar in a non-reactive bowl and stir until dissolved.
Mix sliced green onion into the mashed salmon.
Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl in which you may spread it out into a layer. Let cool to room temperature.
Distribute a spoon of sushi vinegar into the rice, gently folding and flipping it with a spatula. Repeat with the remaining vinegar to coat rice evenly.
On a flat surface, line a parchment paper in the mold covering its inner left side through the bottom and up to the inner right (forming a U-shape in its cross-section view). Spread half of the rice in the mold evenly with the back of a slightly wet spoon, press down a bit to pack the rice. Repeat with the mashed salmon and another layer of rice.
Slightly wet the blade of a sharp knife, slice the sandwich-like sushi into eight equal portions (it is easier to slice the sushi when it is still sitting in the mold, I un-mold it for photo shooting only). Run a sharp knife along the inside edges that are not lined with paper. Gently lift up the two sides of the parchment paper with the sushi – would be better to make the paper on the sides longer for easy lifting, mine is a bit too short here.
Wrap each sushi slice with nori. Serve warm or cool (I like it slightly warm).
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