Tweaked Sushi, Made Simple without a Rolling Mat | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Tweaked Sushi, Made Simple without a Rolling Mat

Tweaked Sushi, Made Simple without a Rolling Mat

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.

Simple Sushi with Leftover Grilled Salmon

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.

  • Ingredients
  • ~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

Simple Tweaked Sushi with Leftover Grilled Salmon
Simple Tweaked Sushi with Leftover Grilled Salmon


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).

Simple Sushi with Leftover Grilled Salmon


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  1. Stephanie

    Wow I’ve never thought of making sushi that way. I’ve done it with the mat a few times but its nice to have a different option.

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    I have never made suchi this way…how convenient and fun!

  3. tigerfish

    To me, it is still good sushi 🙂 as the ingredients are “sushi-grade” just of a different construction :p

  4. Helena

    I’m not a big fan of sushi (as actually of japanese cuisine in general, which I often find too sophisticated) but yours are so delicate-looking and easy to make, with a simple but certainly flavorful combination of ingredients, that I’d gladly give it a try !

  5. Helena

    By the way, thanks for the tip-like recipe at the end of your post ! I personally enjoy salmon fillet steamed with fennel and rice, which is already a great combination in my view, but the one you suggest will allow me to make a nice change of it sometimes 🙂

  6. TasteHongKong

    Love that idea, and thanks for sharing! I love steamed fishes, especially fresh ones I witness the fishmongers killed, cruel : ).
    That tip-like recipe is almost effortless to make, enjoy!

  7. kristy

    Hmmm…just wish I stay next door. haha….
    Hope you’re enjoying your evening, dear.

  8. mycookinghut

    I’d love to try this way of making sushi.. thanks for sharing. 😉

  9. Lori

    This is just beautiful. I have not made sushi yet, but I do want to. I think I should start with this, and progress to rolling with a mat.

  10. lena

    i’m not very good at rolling sushi, i believe this way of doing makes the sushi more compact and neater too, right?

  11. TasteHongKong

    To me, this is somewhat neater, but to admit, a little of the rice still fell apart while I did the slicing. But I really like how crisp the nori was because it was wrapped right before I served the sushi.