Sunday, August 22, 2010


I have been eating sushi for years.  I tend to eat it at restaurants or buy it ready made.  I will eat both raw and cooked fish.  I do have sushi cook books that provide you with picture how-to instructions from making the rice to rolling the sushi rolls.  It does take some preparation time to make sushi from scratch at home.  In Bonnie Stern’s cookbook “Simply Heartsmart” she provides a recipe for sushi salad that I have adapted and tweaked over the years.  I call my salad a sushi rice salad.

The basis of a sushi rice salad is rice, chopped up vegetables, seasoned rice vinegar, nori and ginger.  There are so many variations you can do with this salad – just vegetables or add cooked chicken, shrimp or crab.  I tend to make it with just vegetables.  Why I like this salad is due to the combinations of rice, ginger, seasoned rice vinegar and vegetables.  The salad does not have any oil added to it but I sometimes add a little bit of sesame oil for flavour.  The recipe calls for using sushi rice but you can use other rice.  I use sushi rice because I always have it in the cupboard.  The next time I make it I will try using short grain brown rice to see if there is any difference.  Sushi rice is a Japanese short grain white rice that is quite sticky when cooked.  This recipe also calls for nori which is a sheet of black seaweed and is used to wrap the rice around the fish when making sushi.  Seasoned rice vinegar is made by adding salt and sugar to rice vinegar.  Sometimes seasoned rice vinegar is labeled as sushi vinegar.  I buy seasoned rice vinegar labelled as that or as sushi vinegar.  You can use rice vinegar in this recipe if you don’t have seasoned rice vinegar.
This is the rice that I used to make this recipe.
After the rice is cooked, I put it in a large mixing bowl.  I use a wooden spoon to turn the rice to help cool it off.
The seasoned rice vinegar can also be called sushi seasoning or sushi vinegar.  The vinegar and oil are added to the rice. 
Some of the chopped vegetables that I used in the salad.
I chop the pickled ginger as the pieces are too long otherwise.  If I want the salad to be more tangy, I will also add rice vinegar. 
Nori is sold in packages of 10 or more sheets.
I cut the nori into strips and then bake the nori and sesame seeds in the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes at 325 degrees F.  The small pan I am using is over 30 years old.
I sprinkle the nori and sesame seeds on top of the individual serving bowls.


1 ½ cups of sushi rice or other short grain rice
1 ¾ cups of water
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 carrots, finely chopped
½ red or orange pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
½ cup edamame beans
2 tbsp fresh dill or 1 tbsp dried dill
small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp pickled ginger, chopped
2 sheets of nori, preferably toasted, broken up
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted


Rinse the rice under cold running water or let it sit in a pot of cold water for 20 minutes and then drain.   Place the rice in the saucepan with the water, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes.  Let the rice cool for about 15 minutes and turn it over every so often to help it cool off.  Add the vinegar and sesame oil and toss gently until it is absorb.  Since the rice is sticky, I use a wooden spoon and try to toss the rice by cutting into it with a wooden spoon.   I sometimes add more than ¼ cup of vinegar if the rice is really sticky and it is difficult to mix.  

Once the rice has cooled down, add all of the remaining ingredients except the nori and sesame seeds and toss well.   If you find that the salad is not tangy enough, add more vinegar, either seasoned or just rice vinegar.  Before serving, sprinkle the nori and the sesame seeds to the individual bowls.

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