Salmon and cucumber sushi rolls

I love sushi, but have to watch the raw fish so I figured I would try these lovely salmon and cucumber sushi rolls with smoked salmon. Add a bit of cream cheese to counteract the amount of salt in the soy sauce and the salmon plus the refreshing cucumber. For the rice I used a recipe I found on a proper Japanese website and in that recipe I substituted the rice vinegar with apple cider vinegar with a pinch of sugar (came from The Cook’s Thesaurus). This is very important to follow the recipe precisely or the rice will not have the right texture and stickiness needed. Oh by the way, I almost forgot: if you can get really fresh fish you can do it with fresh fish instead of smoked salmon. It’s up to you really, just make sure you know where the fish comes from. You can also just make all vegetable sushi. Shrimps, eel and octopus should always be cooked. Salmon and cucumber sushi rolls is a basice recipe that will make you enjoy some nice Japanese food right at home.

INGREDIENTSsalmon and cucumber sushi rolls
2 nori sheets
100g skinless salmon fillets (use really fresh), thinly sliced lengthways
¼ cucumber, deseeded, thinly sliced lengthways
Squeeze wasabi, plus extra to serve
Pickled sushi ginger, to serve
Light soy sauce, to serve
Salmon roe, to serve (optional)
1 avocado, optional

FOR THE RICE
100g sushi rice
2 teaspoons saké or mirin (optional)
1 tablespoon caster sugar (omit if using mirin)
25ml rice vinegar

DIRECTIONS
First, make the rice. Rinse the sushi rice in a colander, massaging it with your hands until the water runs clear. Leave to drain for 15 mins. Put the rice in a saucepan with 200ml water and the sake or mirin, if using. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 mins until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat. Set aside, covered, for 15-20 mins. Transfer to a large bowl. Dissolve the sugar, if using, in the vinegar with a good pinch of salt, pour over the rice and mix. Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside at room temperature until ready to use.

Put 1 nori sheet on a bamboo mat and cover the surface with half of the cooled rice. Lay half of the salmon and cucumber slices (and eventually avocado slices) along the length of the rice in a strip, being careful not to overfill it. Run a pea-sized blob of wasabi (more if you like it really hot) along the edge of the filling with your finger. Roll up tightly and squeeze to seal when you reach the end. Repeat with the remaining nori, salmon and cucumber, and more wasabi. Slice each roll into 6 pieces, and serve salmon and cucumber sushi rolls with extra wasabi, ginger, soy sauce and salmon roe, if you like. Salmon and cucumber sushi rolls will keep in the fridge for 1 day.

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