Deconstructed Sushi

Don’t worry about the perfect technique or photo-ready results—just have fun and let the fresh flavors shine.

Written by:Cambria USA
Photographed by:Steve Henke
Sushi on Cambria Delgatie™ quartz countertops.

Cambria design shown: Delamere™

Making sushi at home can be a fun way to explore the artistry and tradition of Japanese cuisine. While the idea of making your own sushi may seem daunting, from selecting the freshest ingredients to mastering the art of rice preparation and sushi rolling, it's actually a pretty accessible endeavor for home cooks of all skill levels. So, join us as we dive into the world of making homemade sushi within the comfort of your own beautifully designed kitchen.

A piece of salmon and a salmon kinfe.

Spicy Salmon Roles

Adapted from UmamiGirl.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of prepared sushi rice, cooled to room temperature
  • ½ pound sushi-grade salmon
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • Spicy mayo
  • 1 package sushi nori (dried seaweed)
  • A sushi rolling mat
  • Roe (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:
With a very sharp knife, cut the salmon into ¼-inch-thick strips. Halve and pit the avocados. Slice the flesh lengthwise into strips and scoop it from the skin with a large spoon. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the watery center from each half with a small spoon. Then cut each half in half crosswise, and cut each quarter into 4 sticks.

Assemble:
Lay a bamboo sushi mat on a cutting board with one of the short sides facing you. Cover the surface of the mat with plastic wrap. Place a piece of nori on the mat with the shiny side down and one of the short sides toward you. Wet your hands (a bowl of warm water with a splash of rice vinegar helps here) and pick up about ½ cup of rice. Using your hands, spread the rice fairly evenly over the surface of the nori, leaving the half-inch strip farthest from you rice-less. You don’t need to spread the rice perfectly to end up with good-looking sushi. Near the end closest to you, lay a strip of fish and some avocado and cucumber across the entire width of the rice. Spread on a generous bit of spicy mayo and sprinkle with roe, if using. Using your finger, wet the bare strip of nori to ensure it will seal the roll.

Roll the Shushi:
Lift up the edge of the bamboo mat closest to you and tuck your thumbs underneath. Use the rest of your fingers to hold the fillings in place for a moment while you roll the mat once away from you to enclose the filling in the nori. Continue to roll the mat away from you, pressing gently and pulling slightly toward yourself at the bottom, to shape the roll. Remove the bamboo mat. Wipe the blade of your sharp knife with a wet paper towel or kitchen towel. Cut the roll in half crosswise, and then slice each half into three or four rounds. Sprinkle with roe, scallions, and/or sesame seeds, if using. Serve with soy sauce for dipping and wasabi and pickled ginger, if you like.

Pair Like A Pro | Leslee Miller, certified sommelier of Amusée, recommends: Ooooo, spice with a tiche of oceany salt—spicy salmon rolls are one of my faves! Try on the Dopff + Irion Pinot Noir sparkling rosé from Alsace, France, to cut a touch of this recipe’s heat, while allowing the freshness of the salmon to remain perfectly intact. Red raspberry, blackberry, thyme, tarragon, wild strawberry, and red currant are just a few of the notes of this soft bubbly, making it one gulp-able pink.

Sushi on Cambria Delgatie™ quartz countertops.

Cambria design shown: Delamere

California Rolls

Adapted from NatashasKitchen.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of prepared sushi rice, cooled to room temperature
  • ½ lb. real or imitation crab meat
  • 1 avocado, ripe but still firm
  • ½ medium cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • Toasted nori seaweed
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • A sushi rolling mat
  • Soy sauce, regular or low sodium
  • Wasabi paste or wasabi powder
  • Spicy mayo: You can make your own by mixing 1 Tbsp. regular mayonnaise with 1 Tbsp. Sriracha hot chili sauce, or to taste.

Directions:
Fold the pieces of nori in half to split them. Spread a generous handful of sushi rice onto the ½ sheet of nori. Using wet fingertips, spread the rice evenly over the entire surface of the nori. Flip the rice-covered piece of nori over so rice is facing down (this way, your rice will be on the outside of your rolls). Place your fillings across the center of your nori lengthwise. Don’t overfill or the roll won’t seal. Start rolling using your mat to firmly keep the roll in place. Apply some pressure to make a tight roll. (If it’s not tight enough, it will be difficult to cut.) Once the roll is complete, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds while it’s still on the mat so you can turn it easily. Carefully run a sharp knife through a damp paper towel before slicing to help prevent the rice from sticking. Cut the roll in half, then line the two halves up and slice into even 1-inch rings. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, or spicy mayo.

Sushi on Cambria Delgatie™ quartz countertops.

Cambria design shown: Delamere

Tuna Nigiri

Adapted from IzzyCooking.com

Ingredients:

  • Sashimi-grade or sushi-grade tuna from a reputable place (traditional tuna nigiri sushi uses raw tuna, but you can substitute cooked tuna)
  • Sushi rice, preferably Japanese short-grain rice
  • Sushi vinegar: You can make your own by mixing rice vinegar, sugar, and a dash of salt as a replacement
  • Wasabi and pickled ginger (optional)
  • A sharp knife to cut the fish properly and easily

Directions:
Cook sushi rice using a 1:1 ratio between rice and water. Transfer cooked rice to a large bowl and let it cool slightly. While it’s still warm, season with sushi vinegar. Slice the tuna against the grain, at about a 30- to 45-degree angle, into thin slices that are approximately 3-inches long by 1-inch wide, and ¼-inch thick. Shape the rice by putting about 3 Tbsp. of rice in one hand. Squeeze until it rolls into a firm oval shape. Don’t squeeze too tightly. Assemble your tuna nigiri by spreading a pea-sized portion of wasabi in the middle of the fish. Place the rolled sushi rice onto the tuna and bend your fingers to cover both the fish and rice together. Turn the fish and rice over to let the tuna slice sit on top of the rice.

Serve with optional wasabi, soy sauce, or pickled ginger.

Pair Like A Pro | Leslee Miller recommends: Pairing here has to be done quite carefully so as not to overtake the amazing, layered flavors you’ll get from your fresh tuna. Try the Elena Walch Schiava from Alto-Adige, Italy. The lightest of light bodied reds, make sure to serve this Schiava (grape) with just a teensy chill to keep the crushed vibrant cherry, bright strawberry, and raspberry fruit all snapped up in the wine’s palate while allowing its citrus tang and ever so slightly peppery vibe to shine.

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