Salmon Maki Rolls are the most recognisable form of Sushi. They’re the classic rolls of sushi rice stuffed with raw fresh salmon and spring onion and wrapped in nori (seaweed). These rolls are really simple to make, rather fun and WAY cheaper than buying them!
This recipe is part of my series of Sushi recipes and is the archetypal sushi roll. I’ve made these rolls both as part of a larger Sushi/Japanese feast and as a dish in their own right. I always forget just how filling they are though so be warned, you might not need quite as many as you think!
Sushi rolls aren’t the best prep-ahead food but providing you make them the night before you plan to eat them, with the freshest of fish, they are fine for an office lunch. I’d make some extra though because your colleagues will want to try some – trust me!
Sushi is also an excellent way to make a very small amount of fish go a very long way and is therefore much more of a frugal food than the new supermarket sushi counters would lead you to believe – and like I said before, these rolls are strangely filling!
With regards to buying the fish, this is one of the occasions I always try to purchase it on the day or the day before making and serving the rolls. This is unfortunately not a great prepare ahead dish. I like to buy my fish from my local artisan fishmongers. Yeh right! I could probably go to Japan for the same cost – sad times. My preferred fish supplier is actually Morrisons, If raw salmon is really a step too far, just cook it first – a quick pan sear or oven bake won’t summon the authenticity police.
I have used Chinese chives in my rolls because I’m a big fan of them and can source them from my local Chinese supermarket – they are like fat normal chives or very very thin spring onions. If you can’t get hold of them, normal chives would be fine or you can just use the spring onions.
As with most of my recipes, it is really easy to add to or amend this Salmon Maki into ‘whatever-you-want-or-have Maki’. Thinly sliced avocado would be a great (and fairly classic) addition and/or finely sliced cucumber or carrots. You could remove the salmon entirely if raw fish isn’t your thing and add something like (cooked) marinated chicken or just veggies for the vegan vibe. To be honest, there are a million and one potential fillings here, I’ve even seen ‘pulled pork maki’! If you like your ‘sushi’ hot, take a look at my Miso Scallop Onigiri with Miso Mayo for something a little different.
Makes 16 Pieces
2 Cups of Cooked Sushi Rice
100g Fresh Salmon
2 Spring Onions
2 Sheets Toasted Nori (Seaweed)
4 Stems Chinese Chives
- There are a few items of equipment that are helpful to have. This first is a sushi rolling mat* which are available in the major supermarkets and are no more than a quid or two. The second is clingfilm. The third is a really good sharp knife. I have recently bought a knife steel and it has changed my knife game, I can’t recommend picking one up enough.
- Liberally wet your fingers before handling the rice. It will be stickier than any other substance you have touched in your life otherwise.
- Bring the sushi back up to just below room temperature before serving to get the maximum flavour.
Start by ensuring that your 2 Cups of Cooked Sushi Rice are totally cooled.
Prepare 100g Fresh Salmon by thinly slicing it as finely as possible into long strips – I prefer thinner strips rather than a large chunk as I think it makes the sushi roll easier to eat. Set aside.
Prepare 2 Spring Onions by trimming the ends, removing the very outer layer and carefully slicing them length-ways into quarters – sixths or eighths if they are especially fat. Set aside.
Cover your sushi rolling mat with clingfilm and lay 1 of the 2 Sheets of Toasted Nori onto the clingfilm. Tip on 1 cup of the cooked sushi rice and evenly spread it over three quarters of the nori sheet.
Leaving a small border, lay half of the salmon strips, half of the spring onions and 2 of the 4 Stems of Chinese Chives onto the rice. I like to make sure that the spring onion is evenly spaced with the white and green ends spread out nicely.
Use a little cold water to dampen the visible nori and using the rolling mat to assist, roll the nori and rice around the salmon and fillings. You may find that your rice has spread too far, in which case use a sharp knife to trim any excess. I prefer to do this rather than create a spiral effect but that wouldn’t be the end of the world. Wrap the loose end of nori around the roll making sure it is as tight as possible.
Wrap the roll in the cling film and twist the ends to ‘burrito roll’ and tighten it. Leave in the fridge for at least 60 minutes or in the freezer for only 15 minutes. Repeat with the second roll.
As I mentioned in my Sushi – Crab Uramaki (Inside-Out Rolls) post, I like to take the rolls out and slice them about half an hour before serving. Sushi obviously isn’t something to serve warm but when it is fridge cold, the flavours tend to be dulled. It is however easier to slice when very cold and firmed up. I also like to slice the rolls while they are still in their cling film and unwrap each piece – it does just slip off.
Start but cutting a little off of each end – don’t waste the trimmings – just eat them! I cut these maki rolls on a little bit of an angle to make them a little different from the uramaki crab rolls. I make a little mark halfway down the roll, then again at each quarter point. Starting at one end, I then cut the end quarter in half at a shallow angle. The second piece then gets cut straight, the third at an angle, the fourth on the straight and so on until all eight pieces are cut.
Stand on their flat ends and serve with soy sauce with a little ginger paste mixed through to dip in.
Let me know what your favourite maki filling is in the comments!
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