Recipe: $3.12 | Per Roll: $0.45 | Yield: 7 Rolls
I think it is about time that these seaweed rolls made it onto the blog. We’ve been making them just about every week since I got here, and they’re Zac’s favorite bento box snack! (Really though, this is the best bento box recipe idea I’ve ever had!)
SUPER SIMPLE. The challenge comes in the confidence department. YES, you can roll seaweed! You can do it! I’m sending confidence your way.
So, these are not sushi rolls, and they’re not exactly onigiri either. They’re more like California-style onigiri in roll form. No need to make fancy seasoned sushi rice or find the best raw fish in town. Just get the right combination of flavors (in this case, salmon and avocado) and you’re good to go.
Yes, these rolls are stuffed with just cooked salmon, avocado, and plain rice. And they’re about 4,000 times more delicious than you’re expecting.
I started making these randomly for my dinner snack when I realized not eating from 3pm-9pm turned me into a crazy starved human. If you’re thinking I eat a lot, you’re probably right. I bring lunch and a bento box snack to work Mon-Fri because I work from about 12:00-9:15.
So I eat lunch around 3:00, and then during my 10-minute breaks (sometimes 8 minutes? 3 minutes?) between classes, I often shove food into my face. These seaweed rolls are perfectly shove-able.
What is Shio Zake?
Here in Japan, they have something called shio zake, which is cooked, salted salmon. Although I’ve made my own salmon for these many times, now that our fish grill doesn’t work, I’ve gotten lazier in the fish department. So sodium-filled jarred/canned salmon is the answer!
Shio = salt
Sake = salmon (zake is a form of sake)
You can use regular canned salmon (I like Wild Planet, but you can also get bone-in canned salmon from Trader Joe’s – extra calcium!), and then give it a splash of soy sauce to get the salty flavor. Or you can cook fresh salmon and shred it with a fork. I will say that the fresh salmon with your own seasonings (soy, sesame, etc.) normally tastes better than canned, but shio zake is my super best friend and I highly recommend it if you can find it!
This makes about 6-8 rolls, depending on how much rice you use, and I priced it based on making 7 rolls, with 1 roll being equal to 1 serving. (For convenience and stuff.) Guess what Japan-living people? That’s less than half the cost of Konbini onigiri. You’re welcome.
*Cost is based on prices in Japan.
How to Roll Sushi
Rolling sushi is actually not that difficult, I promise. Here’s a super easy guide. You can definitely perfect this method further with a bamboo sushi mat and some plastic wrap, but this works perfectly fine for me!
- First, you lay out your nori (shiny side down).
- Next, spread some rice onto the nori. It should reach both short edges, and you should leave a little rice-free space on the long edges to make it easier to roll.
- Add ingredients to the bottom 1/3-ish area of the bed of rice, like shown below. pull the long side of the noriup and over the fillings and start rolling, holding it tightly as you go.
- When you get close to the end, dab some water along the last edge to seal it. Let it rest seam-side down for 1 minute before slicing.
Paleo: Nope, but it is gluten-free if you don’t use soy sauce! (Tamari is gluten-free, coconut aminos and fish sauce are soy-free.)
Vegetarian: No – but you can replace the salmon with something else!
Easy homemade sushi rolls! Salmon onigiri handrolls are made even more delicious with avocado and brown rice. Perfect for bento boxes and appetizer trays.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice, short grain is best
- 2 cups water
- 7–8 sheets of nori seaweed (you can use any type, such as toasted, seasoned, plain)
- 1 jar or can cooked salmon (if using canned, add 1 teaspoon soy sauce and mix well before adding to rolls)
- 1/2 large avocado
- Cook rice according to your preferred method. (I use a rice cooker, but you can bring the rice and water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking until water is absorbed.)
- When rice is cooked and slightly cooled, lay out a sheet of nori, shiny side down. Wet your hands and scoop about 1/8-1/4 cup rice onto the nori, leaving about 1 inch on the bottom and 1.5-2 inches at the top. Press it together and into the seaweed so it sticks.
- On the bottom part of the rice, closest to you, layer about a tablespoon of salmon and 3-4 slices of avocado. Pull the bottom over the fillings, and squeeze, then roll, squeezing tightly as you go. Wet your fingers and dab a little water on the top to help it seal. Place it seam-side-down and set aside for a few minutes as you continue rolling. (The rolls are easier to slice if they’ve been sitting for a bit.)
- Roll each and then cut them with a sharp knife. Also, it is a good idea to cut off the ugly ends first and eat them immediately, then serve the nice, neat, and tightly rolled parts. :) You can totally experiment with other ingredients, and we often like to add sesame seeds, green onions, and sesame oil. The combination of salmon and avocado and seaweed is DELICIOUS!
- Note: You can cut these into 3, 4, 6, or 8 pieces, depending on how shove-able you need them to be…or how sharp your knife is! :) Also – you can use old rice, but when it is warm it does seem to roll a tiny bit better because it is starchier.
* If making your own salted salmon, use tamari for gluten-free, or use 1:1 ratio of coconut aminos and fish sauce for soy-free.
- Category: Appetizer, Lunch, Bento