Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Salmon, Asparagus & Basil Pesto Sushi Rolls

I love making homemade sushi rolls.  The first time my husband, Brad, and I made our own sushi, it turned out so well that he proposed to me after the meal.  Thus, homemade sushi is near and dear to our hearts.  I can't help but remember that wonderful night every time Brad and I prepare sushi.  Last night,  I tried a couple of offbeat rolls that vary from the typical rolls you might find in sushi restaurants.  The salmon, asparagus and homemade basil pesto rolls was especially savory and delicious.  It was fairly easy to make and was one of our favorite new rolls.  We plan to do another night of sushi tonight, using some different fish and combinations, so stay tuned for another sushi post in the next day or two.

Sasha's Salmon, Avocado & Pesto Sushi Rolls
6 oz sushi grade salmon (I always get a bit extra, as this is enough for 4 people, for about 8 rolls); ask for the salmon to be skinned
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
several stalks of asparagus
1 1/2 cups of sushi rice  (this will be enough to make 4-5 sushi rolls)
3 T seasoned rice vinegar
sushi nori (seaweed)

First, prepare the rice.  You will need to spend about 15 minutes rinsing and re-rinsing the sushi rice until the water runs clean before using it.  This is important to allow the rice to have the right color and flavor so you should not skip this step.  Then, add the one and a half cups of rice to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Simmer, covered, the same way you would cook regular rice.  Once the rice is done, mix in the seasoned rice vinegar and allow the rice to cool.

Prepare the pesto by combining the basil, pine nuts, olive oil and cheese in a food processor.  You can also add some red pepper flakes if you want some heat.

To prepare the sushi rolls, place the sushi nori on your sushi rolling mat.  Here are some generic instructions on how to roll the sushi.  Press the rice into the nori, leaving the top inch and a half without rice.  Line up the pesto, salmon (cut into a long strip) and a stalk of asparagus lengthwise on the side of the rice/nori closest to you and roll away from you.  You can dip your fingers in some water and use the water to seal the roll.  Cut into six or seven pieces and enjoy with some wasabi, ginger and soy sauce.

For dessert, try my green tea ice cream.  Click here to read about my cupcakes frosted to look like sushi.



  1. So how does the pesto work with the nori and the vinegar in the rice? It sounds easy and interesting, but I'm worried about the combo.

  2. it interacted nicely - there's not too much vinegar in the rice, so mostly you just detect a nice pesto flavor with the asparagus and rice. We didn't do the spicy pesto this time, but I think some heat might be nice as well in a future sushi roll

  3. Your rice looks perfect, Sasha. All sticky and delicious like it should be. I've been thinking about doing sushi lately, but I've never done it before. I'm scared I guess...


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