So, I couldn’t just make Spicy Tuna and call it a day. . made my mom’s fave too: Salmon Skin rolls! Hope you enjoy!
To prepare this roll, you need the skin of a smoked salmon or salmon fillet. Because they live in cold water, salmon build up a particularly delicious thick layer of fat under the skin, making their skin best for this preparation. Purchase the salmon with the skin or ask for the skin at your local fishmonger or food store. In many food shops where smoked salmon is cut to order from a large fillet, this delicious skin may simply be thrown away. The layer of fat attached to the skin gradually melts during cooking and makes it crisp.
The pickled mountain burdock—a long, thin, orange-colored root vegetable about 8 inches in length, (that many people mistake for a carrot) often packed in a plastic bag containing eight to ten pieces with pickling solution—can be found at Japanese or Asian food stores. If it is not available, just use carrots instead.
Salmon Skin Rolls
- 2 cups Japanese rice, such as Nishiki
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the salmon:
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Four 9-ounce salmon fillets, with skin or smoked salmon
- Freshly ground pepper
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
For the rolls:
- 4 (8 1/4 by 7 1/4-inch) sheets roasted nori (seaweed)
- Sushi rice
- Salmon skin
- 1 package yamagobo no tsukemono (pickled mountain burdock) or 5 ounces of julienned carrot, 3 inches long
- 1 medium Kirby (or English) cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks (you can just julienne these and don’t use the inside part of the cucumber with the seeds)
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Soy sauce
- Ginger (sushi ginger)
For the sushi rice: In a large bowl, add rice and cover with lots of water. Stir rice in water with your hands, then pour off most of the water, and agitate 10 to 15 times by quickly moving your hand back and forth, swishing rice against side of bowl. Rinse the rice several more times, until the water that drains off of the rice is almost clear. Transfer the rice to a colander and let drain for 1 hour, undisturbed (only do this if you have time and want to, if not, it’s not a big deal). Transfer the rice to a rice cooker, add the water, cover and cook as directed by manufacturer’s directions.
While the rice is cooking, bring the rice vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan, and then remove from the heat. Add sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
When rice is done, allow cooked rice to remain in rice cooker for 10 minutes. Transfer rice to a large shallow mixing bowl and pour the cooled vinegar mixture over top of rice. “Cut” rice several times with a wooden spoon or whatever you have (or mix gently) to evenly distribute vinegar mixture, then allow to cool. When the rice has cooled to body temperature, it is ready to use for sushi rolls. Rice can be kept at the proper temperature by placing it in an insulated container such as a small ice chest, covered with a damp kitchen towel.
If you are preparing carrots for sushi: You will need to blanch the carrots in boiling water to soften a bit. First, peel the carrots, then cut into long thick strips. Have a pot of boiling water ready with a bowl of ice water. Carefully drop the carrot strips to the boiling water and blanch for about 2 minutes, then transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking process.
If you have the burdock: Cut the pickled mountain burdock in half crosswise and then cut each piece in half lengthwise.
Assembly & Rolling:
IF YOU WANT TO MAKE AHEAD The rice can stand at room temperature, covered, for up to 4 hours. The fried salmon skin can be prepared earlier in the day. Reheat in a 400° oven for 3 minutes.