Recipe: Salmon and Avocado Sushi rolls

As the weather warms, we love to make fresh sushi at home. We stock a range of sashimi grade fish, depending on the time of year and we always stock sashimi grade Huon Salmon at Dawson’s.
Below we’ve got helpful tips and tricks for the perfect sushi rice, and we also delve into the history and origins of this world famous Japanese dish.
Salmon and avocado sushi rolls


For the rice:

  • 1 ½ cups sushi rice
  • 1 ½ cups cold water
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • Pinch salt

For the Rolls:

  • Sushi mat
  • 6 Seaweed sheets
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Whole egg mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Wasabi
  • 300g Sashimi grade salmon, skinless and cut into 6 thick strips
  • 1 Avocado, skin and stone removed, halved and sliced
  • Soy Sauce to serve

Making the Perfect Sushi Rice:

The key to crafting ideal sushi rice lies in finding the balance between stickiness, moisture, and flavour. The rice should be slightly sticky, making it easy to shape and hold together when crafting various sushi types. However, it should not be overly clumpy or wet, as this can affect the overall texture of your rolls. See our instructions below for preparing perfect sushi rice!

  1. Thoroughly rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This step removes excess starch, resulting in fluffier rice.
  2. Cook the rinsed rice with water in a rice cooker or on the stovetop. Once cooked, let the rice sit for about 10 minutes to allow for even moisture distribution.
  3. In a small saucepan, gently heat rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Avoid boiling the mixture.
  4. Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl or hangiri (wooden sushi rice tub). Gradually pour the seasoned vinegar over the rice using a cutting motion with a rice paddle or spatula. As you gently mix, fan the rice to help it cool and absorb the seasoning evenly.
  5. Continue fanning and mixing the rice until it reaches room temperature. The fanning step helps achieve the desired sticky texture without making the rice mushy.
  6. Cover the bowl of sushi rice with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out while you prepare the remaining components of your sushi.

Making Your Sushi Rolls:

Invest in a bamboo sushi rolling mat, or "makisu," which assists in rolling and shaping the sushi. A sharp knife and a bowl of water for wetting your hands are also essential.

1. Combine the mayonnaise and wasabi in a bowl.

2. Place a sheet of plastic wrap or a bamboo sushi mat on your workspace. Lay a sheet of nori, shiny side down, onto the plastic wrap or mat. Wet your hands to prevent the rice from sticking as you spread it over the nori.

Sushi roll set up with bamboo mat

3. Spread a thin, even layer of sushi rice over the nori, leaving about 3cm of the nori sheet exposed at the top edge. Be gentle to avoid over-pressing the rice, which can make the roll too dense.

4. Layer your mayonnaise, avocado and salmon horizontally across the centre of the rice-covered nori. Lift the edge of the bamboo mat closest to you, and fold it over the fillings while applying gentle pressure to form a tight roll. Continue rolling, applying even pressure, until you reach the exposed nori edge.

Making sushi rolls

5. Dampen the exposed nori edge slightly with water to act as "glue." Complete the roll, and gently press to seal the edge.

6. Use a sharp knife dipped in water to ensure clean and precise cuts.

7. Slice the roll into bite-sized pieces. Wetting the knife prevents the rice from sticking to it

Origins and History of Sushi
Sushi's roots can be traced to ancient China, where fish was salted and packed with rice to aid in preservation during the lengthy fermentation process. This method made its way to Japan around the 8th century, where it evolved into "narezushi." Fish like mackerel or snapper were layered with salt and rice in wooden barrels, then weighed down to facilitate fermentation. After months of maturation, the rice was discarded, and the preserved fish was consumed.
Japanese landscape
As time passed, sushi underwent a transformation known as the "Edomae" period during the 19th century. This era marked the shift from long fermentation to quicker preservation techniques, allowing sushi to be prepared and served on the same day. 
Edomae sushi was created in the bustling city of Tokyo, then known as Edo. Chefs began to marinate fish in soy sauce and vinegar, effectively reducing the time needed for fermentation. One of the defining moments in sushi's history came with the realization that vinegar-infused rice could provide the same preservation benefits as fermentation.
Nigiri, Sashimi, Maki and Temari
This beloved Japanese dish, comes in various forms, each with its own distinct characteristics.
Nigiri Sushi: Simple and Balanced
Nigiri sushi is a straightforward delicacy. It involves hand-pressed vinegared rice topped with precisely sliced seafood or other toppings. The harmony between the fish and rice is key, often complemented by a hint of wasabi.
Nigiri Sushi
Sashimi: Embracing Freshness
Sashimi is all about fresh, raw fish sliced into delicate pieces. It's served without rice, allowing the purity of the fish to shine. Sashimi is often enjoyed with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.
Tuna Sashimi
Maki Sushi: Creative Rolls
Maki sushi, or rolled sushi, offers creative combinations. Ingredients are rolled in seaweed and vinegared rice. Types of maki include futomaki, uramaki, temaki, and hosomaki.
Maki Sushi
Temari Sushi: Artful Spheres
Temari sushi is a lesser-known gem in the world of sushi, characterized by its charming and visually appealing appearance. The name "temari" comes from traditional Japanese handball toys, which are colourful and intricately embroidered spheres. Just like these toys, temari sushi is small, round, and beautifully adorned.
Temari Sushi