Sushi shows up often as an appetizer or even a quick light meal — but most of us buy it ready made rather than try to make it at home. Real sushi-making does take some training and special equipment — if you’re interested, check out continuing education classes in your area — but this appetizer uses the same ingredients to come pretty close to the sushi experience. It was inspired by a recipe for sushi pizza which I found years ago in Canadian Living magazine, but it’s simpler in some ways, more elaborate in others.
Yes, sushi rice, with its sticky texture, works better, but if all you have is regular rice, use that. Just be aware that it will get unpleasantly chalky after a few hours. But then, like real sushi, this stuff is best eaten soon after it’s made.
Likewise, in the making of sushi, the rice is fanned to cool it while the vinegar is mixed in, but we don’t need to bother with that to get enough of the texture right. You can use some of the vinegar from your jar of pickled ginger, by the way, just leave enough to cover it.
Try different kinds of cooked fish with this — crab meat, spiced tuna, salmon, or whatever you like best (maybe not fish sticks). You could also add, or substitute, small pieces of avocado. Like real sushi, this has potentially hundreds of variations.
And, also like real sushi, it’s a great little bite to eat.
- 1 cup raw sushi rice (or regular rice, but it won’t work so well)
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 snack size packs nori (roasted seaweed) or equivalent amount
- 1 3 ½ ounce can cocktail shrimp, or 16 cooked medium shrimp.
- Put an 8×8 square baking pan in the fridge or freezer to chill.
- If you’re using cocktail shrimp, rinse them thoroughly to wash the gritty bits off, and drain completely.
- Cook the rice in 2 cups water till done — boil it, oven cook it, whateer works for you.
- Mix in the vinegar thoroughly.
- Spread half the rice in the bottom of the chilled pan.
- Cover with two layers of nori.
- Finish with the rest of the rice.
- Refrigerate at least an hour.
- With a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares.
- Arrange a few cocktail shrimp or one medium shrimp on each square.
- Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.