I’m not gonna lie. I’m a quick recipe gal. I generally don’t love making meals that are too time-consuming. But this is where I make an exception. With a nod to I’ve seen different versions of this molded salad. The one I’ve served a lot is by betweencarpools.com so I wanna give a nod to them since that was the original inspiration for this dish. But I have changed some things about it over time and I hope you’ll try it my way...

This recipe requires more chopping and preparation than most recipes I like to make on a regular basis. But I still do it once a week because anyone I have ever served it to has gone absolutely nuts over it. And think of this: anyone who loves sushi knows that it is a giant pain in the neck to make. This sushi salad it’s just as delicious as sushi but apart from all the different steps it takes is much easier to make and, in my opinion, much more satisfying.

It has all the yummy flavor and umami of sushi but it just blends together better. And with the sauces mixed frizzed over…..well, just trust me. It’s not a great idea to prepare this in advance because you don’t want the avocado to brown or the fish to be sitting around for more than a few hours. It is raw, after all.

The recipe uses fake crab meat sticks or “Kani” which is readily available in the frozen section of most supermarkets and sometimes I use Nori, (the seaweed wrapper of the sushi roll) because my kids love it. You’ll need a springform pan to turn this into a pretty cake shape. Or if you want you can just dump all the ingredients together in a big bowl like a salad and drizzle it with the two sauces like dressing. It tastes amazing either way.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Cooked sushi rice
  • 1/2 sheet of Nori (Only if you like the taste)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 2 English cucumbers, peeled and julienned up until the core only
  • 8 Kani sticks, "pulled"
  • 3-4oz raw sushi-grade tuna
  • 3-4oz raw salmon
  • 2 firm avocados, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • About 1/2 cup spicy mayo (store-bought, or recipe below)
  • About 1/2 cup sweet dipping sauce (store-bought, or recipe below)

First, prepare the rice using:

  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Rinse rice under cool running water, until water runs clear. Drain and place rinsed rice in a pot. Add 2 1/2 cups cold water. Heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or so until the water is absorbed.
  2. Remove pan from heat and let stand for 10 minutes, covered.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar with the sugar. Fold the mixture into the rice using a spatula or fork. Set aside.

While the rice cooks, chop all vegetables. Chop fishes into small cubes. Pull apart the Kani sticks and crumble about a half sheet of Nori (if using).

Next, prepare your sauces (if you choose to do so):

Spicy Mayo:

You can buy this in any store or you can prepare it yourself by mixing together the following:

  • 4 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha chili sauce
  • A dash of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Sweet dipping sauce:

You can buy this in any store or you can prepare it yourself by mixing together the following:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

Now that everything's prepared, it's time to put it all together.

  1. Press half the rice into a springform pan using plastic wrap. Do NOT use your hands; the rice will stick to them.
  2. Put half of the veggie/fish mixture on top. Drizzle with half of each sauce.
  3. Press down the other half of the rice on top of the mixture with the plastic wrap.
  4. Top with the other half of the veggie/fish mixture. Drizzle the rest of both sauces and sprinkle with crumbled Nori (if using)

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

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