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In the Kitchen with Vital Choice

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Easy Homemade Wild Salmon (or Tuna) Sushi
Michelle Lee shows how to make fabulous sushi at home in a few simple steps

sushi with ginger

Welcome to my Colorado kitchen!

This series features me, Michelle — a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains — my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood and lots of regular home cooking.

(Click here to learn more about me, below.)

I want to feature the products and preparations you’re curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.

Craving sushi? Me too!

I’m here to tell you that making your own wild salmon sushi is surprisingly quick and easy.

It just takes a few other ingredients to turn one sockeye salmon portion into four gorgeous salmon rolls that slice into about 32 individual pieces.

Vital Choice wild salmon is always sushi-grade
Salmon or any other fish destined for sushi must be firm, taste fresh (not fishy), and safe.

To meet these criteria, salmon must be wild-caught and frozen within hours of harvest — which defines all Vital Choice salmon.

I happened to have Wild Alaskan Sockeye on hand, which was perfect for sushi, but any variety of skinless Vital Choice salmon will do.

A few notes for the cook
I took my salmon out of the freezer the night before making sushi for lunch, and that was plenty of time.

Or, simply immerse an unopened, vacuum-sealed salmon portion in cold water for about 20 minutes, until it's flexible.

For these rolls, I liked the presentation of the rice on the outside, fillings inside. If you prefer, you can make them with rice and fillings both inside the nori. Just don’t flip the nori over after you’ve layered on your sushi rice.

I love my salmon rolls with a thin layer of wasabi for some heat, plus English cucumber for crunch and avocado for full flavor.

But many other vegetables will pair well with this wonderfully fresh tasting wild-caught salmon. Good options include red onion, scallions, asparagus spears (remove the woody stalk), bell pepper (red, yellow, range), zucchini, crunchy lettuce, shiitake mushroom (fresh or dried/reconstituted), carrot, daikon, sprouts, and fresh cilantro or parsley.

It’s very helpful to have a flexible, bamboo sushi mat on hand for rolling. However, a folded tea towel covered with a sheet of plastic wrap absolutely works in a pinch!

One last note — I got all of the ingredients needed for this at the neighborhood grocery store. No need to visit a specialty market, unless you need a bamboo mat for rolling.

If you can’t find them, or would rather not hunt for them, you can order the wasabi, ginger, mats, bowls, and more online from

I look forward to hearing what kind of sushi you enjoyed! Send me a note and let me know how your adventures in sushi went.

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Sushi
Makes four 8-piece sushi rolls (32 roll slices total)

1½ cups sushi rice
1/3 cup mirin
4 toasted organic nori seaweed sheets
Wasabi paste, to taste
6 oz. portion Vital Choice wild salmon, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
Pickled ginger (serve on the side)

Prepare the sushi rice

  1. Rinse the rice well in cold water. Combine 1½ cups sushi rice with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  2. Toss cooked sushi rice with 1/3 cup mirin (a sweet rice wine used to season the sushi rice) in a large bowl, cover and set aside to come to room temperature.

Prepare the rolls

  1. Lay your bamboo mat flat on your work surface and cover with plastic wrap to keep it clean.
  2. Lay one sheet of nori on your mat.
  3. Divide the rice into four equal portions.
  4. Dip your fingers in water (or a combination of rice vinegar and water) and press the sushi rice out to cover the entire sheet of nori. If you prefer an “inside-out” roll, which is what I made, gently flip the rice-covered nori sheet over, rice side down, on the bamboo mat.
  5. If you enjoy some heat, add a thin layer of wasabi paste. Then top nori with thin slices of salmon, avocado and cucumber.
  6. Pressing down gently on the roll, gradually pull the bottom edge of the bamboo mat (closest to you) away from you towards the top, causing the nori to roll up along the mat. Press firmly to gently “square” the edges of the roll as you roll it upward.
  7. Allow the finished roll to sit for 5 minutes, top with a sprinkling of black sesames seeds, then slice into 8 slices with a sharp chef’s knife. Repeat to make 3 additional sushi rolls.
  8. Serve to taste with pickled ginger and wasabi paste. Enjoy!

My rating: 4 out of 4 stars

A Note from Michelle

Like you, I have a passion for beautiful-yet-healthy food that’s easy to prepare. 

While I do love making the occasional "fancy” dinner, most of the time I’m short on time and have a house full of hungry people who want to eat NOW.

I’m not a professional chef – just a busy mom who loves to cook and who’s focused on that intersection of healthy and delicious.

I want this series to feature the products and preparations you’re curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.

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