One of our favorite splurge meals is sushi. I like to make it at home but I love going out for sushi. And while I love the variety of the restaurant-specific interpretation of sushi rolls, I’m completely content with an ice cold platter of mini-slabs of fresh fish in front of me. The Foodie Groom? He lives for his Alaska Roll.
The Alaska Roll at the sushi place that we frequent is fresh salmon and avocado rolled inside-out style and fried, crusted in panko. That’s enough to make a person swoon already but they don’t stop there. They top the sliced rolls with eel sauce and a fresh jalapeno slice… and if you’re feeling really adventurous, it’s topped with the tiniest dab of Sriracha by request.
If you’re going to make sushi at home, you’ll need a couple of tools. We’ve been making simple sushi rolls at home for a few years now but if you’ve never done it, you’ll want to get a few things to get you going. Not many tools, but a few – like a mat on which to roll the rolls and if you ask me, a rice cooker. I can’t tell you how much rice I’ve ruined before dropping $20 on the greatest invention ever. You also need a bowl of cold water to keep your hands wet. Sushi rice sticks to everything but wet hands and plastic wrap.
Rather than using my old trusty sushi rice recipe, I tried the recipe that the Pioneer Woman’s house-call-making chef used – it’s more like the rice that we get out so we’re making the permanent switch. And since the At-Home Alaska Roll got two thumbs up from The Foodie Groom, we might not be going out for sushi for a while.
Panko-Crusted Alaska Rolls
Sushi-house rolls at home, for a fraction of the cost!
- For the sushi rice:
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked sushi rice
- 1/2 cup sushi vinegar or rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp mirin
- For the sushi rolls:
- 3 Nori sheets, halved
- 1/2 large avocado, pitted and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
- 1/2 lb fresh salmon filet, skin removed and sliced into 1/4-inch strips*
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup panko
- 2-3 fresh Jalapenos, sliced (you need 1 slice per piece of sushi)
- Eel sauce
- Soy sauce, for serving
- Wasabi, for serving
- Pickled sushi ginger, for serving
- Vegetable oil
- Put sushi rice in a sieve and set the sieve in a larger bowl full of cold water in the sink. Using your hands, stir the rice to rinse it. Change the water in the bowl as it becomes cloudy. Continue to rinse the rice until the water remains clear. Drain the rice and place it in a rice cooker, using the manufacturer's measurements for the rice:water ratio.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine remaining ingredients and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
- Place the rice in a large bowl and pour over the vinegar mixture. Stir well and let sit for 10 minutes, covered with a damp cloth. Stir again to fluff and use slightly warm.
- Pour enough vegetable oil into a pot to come about 2.5-3 inches up the side of the pot (you want to be able to submerge the entire roll). Heat the oil to 375.
- Cover a bamboo rolling mat with a couple layers of plastic wrap. Cut nori sheets in half crosswise. Lay 1 sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the plastic covered mat. With wet hands, spread about 1/2-2/3 cup of the rice evenly onto the nori. Flip the sheet of nori over so that the rice side is down. Line the salmon and avocado strips in the center of the nori.
- Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the filling in place with your fingers, and roll forward, forming the roll into a tight cylinder, and pressing on the mat lightly to shape and secure. Pull away the mat and set the roll on a plastic wrap-covered plate. Cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until all of the rice has been used.
- Place the flour and panko in separate shallow dishes. Beat the egg and place in another shallow dish. Roll as many sushi rolls as will fit in your pan in the flour (brushing off the excess), in the egg, and then in the panko (pressing the crumbs lightly into the roll). Carefully slide the roll into the heated oil and fry for 30 seconds (this is just long enough to brown the panko, not overheat or cook the filling; I used two sets of tongs to get the rolls in and out of the pan). Drain on paper towel to wick away excess oil. Repeat for remaining rolls.
- Use a very sharp knife to cut the roll into 6-8 slices. Top each slice with a bit of eel sauce and a slice of fresh jalapeno. Serve with soy sauce, prepared wasabi, and pickled ginger if desired.
Yields: 4-6 rolls
Estimated time: 1 hour