The first time I tried sushi I was 22 years old. Considering I had decided I wanted to be a chef at the age of 16, this is surprising, right?. Do they even let people into culinary arts school that have never had sushi? I can just hear Gordon Ramsay now, “You’ve NEVER had SUSHI!?!?! The delectable culinary masterpiece of Japan?!? And you want to be a CHEF??! That’s preposterous – GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!!!” Because even if Gordon Ramsay actually had a culinary arts school, I could get into it in maybe a million years. If I was lucky. Ha!
All far-fetching aside, I was definitely a late-bloomer to the sushi scene. But once I arrived, I was all in. Like crave it, want it, all the time. When we first got married, we had a sushi place about 3 blocks from our apartment that would run half-price sushi deals. It was dangerous. So good, but so dangerous.
Unfortunately, we no longer live next to this sushi place. And, also unfortunately, we no longer have an almost-limitless sushi budget. Ah the joys of adulting. So now I have this brown rice sushi roll salad instead.
This salad has all the essential elements of a good sushi roll: rice, avocado, crab stick, spicy mayo, and plenty of pickled ginger. I always have to ask for more ginger. Oh and lots of vegetables because we all could use more vegetables in our lives. However, this salad is missing two things: seaweed and cream cheese. I didn’t want seaweed because it gets too soggy in here for my liking, but go ahead and throw some in if you want. The cream cheese? I didn’t add any because of… I don’t know…. health? Do what I didn’t and add little cubes of cream cheese in here, will you? Perfect!
Brown Rice Sushi Roll Salad
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Juice from 2 limes
- 1/8 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste
- A pinch of sugar
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 medium carrot , shaved
- 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas , sliced
- 1 scallion , sliced
- 1 jalapeno , thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber , cut into matchsticks
- 8 oz crab sticks , diced
- For serving: 1 thinly sliced avocado , toasted sesame seeds, spicy mayo
For the dressing, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, wasabi, and sugar in a small bowl and whisk well.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing just before you plan to serve it and top with the avocado, sesame seeds, and a healthy drizzle of spicy mayo if you're into that kind of thing.