Need to feed a large group of people in a short amount of time and on a budget? This Japanese inspired, healthy, affordable, crowd-friendly meal comes from my friend Nami Meier, middle school teacher and mother of two, who enjoys bringing her Japanese heritage to the table when entertaining family and friends.
She throws a “Temaki Party”. Te-maki, in Japanese, literally translates to “hand-roll”. Healthy Smoked Salmon Hand rolls are filled with avocado, cucumber and sushi rice. Not only easy and delicious…they are an affordable way to feed a large group of people! It is basically a coned shaped sushi roll filled with what ever you like, dressed with wasabi and soy sauce. They are fun to make and great for parties! One idea is to have each guest bring one ingredient.
What makes her “Temaki Party” such a fun and unique experience, is how it acquaints guests with Japanese culture through food. “To me, food is such a great introduction into other cultures and creates curiosity about visiting other places.” says Nami.
“It’s a really fun and easy way to introduce Japanese food to people who may be unfamiliar or hesitant and it’s a quick and affordable way to feed a large group of people”.
Nami will prep all the ingredients ahead – sushi rice seasoned with rice vinegar and toasted sesame seeds, sauteed mushrooms with sesame oil, strips of fresh veggies – red bell pepper, avocado and cucumber, and fresh sprouts and smoked salmon.
She uses smoked salmon or lox instead of raw fish, to keep it tame and approachable for guests, and lays out all the prepped ingredients on the table in various bowls.
Traditional Sushi rice is made with seasoned with rice wine vinegar. Instead of stirring in the rice vinegar, she uses a rice paddle to “slice the rice” preventing it from becoming gummy. At the same time, she fans the rice to cool it down. It’s always served in a wood bowl.
She sprinkles the rice with a few toasted sesame seeds and covers the bowl with a damp kitchen towel until ready to serve. ( Do not refrigerate.)
Nami will saute mushrooms with a little sesame oil.
And then she will prep all the veggies…sliced avocado, red bell pepper and cucumber.
Once every thing is ready to go, she’ll uncover the rice and give guests a quick demo on how to roll the sushi.
Always remember to have the rough side of the nori seaweed on the inside of the roll, which will better grip the rice.
Slice the nori in half, to make two rectangles.
Using the back of a spoon or your fingers, spread sushi rice over half of the nori, leaving an half inch border.
Begin layering smoked salmon and veggies at a diagnol, pointing up towards the top corner.
Add a little wasabi paste if you like.
Then begin rolling the sushi into a cone.
And that’s it. Spoon a mixture of soy sauce and wasabi paste overtop and dive in.
After Nami gives the guests a quick tutorial on how to roll the sushi into a cone ( rather than a tube) she teaches guests a traditional Japanese saying, itadaki masu. “We say this before eating. It means thank you to the people who made the food, to the sun for shining on the fields, to the farmers, and to all that brought the meal together.”
Guests then roll their own Temaki throughout the night, free to choose what they want to put inside.
“At the end of the meal, when people are finished eating, we say gochiso sama deshita – it means, “it was a feast “. “
Smoked Salmon Handrails with Avocado
Smoked Salmon Hand rolls with Avocado and cucumber. A Japanese Inspired crowd friendly meal that is healthy, simple to make and affordable!
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
- Yield: 6-8
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Japanese
- 3 Cups Calrose rice
- 1-2 Tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms ( cremini, shiitakes, button)
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce ( or use salt to taste)
- 1 red bell pepper- sliced into strips
- 1 English or 6 turkish cucumbers, cut into 4 inch strips
- 1-2 Avocados, cut into strips
- 2 Cups fresh sprouts
- 16 ounces smoked salmon ( lox)
- 1- 2 packages nori sheets, cut in half, to make long rectangles.
- wasabi paste
- soy sauce
- Rinse rice well, until water almost runs clear. Strain. Place in a medium pot with 3 1/4 Cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for 20 minutes. keep lid on until close to serving time.
- While warm, place rice in a wood bowl ( this is traditional) and sprinkle with the seasoned rice vinegar. Using a wood rice paddle or spatula, “slice the rice”, rather than mix. Fan the rice to cool while slicing the rice to mix and fluff. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and cover with a damp kitchen towel.
- Saute mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add sesame oil and cook 2 more minutes. Season with soy sauce or salt to taste. Place in a small serving bowl.
- Prep bell pepper, cucumber and avocado, cutting all into thin 4 inch strips. Place each in individual bowls.
- Place the sprouts in a bowl and smoked salmon on a small platter or plate.
- Cut Nori sheets in half, so you have two rectangles out of each sheet.
- To make a Temaki hand roll:
- Place nori sheet horizontally in front of you with the rough side facing up.
- Spread sushi rice (either using fingers or back of a spoon) on the left half of the sheet, leaving a 1/2 inch border, and 2-3 inches of no rice on the right side of the sheet. On the left side ( the side with rice) , align the strips of veggies, diagonally, with the ends pointing towards the upper left corner. Top this line of veggies, with smoked salmon, mushrooms and sprouts. When folding, start with the left bottom corner first, and fold up over the ingredients, then wrap the right side over and around to form a cone, about the size of an ice cream sugar cone. It will seal itself.
- Season with a little spoonful of soy sauce mixed with wasabi paste.
- Assemble the cones right before eating. Do not make cones in advance. Do not refridgerate- the rice will become crunchy and not taste as good.