Jill Fergus

I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.

 

 

Crispy Sushi Rice with Smoked Salmon and Avocado

Crispy Sushi Rice with Smoked Salmon and Avocado

I was first introduced to these delicious crispy sushi rice bites by a dear friend who made us a sublime lunch based on a recipe by Jean George Vongerichten which featured raw scallops. It was love at first bite! Sushi quality seafood isn’t always readily available, so I decided to experiment with ingredients I had on hand. This version is my family’s favorite!

Did you know almost all the sushi consumed in the US is made with U.S.-grown rice? Over 95% of sushi here is made with rice grown here so when I’m dying to make these and haven’t planned well,I’ll pick up some sushi rice from our local sushi restaurant, which is fortunately right across the street. But when I am planning ahead, I make the U.S.-grown rice the day before. Serve these with a nice salad for a wonderful meal or pass them around as a scrumptious appetizer for guests. It’s simply hard to go wrong.

I love using simple ingredients to create explosive flavors. This crowd pleaser does just that while also adding a wonderful variety of textures - crispy, chewy and creamy - for a delicious and satisfying bite. I frequently have my rice cooker going nonstop as it’s the most versatile grain to add to any meal. I choose U.S.-grown rice wherever I can to ensure quality and support American farmers!

Recipe

Crispy Sushi Rice with Smoked Salmon and Avocado

 Notes-

- Best to prepare the rice the day before. I use a rice cooker as I find it to be the most dependable way to achieve great results.

- If smoked salmon isn’t your thing, try gravlax which has a sweeter, less salty flavor.

- Seasoned rice vinegar has added sugar. If not using seasoned rice vinegar, add about 2-3 Tbs sugar per 2 cups rice.

 

Ingredients-

¼ cup (seasoned) rice vinegar

2 Tbs mirin

2 cups sushi rice, short grain

2 tsp salt

Rice flour for dredging, about 1 cup

Grape seed, or neutral oil for pan frying

1 Avocado, thinly sliced

¼ lb smoked salmon or gravlax, sliced into 1” strips

6 oz crème fraiche, Chèvre or room temperature cream cheese

Fresh ground pepper

salr packed capers, drained and rinsed (optional) 

Fresh herbs such as dill, fennel fronds, chives or scallions

Method-

1- Whisk rice vinegar and mirin.

2- Rinse rice thoroughly until water runs clear. Prepare per rice cooker instructions adding the salt. If cooking stovetop, add 2 cups water, rice and salt and over medium-high heat bring to just boiling. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to sit covered for another 15 minutes.

3- Add cooked rice to a large bowl and drizzle vinegar mixture throughout and quickly mix thoroughly using a rice paddle or wide wooden spoon until fully incorporated.

4- Wipe a glass baking dish, 8x8” or 9x9” with a thin coating of oil, and, using wet hands to avoid sticking, firmly press warm/room temperature sushi rice into the baking dish, cover and refrigerate overnight or until fully chilled (overnight is best).

5- Line a cutting board with wax paper, or plastic wrap (I try to avoid using plastic, but if it’s what you have on hand, it does work well). Gently invert rice onto prepared board and slice into rectangles or squares (your choice!). If rice is sticking, run knife under hot tap water and proceed.

6- Add grape seed oil to a heavy bottomed skillet about ½” deep and heat over med-high heat until shimmering (about 350F). Lightly dredge rice cake bases through rice flour and fry about 3-5 minutes each side until golden brown. If oil gets too hot, reduce heat to medium. Set cooked bases aside on a dish lined with paper towel.

7- Top each base with a slice of avocado, a strip of salmon, a small dollop of crème fraiche, a turn of fresh ground pepper and fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

Enjoy! 

 

 This post is sponsored by US Rice Growers and TheFeedfeed, but all opinions are my own.

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Make sure to   firmly   press the sushi rice into the baking dish. If they’re fragile, they’ll be difficult to work with. And, you only need a light dusting of olive oil. 

Make sure to firmly press the sushi rice into the baking dish. If they’re fragile, they’ll be difficult to work with. And, you only need a light dusting of olive oil. 

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If using a thermometer, I like the oil best around 350F or if going by intuition, when it glistens. 

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I’ve found I can never make too many of these!!!

 

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