Sushi Rolls & Okonomiyaki

The Olympic host nation, Japan's most internationally famous dish is Sushi. Most people are mistaken in believing that sushi is simply raw fish.

Homemade sushi is easier than you'd think, less expensive than takeout, and really fun to make. Here we share one simple recipe, but the combinations and forms are endless and can suit your own preference. So if you don't fancy this, there are also cooked, vegetarian and vegan options available.

Another popular street food from Japan is Okonomiyaki, a savoury Japanese pancake, below is a simple recipe for you to try.


Makes 32

300g sushi rice
2 tbsp rice or white wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
1 large avocado
Half a cucumber
4 sheets nori seaweed
240g of sushi grade salmon (or if you prefer smoked salmon or cooked salmon)
Spicy mayo (see recipe below)

To Serve: sesame seeds, sliced spring onions, soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger


For the Rice:
Wash the rice in a sieve under cold water until it runs clear.
Put the rice in a small pan with 600ml water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 mins until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir through the vinegar and sugar, cover and cool.

Let it cool to body temperature or room temperature if you prefer, while you prepare the fillings.

For the Fillings:
With a very sharp knife, cut the salmon into ¼-inch-thick strips.
Halve and pit the avocado. Slice the flesh lengthwise into strips and scoop it from the skin with a large spoon.
Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the watery center from each half with a small spoon. Then cut each half into sticks.

To assemble the sushi:

Lay a bamboo sushi mat on a cutting board with one of the short sides facing you. Cover the surface of the mat with clingfilm.

Place a piece of nori on the mat, with the shiny side down and one of the short sides toward you. Wet your hands (a bowl of warm water with a splash of rice vinegar helps here) and pick up about ½ cup of rice.

Using your hands, spread the rice fairly evenly over the surface of the nori, leaving the half-inch strip farthest from you riceless. You don’t need to spread the rice perfectly to end up with good-looking sushi.

Near the end closest to you, lay a strip of fish and some avocado and cucumber across the entire width of the rice. Spread on a generous bit of spicy mayo.

Using your finger, wet the bare strip of nori to ensure it will seal the roll.

To Roll The Sushi:
Lift up the edge of the bamboo mat closest to you and tuck your thumbs underneath.

Use the rest of your fingers to hold the fillings in place for a moment while you roll the mat once away from you to enclose the filling in the nori.

Continue to roll the mat away from you, pressing gently and pulling slightly toward yourself at the bottom, to shape the roll. Remove the bamboo mat.

Wipe the blade of your serrated knife with a wet paper towel or kitchen towel. Cut the roll in half crosswise, and then slice each half into three or four rounds.

Sprinkle with spring onions, and/or sesame seeds, if using. Serve with soy sauce for dipping and wasabi and pickled ginger, if you like. Enjoy!

Sushi Spicy Mayo Recipe

Ingredients: 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tbsp sriracha sauce, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 shallot, minced

Stir all ingredients together and serve as a sauce or salad dressing. Store leftovers tightly sealed in the fridge for up to a week.

Okonomiyaki Ingredients

For the okonomiyaki sauce
1½ tbsp tomato ketchup
½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp runny honey
1 tsp dark soy sauce

For the okonomiyaki pancakes
3 large free-range eggs
3 tbsp plain flour
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp dark soy sauce
½ tsp toasted sesame oil
2 large spring onions, thinly sliced
275g white cabbage, shredded
sunflower oil

Okonomiyaki Method

For the okonomiyaki sauce, whisk together the tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, honey and dark soy sauce in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.

To make the okonomiyaki batter, whisk together the eggs, flour, salt, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil until smooth.

Fold the spring onions and cabbage into the batter until everything is well coated.

Heat enough oil to just cover the bottom of a large frying pan over a medium–high heat until shimmering. Line a warmed plate with a couple of sheets of kitchen paper.

Spoon some of the cabbage mixture into the pan into pancake shapes that are about the size of your palm.

Press down with the back of the spoon and fry until golden-brown on each side, flipping halfway. Transfer the pancakes to the kitchen paper to drain.

Fry in batches until you’ve run out of mixture – you should get about eight pancakes.

Serve the pancakes drizzled with the okonomiyaki sauce.