Salad Maki is a kind of rolled Sushi literally with the ingredients of a salad inside. It is usually found at Sushi restaurants that are more oriented toward families and reasonably priced, such as Kaiten Sushi restaurants (revolving Sushi restaurants), not so much at more sophisticated and fancy restaurants. Salad Maki is certainly not traditional Japanese Sushi, but it may be one of the most loved “arranged” Sushi rolls in Japan.
Salad Maki probably came from Lettuce Maki which was first created by a Sushi shop in the Kyushu region 50 years ago. Lettuce Maki was simply boiled shrimps, lettuce, and mayonnaise, but the combination of Sushi Rice and those salad ingredients were surprisingly compatible and became very popular. And that was the beginning of today’s Salad Maki. Also, the well known California Roll might be inspired by this Salad Maki, or at least it has a very similar concept of combining Sushi Rice and salad items.
In Salad Maki, one of the main ingredients used is imitation crab sticks (sometimes called “krab”). It is not really crab but instead is made from fish paste with some crab flavor. Real crab meat can be used in the rolls, but it is quite expensive and may be too much for this dish. You can substitute cooked shrimp for crab sticks if you like. Another important item in the roll is, believe or not, tuna salad. Tuna salad made with Japanese mayo goes with tangy Sushi Rice very well. There is nothing hard to get to make this dish at all. No raw fish! Because of that, it is easily made at home for dinner. With vegetables and everything, this is a pretty good food to feed your family. Serve with Miso Soup, and you have a wonderful meal!
- 1 small can tuna
- 1 Tbsp Japanese mayo
- pinch of salt
- 1 cucumber, cut into 1/2" thick sticks
- Tamagoyaki, cut into 1/2" thick sticks
- 1 recipe of Sushi Rice
- 2 sheets of Nori (Roasted Seaweed)
- 4 leafs of butter lettuce
- 4 sticks imitation crab meat
- Soy Sauce
- Mix tuna, mayo, and salt well in a bowl. Cut cucumber and Tamagoyaki into thin long strips, about 8" long and 1/2" thick (8cm x 1cm). It's OK not to have 8" long pieces, just add pieces together to make the total length. Set aside.
- Put a sushi mat flat on your work surface with the bamboo slats left to right, so you can roll the mat away from you. Place a piece of seaweed on the sushi mat with one of the seaweed's sides close to the front edge of the sushi mat (the edge near you). Spread sushi rice on the seaweed leaving a 1/2" (1cm) space at the front and far edges of the seaweed. Place lettuce, imitation crab, cucumber, Tamagoyaki, and tuna salad next to each other in the middle of the rice. Holding the filling down, roll from the front end of the mat with the sushi mat toward the other end. Tighten the roll like a roll cake, pulling the mat to tighten. Remove the roll from the mat.
- Cut the roll into 1/2" thick. Serve with soy sauce if you like.