The act of dating usually involves two people meeting up and engaging in an agreed upon activity in order to assess their compatibility, or to generally enjoy each others’ company. But nowhere in the rules of courtship does it specify that you must be out in public in order to do the assessing or enjoying. So I’m going suggest something crazy here: Why not stay in?
My expert advice is to keep the cooking to a minimum, and my favorite option for date night is sushi. It’s exotic, hands-on, fun, sticky, sweet, and, in this case, spicy, because this recipe uses lots of Sriracha, a Thai sauce made from chili paste. It’s a great way to spice things up. And trust me, it’s easier to make then you might think.
Spicy Salmon Sushi Rolls
makes 4 rolls
1 1/2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 sheets nori
6-inch piece of English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 pound fresh, raw salmon, diced
1 tablespoon mayonaise
2 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce
Special equipment: Sushi rolling mat (available at most grocery stores)
To make the rice
Bring water and rice to a boil in a medium sauce pan, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until moisture is absorbed. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl and spread out in a thin layer.
Mix rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds to dissolve sugar. Pour mixture over rice and fold in until rice is coated. Allow rice to cool.
To prepare filling
Peel cucumber and cut it in to matchsticks. Slice avocado in half, remove pit, and score flesh vertically into thin sections. Cut scallion into thin, 1/4-inch diagonal slices.
Next, remove skin from the salmon and dice into 1/4-inch cubes and place in a bowl. Add mayonnaise, Sriracha, and scallion and mix until combined.
To roll sushi
Keep a small bowl of warm water nearby to dip your fingers into before spreading out the rice. Lay sushi mat on a flat surface. Cover the sushi mat with plastic wrap, which helps keep the nori from sticking. This will also make cleaning up easier. Place a nori wrapper atop the plastic wrap and mat.
Using your fingers, spread out about 1 cup of rice on the nori, leaving a 1/2-inch space at the top. Sprinkle with one-quarter of the sesame seeds, then line with one-quarter of cucumber and avocado slices and salmon mixture.
Starting with the edge of the mat closest to you, roll the nori up so the bottom of the wrapper meets the line of rice at the top. Gently but firmly pull the mat back towards you (this is the actual “rolling” motion) to tighten up the filling. Repeat the roll and pull back a few more times, until a tight cylinder is formed. Repeat to make three more rolls.
Wet the blade of a sharp knife, and carefully slice the rolls into eight pieces each. Arrange the pieces on a plate with pickled ginger and wasabi paste with soy sauce on the side for dipping. Enjoy!