Japanese Spicy Salmon Rolls made with your favorite salmon tossed in spicy sriracha mayo, then rolled in nori seaweed sheet and fluffy sushi rice! You can easily customize the roll by adding other delicious ingredients like avocado or cucumber. It’s so much cheaper than the restaurant or takeout. I’ll share with you the secrets to make the best spicy salmon sushi, with step-by-step photos!
We have Japanese sushi rolls in my house at least once a week, and I often make Crunchy Roll Sushi, Spicy Tuna Roll, or these delicious fiery spicy salmon rolls. They’re great for lunch, dinner, or evening snacks!
What is a spicy salmon roll?
Spicy salmon rolls are a type of rolled sushi made by rolling spicy salmon in nori seaweed sheets and seasoned rice. You can use nori to cover the rice and salmon. Alternatively, you can make “inside-out roll” (uramaki), which means that the rice is on the outside covering nori.
This recipe uses “inside-out” technique, a more popular version outside of Japan, as a way of hiding the nori from people who may be turned off by seaweed.
What ingredients go into a spicy salmon roll?
- Salmon: Traditional spicy salmon roll recipe contains raw sashimi-grade salmon. If you’re not a brave raw fish eater, you can substitute smoked salmon or canned salmon.
- Sriracha Sauce: The spicy flavor comes from sriracha sauce. You can adjust the amount to make your rolls more or less spicy.
- Mayo: It adds creaminess and extra moisture to the roll. You can substitute plain Greek yogurt for a healthier option.
- Nori (Seaweed Sheets): Good nori should be black with a slightly green hue. Fresh nori sheet is crispy enough to easily break into half by folding it. It adds a delicious umami flavor to the roll.
- Sushi Rice: It’s best to use Japanese short-grain rice for the best fluffy rice.
- Sushi vinegar: If you don’t have sushi vinegar, you can mix rice vinegar, sugar, and salt as a replacement. It adds more flavor to cooked sushi rice.
- Sesame Seeds: I use toasted white sesame seeds. You can also use black, or a combination of white and black sesame seeds. Just toast them slightly in a frying pan for 5 minutes, and it will add a wonderful nutty flavor and aroma to your rolls.
You’ll also need a sushi rolling mat to make the sushi for the best result. Alternatively, you can use a piece of parchment paper.
How to make spicy salmon roll
Step 1: Cook sushi rice
Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Then add the rice and water to the rice maker. I use a 1:1 ratio when I make sushi rolls so that the rice is not too mushy. Cook according to the instruction. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can cook on the stovetop (see the recipe for details).
Once cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and let it cool down slightly. When it’s still very warm, stir in the sushi vinegar and mix well. You can replace sushi vinegar with a mixture of white vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Step 2: Make the spicy sauce
Spicy mayo is also called sriracha mayo, which is made of two ingredients: sriracha chili sauce and mayonnaise (1:2 ratio). Mix the spicy mayo with salmon strips and it adds a creamy and spicy flavor to the sushi roll.
Reduce the amount of sriracha sauce if you prefer a mild taste or add more for making it very spicy!
Step 3: Assemble spicy salmon rolls
Making sushi rolls is easier than you think! First, fold the nori sheets in half to split them and place half of the nori on top of the bamboo mat (I like to cover the mat with a piece of plastic wrap for easy cleaning).
Evenly spread rice over nori. Sprinkle sesame seeds. Flip the rice covered nori sheet so that rice is facing down. Place seasoned salmon on top of the nori (see step-by-step photos in the recipe).
Start rolling using your bamboo mat to firmly keep the roll in place. Apply some pressure to tighten it up. Once the roll is complete, you can move it to the cutting board and cut them into pieces.
Tips for the Perfect Salmon Rolls
- To prevent the rice from sticking to your hands: You can make Tezu, which is a hand dipping liquid made with 1/4 cup water and 2 teaspoons rice vinegar. Wet your hands with Tezu before handling rice.
- To prevent sushi rolls from falling apart: You’ll need to squeeze the roll gently while rolling. Once you finish, you can place the bamboo mat over the sushi roll and gently squeeze the roll again.
Is the salmon cooked or raw?
The traditional spicy salmon roll recipe calls for raw salmon. If this is what you have in mind, you’ll need to buy sashimi-grade salmon. Usually, you can find it at a Japanese grocery store or local fish market. Place the fish on ice before cooking, and it’s best to eat it the same day. You’ll need to cut the salmon into 1/2-inch strips for easy rolling.
If you don’t like the idea of eating raw fish, substitute smoked salmon, canned salmon, or cooked salmon.
This recipe is easy to customize and you can add other ingredients. Here are some ideas:
- For the filling: You can add avocado (making it more creamy), cucumber (making it crunchy), or lettuce to your rolls. You can also swap out salmon for tuna for spicy tuna rolls.
- For the rice: Use brown rice for a healthier version.
More Japanese Sushi Recipes May Also Like:
Spicy Salmon Roll Recipe
For Sushi Rice
For Spicy Salmon Rolls
Optional for Serving:
- soy sauce
- wasabi paste
- chopped green onions
Make the Sushi Rice
- Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Then add the rice and water to the rice maker. Cook according to the instruction. You can also cook it in a regular saucepan on the stovetop (see recipe notes*).
- Once cooked, transfer the hot rice to a large bowl and let it cool down slightly. When it’s still very warm, stir in the sushi vinegar (or the mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt).
Prepare the Salmon
- Cut the salmon into 1/2-inch thick strips.
- In a small bowl, mix together sriracha sauce and mayo to make spicy mayo.
- Mix salmon strips with spicy mayo in a medium bowl.
Assemble Spicy Salmon Roll
- Lay out the bamboo mat with an optional piece of plastic wrap on top (this will make clean up easier).
- Fold the nori sheets in half and split them by hands or using a pair of scissors.
- Then place half of the nori sheet on top of the bamboo.
- Take about 3/4 cup of cooked rice and evenly spread over nori. (You can dip your hands in Tezu vinegar water** to prevent sticking.) Then sprinkle with white sesame*** evenly on top.
- Flip the rice covered nori sheet so that rice is facing down.
- Place salmon strips over the bottom third of the sheet.
- Place the thumbs underneath the bamboo mat and lift the edge up and over the filling.
- Roll the bamboo mat away from you and apply some pressure to tighten it up. Keep rolling until the ends meet.
- Once the roll is complete, move the roll to the cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut it into two halves. Cut off the edges on each side, and then cut each half into 4 pieces to make 8 pieces from each roll.
- Add small amount of spicy mayo on top of each sushi and garnish with chopped green onions.
- *How to cook rice on the stovetop: Place the washed and drained rice in a medium saucepan and add cold water. Turn the heat on high and bring it to a boil. Once boiled, reduce heat to medium and cover with the lid. Cook for about 7-8 minute or until the water is absorbed. Then reduce the heat to very low and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes covered.
- ** Tezu water for dipping hands: Mix together 1/4 cup water and 2 teaspoons rice vinegar.
- ***To toast sesame seeds, add them to a dry skillet on medium heat. Spread them evenly in the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes until lightly browned.
- It’s best to eat spicy salmon rolls the same day, as the raw fish won’t taste as fresh the next day.