If you like the flavors of sushi, you are going to love this sushi salad! A wasabi soy dressing tops arugula, smoked salmon and pickled ginger for a fantastic meal.
Sushi salad could have saved me a lot (!) of money over the years. I am an unabashed lover of “all things” sushi. For better or worse, I passed on this trait to my two boys, which means regular cravings for rolls, nigiri and poke bowls.
If I had unlimited funds, there would be sushi for all, at least one time per week! But let’s be real…given the cost of a really good sushi feast for a family that includes two teenaged boys who can eat their weight in raw fish, it’s often saved for special occasions and birthday dinners.
My challenge? Find a way to satisfy those sushi cravings on a regular basis with items I can find at the grocery store. I decided to come up with a salad that satisfied my taste buds for a fraction of the cost of a restaurant sushi meal. A sushi salad seems like something I can justify eating for lunch or dinner any day of the week.
Easy, delicious and healthy! And most importantly, it satisfies my sushi cravings effortlessly.
Sushi salad basics:
To mimic the flavors of maki rolls, I cut up a sheet of nori, which is the dried seaweed sheet used to make rolls and tossed the pieces into the salad along with pickled ginger, chopped cucumber, brown rice and arugula.
Everything is lightly coated with an easy wasabi soy dressing, made with wasabi paste found in many grocery stores and Asian markets.
What you need for this sushi salad:
These are the main components needed for this recipe (affiliate links included)…
- Smoked salmon or alternative: I use lox, but you could also use hot smoked salmon, which is more similar to a grilled salmon fillet. See more chit chat about alternatives in the section below.
- Cooked brown rice: I prefer brown rice because of its nutty flavor and extra dose of fiber. White rice can be substituted if you prefer.
- Nori: Nori (seaweed) sheets can be found in the international aisle of many supermarkets, at Asian markets or online.
- Pickled ginger: This is the ginger that comes on the side when you order any sort of sushi roll in a restaurant. It adds a wonderful layer of acidity and flavor. Leave it out if it’s not your thing. Find it in stores or online.
- Other vegetables: Cucumber and arugula add crunch and a peppery flavor, respectively, while “up”-ing the nutrients of the salad.
- The dressing: This ingredients are all common ones, that can be found in most supermarkets (with possible exception of the wasabi paste) or online. Soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave nectar (or honey), olive oil and sesame oil.
- Wasabi paste: Wasabi is Japanese horseradish that is served alongside and/or inside maki (rolls) and nigiri (sushi). The more you add to the dressing, the spicier it will be. You can buy tubes of wasabi paste in many grocery stores, Asian markets or online.
What can be used in place of smoked salmon?
If you prefer, swap out the smoked salmon and replace it with sushi grade salmon or ahi, like I used in my Avocado Salmon Poke Salad Bowl.
I look for fish that is marked as “sushi grade” to be sure that it’s safe to eat raw. You can ask your local fishmonger for details on the fish they have available.
How can this sushi salad be made vegan?
Yes! Leave out the salmon and replace it with smoked, stir-fried or baked tofu, or tempeh. Smoked tofu can be found in many health food stores.
For the dressing, be sure to use agave rather than honey, as honey is not considered to be vegan.
Is this sushi salad gluten free?
Almost. And it can be made entirely gluten free with one simple swap. Instead of regular soy sauce, which contains wheat, opt for tamari sauce (affiliate).