There are people who love sushi, and there are people who hate it. Some don’t mind the raw fish or seafood; others feel uneasy about it unless it’s cooked. You could eat tempura (fried) sushi, but the healthier option would be to make your own sushi with cooked meat.
When I make sushi, I bake the salmon first, so there are no fears of my sensitive stomach feeling it later. Cold water fish such as salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration and even cataracts.
I pair carrots and arugula with the salmon because of their similar benefits. Carrots are absolutely full of vitamin A, which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes. Arugula contains a good amount of vitamins A and K, as well as vitamin C and lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that can help stop the development of macular degeneration and cataracts.
The sauce is mainly made of avocados, which have a good amount of the antioxidants I just mentioned– vitamins A & C, lutein and zeaxanthin. So every part of this recipe– from the salmon, to the veggies, to the sauce– can help you in maintaining healthy vision.
Ingredients (serves 3 to 4):
- ½ cup uncooked sushi rice (makes 3 cups cooked)
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 wild-caught salmon filet (about 0.5lbs)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 4 sheets of rice paper
- 1 carrot, cut into slivers
- Handful of arugula
- 1 tsp chia seeds (for garnish)
- 1 small avocado, diced
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp water
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
Cooking rice and salmon:
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Follow directions on the rice container to cook sticky rice. Then place rice in a medium mixing bowl and stir in the rice vinegar and raw sugar.
- Place salmon filet, skin side down, on a non-stick baking sheet. Pour olive oil evenly over filet, and sprinkle with the salt, pepper and lemon zest. Bake salmon in oven for about 12-15 minutes or until salmon is a lighter pink in color and flakes off easily. Let cool, then cut into long pieces (Make sure to remove any little white bones.)
Making the sushi rolls:
- Place a long piece of plastic wrap onto a cutting board. Take a sheet of rice paper and slightly wet it on both sides to soften it. Immediately place the rice paper (smooth side down) on the plastic wrap.
- Wet your hands, grab a handful of sticky rice, and carefully spread it out evenly on the rice paper, covering the bottom ⅔ of the rice paper with sticky rice.
- Then place the carrot, arugula and salmon pieces across the middle of the sticky rice.
- Carefully peel the end of the rice paper nearest you off the plastic wrap. Using your fingers, scoot the ingredients closer to you and begin to carefully roll up the sushi. Use your hands to press the sticky rice and ingredients together and spread them out, as you tighten the roll. Pull the plastic wrap back, towards you, a little at a time as you roll. When the roll is complete, cover it with the plastic wrap.
- Repeat steps 4 to 7 to make a few more sushi rolls, until the extra sticky rice is gone.
- Chill the sushi rolls in the fridge for 1 hour to help them firm. Then take the plastic wrap off and wet your knife blade. Carefully cut each roll into pieces about an 1 inch wide, and place pieces on a plate.
- To make the avocado lime sauce, combine avocado pieces, lime juice, water, oil, sea salt and pepper in a blender or food processor.
- Spoon a little sauce onto the tops of each sushi piece and sprinkle some chia seeds on them. Serve with soy sauce on the side, and chopsticks, if you like.