Smoked Salmon Sushi Rolls Recipe

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Sushi rolls with smoked salmon are a popular appetizer or light meal that combines the salty richness of smoked fish with the bright flavors of avocado, cucumber, and rice. Easy to make and fun to eat, smoked salmon rolls are a great way to enjoy sushi at home.

How to Store Salmon Rolls

Here are some tips for properly storing leftover smoked salmon sushi rolls:

  • Refrigerate uneaten rolls in an airtight container as soon as possible after assembling. Leaving them out at room temperature promotes bacterial growth.
  • Seal the container tightly so no air remains inside. Air exposure can cause the rice to dry out.
  • Try to eat refrigerated rolls within 24 hours for the best quality and freshness.
  • The rice will harden in the fridge. To restore texture, microwave leftovers for 15–20 seconds before serving.
  • For longer storage, wrap individual rolls tightly in plastic wrap before refrigerating. This prevents them from drying out.
  • Do not freeze assembled rolls with rice and other fillings. The high moisture content will ruin the texture once thawed.
  • You can, however, freeze rolled nori sheets layered between parchment without rice for later use. Allow to thaw before assembling rolls.
  • If rolls develop an off-odor, flavor, or appearance, it’s safest to discard them. Do not risk eating spoiled sushi.

Following proper storage methods will help extend the shelf life of your homemade sushi rolls, so you can enjoy the leftovers. But for the absolute best taste and texture, fresh is always ideal when it comes to sushi!

Can I Reheat Smoked Salmon Sushi Rolls?

Yes, you can carefully reheat leftover smoked salmon sushi rolls to serve again, but there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t reheat rolls with raw fish more than once. The textures and flavors will really start to degrade.
  • Warm rolls in the microwave for 15-20 seconds at a time until just slightly warm throughout. Take care not to overheat, or the rice will get mushy.
  • You can also reheat rolls by steaming them for 1-2 minutes over a saucepan or bamboo steamer. This adds moisture to the rice.
  • If reheating in the oven or toaster oven, wrap rolls loosely in foil and warm at 300°F for 5 minutes. Check frequently to prevent drying out.
  • Don’t reheat pre-assembled rolls on a hot pan or grill. This will further dry out the rice.
  • If rolls were stored with plastic wrap, remove it before reheating to prevent melting.
  • Only reheat what you plan to eat. Don’t refrigerate reheated sushi rolls.
  • Add a few drops of rice vinegar, water, or soy sauce to the rolls if the rice seems too dry after reheating.

While it’s always best to eat sushi immediately after assembling, you can revive refrigerated rolls for a short time if you reheat them gently. Just don’t expect them to be as good as fresh!

Tips for Making Perfect Smoked Salmon Sushi Rolls

  • Use freshly cooked rice at room temperature for rolling; this helps the rice stick together better.
  • Don’t overfill the rolls; too many fillings will cause them to fall apart. Leave a 1-inch border of rice at the top.
  • Make sure to tuck in the salmon, avocado, and cucumber as you roll; this secures the fillings inside.
  • Use a sharp knife to slice the rolls for clean cuts. Wipe the blade clean between cuts.
  • Add cream cheese, red onion, sesame seeds, or roe for alternate fillings.
  • Try rolling inside-out by placing nori on the outside.


How To Make Smoked Salmon Sushi Rolls

Smoked Salmon Sushi Roll Benefits

Here are some of the key benefits and nutritional highlights of smoked salmon sushi rolls:

  • High in Protein: The smoked salmon provides a good amount of protein to help you feel full.
  • Omega-3s: Salmon is a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA.
  • Vitamin D: Wild salmon contains vitamin D, which supports immune and bone health.
  • Low Carb: With no bread, rolls are lower in carbs than sandwiches or burgers.
  • Whole Grains: Sushi rice provides energizing complex carbs and fiber.
  • Vegetables: avocado and cucumber add nutrients, fiber, and freshness.
  • Flavor: Smoked salmon offers a rich, savory flavor balanced by rice and vegetables.
  • Easy to Make: Homemade sushi rolls are simple to put together with just a few ingredients.
  • Customizable: Fillings like cream cheese, roe, and radish sprouts can be swapped in and out.
  • Portable: Sushi rolls make an easy on-the-go meal or snack that travels well.
  • Fun Presentation: Beautifully sliced rolls on a platter make a visually appetizing dish.

With smoked salmon’s stellar nutrition profile plus the other clean, whole food ingredients, sushi rolls make for a very healthy appetizer or light meal option. Give this Japanese classic a try!

Frequently Asked Questions About Smoked Salmon Sushi

What kind of rice is used for sushi?

Sushi is traditionally made with short or medium-grain white Japanese rice. After cooking, it is seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, which give the rice its characteristic flavor and stickiness. Long-grain rice does not have the proper starch content to work well in sushi.

Can I use brown rice for sushi rolls?

It is best to avoid brown rice for sushi rolls. The bran outer layer can make the rice too dry and flaky to properly stick together. Stick with white sushi rice for the most authentic texture.

Is raw salmon safe for sushi?

Raw salmon is safe to eat in sushi when it has been frozen first, according to FDA guidelines. This kills any parasites or bacteria present. Fresh-caught salmon should not be eaten raw unless frozen at -4°F (-20°C) for 7 days. Smoked salmon does not need freezing.

How long does assembled sushi last?

Assembled sushi rolls with raw fish are best eaten fresh the day they are made for food safety. Leftover rolls should be consumed within 24 hours if stored properly in the refrigerator. The rice will start to dry out and lose its texture after that.

Can you freeze homemade sushi rolls?

It is not recommended to freeze assembled sushi rolls, especially ones containing raw fish like salmon. The moisture from the rice and fillings will turn mushy when thawed. For the best quality, sushi is always best fresh.

Smoked Salmon Recipe Ideas


Smoked Salmon Sushi Roll Recipe

Smoked Salmon Sushi Rolls

Learn how to make delicious smoked salmon sushi rolls at home with this step-by-step recipe and helpful tips for perfectly shaped rolls.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 6 Rolls


  • 6 sheets of nori (dried seaweed sheets)
  • 3 cups of prepared sushi rice
  • 1 avocado, sliced into long strips
  • 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 6-8 oz. smoked salmon, sliced
  • Soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger, for serving


Step 1: Cook the rice.

  • Rinse 2 cups of sushi rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain well.
  • Add rice and 2 cups of water to a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15–20 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer cooked rice to a bowl and gently mix in rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Allow the rice to cool completely before using.

Step 2: Prepare the Fillings

  • Slice avocado into long, thin strips.
  • Cut the cucumber into matchsticks.
  • Slice smoked salmon into long strips.
  • Have small piles of each ingredient prepared for easy rolling.

Step 3: Assemble the rolls

  • Place a nori sheet, shiny-side down, on a sushi rolling mat.
  • Dip your fingers in water and spread about 3/4 cup of prepared sushi rice evenly over the nori, leaving a 1-inch border at the top.
  • Layer some smoked salmon, avocado slices, and cucumber sticks across the center of the rice.
  • Using the mat to guide you, carefully roll up the nori, starting at the bottom, and tuck in the fillings as you go.
  • Seal the edge with a bit of water and let it rest seam side down.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make six rolls.

Step 4: Slice and serve

  • Using a sharp knife, cut each roll into 6–8 pieces.
  • Serve immediately with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger on the side.


  • Look for wild-caught salmon for the best flavor and texture in sushi. Farm-raised salmon tends to be less fatty.
  • For food safety, use freshly cooked rice stored at room temperature for rolling sushi. Do not use refrigerated rice.
  • Adjust the saltiness of the rice seasoning to taste. Start with a teaspoon of salt and add more if desired.
  • Roll the mat over the fillings gradually, tucking everything in tightly as you go. Don't be afraid to re-roll if needed.
  • A rice vinegar with added sugar and salt (often called sushi seasoning) helps shortcut the process. You can find it near other Asian ingredients.
  • Not a fan of cucumbers? Try substituting julienned carrots, radish sprouts, or asparagus for a crunchy filling.
  • Make rice vinegar-seasoned rice ahead for rolling whenever a sushi craving strikes! It stores for 5–6 days in the fridge.

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