Nori Stacks with Smoked Salmon

28 stacks

Nori sheets, very thin slices of smoked salmon, sushi rice, and wasabi paste are layered three times to make these stacked salmon squares -- which are delicious served with glasses of cold sake garnished with cucumber.


  • 1 ½ cups sushi rice

  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 2 teaspoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)

  • 2 teaspoons sake or water

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 4 7 ½ x 8-inch nori sheets

  • 1 ½ teaspoons wasabi paste or 2 teaspoons wasabi powder combined with

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 8 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon

  • 1 ounce pickled ginger, cut into narrow strips

  • 1 ounce prepared wasabi caviar, golden caviar, or salmon roe

  • Scallion Soy Dipping Sauce


  1. Place rice and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until water has been absorbed, 14 to 16 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, sugar, mirin, sake, and salt in small saucepan. Warm mixture over medium-low heat until sugar and salt are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Transfer the cooked rice to a large mixing bowl. Slowly add vinegar mixture to the warm cooked rice, stirring constantly, until vinegar mixture is incorporated into the rice. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally.

  4. Toast the nori sheets to enhance their flavor: Using tongs, pass each sheet over a gas flame, flipping and turning until it crisps and darkens in color. Both changes will be slight, so watch carefully; this should take only 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If only an electric burner is available, heat to medium, place a sheet of nori directly on the burner, flipping and turning for 30 seconds to 1 minute.)

  5. Place a sheet of toasted nori, shiny-side down, on a dry, clean work surface. Dampen your fingers with water to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands and spread 1 cup lightly packed rice onto the nori. Make sure to spread the rice evenly and all the way to the edges of the sheet. Wet your fingers again and dab 1/2 teaspoon of the wasabi paste over the layer of rice and spread it thin.

  6. Place a thin layer of smoked salmon over the rice, trimming the edges to fit the sheet of nori, top with a second sheet of nori, shiny-side down, and gently smooth the top layer with a rolling pin. Pressing down firmly seals the layers and makes them easier to cut. Repeat the process 2 more times, creating a total of 3 layers, ending with a final sheet of nori, shiny-side up this time. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours; overnight is best. Using a sharp, wet knife, trim the edges of the nori stack to measure 6 by 7 inches. Clean the knife and slice the nori stack into 1 by 1 1/2-inch pieces, re-wetting the knife between each slice. Garnish each piece with strips of ginger and a dollop of wasabi caviar. Serve with scallion soy dipping sauce.

Cook's Notes

The ingredients for this recipe can be purchased at an Asian market or in the Asian section of your grocery store. Wasabi caviar is flying-fish roe to which wasabi, Japanese horseradish, has been added.

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