Photo: Jules Slütsky
What if you left the rice out of the sushi?
My chicken sushi recipe was inspired by a sushi restaurant on Greenwich Avenue that I used to go to back in the late 80s; I forget the name. They served a dish called “Tiger’s Eye.” It was a green bean and carrot wrapped in nori, then wrapped in salmon, wrapped again in nori and stuffed into squid body and steamed. When you sliced it, it looked like an eye, not necessarily from a tiger, but Tiger’s Eye sounded much better than Human’s Eye on the menu.
I like the idea of sushi without rice, so I made chicken sushi, which I’ve been making for years. It looks really cool when you plate it. It scares people a little when you tell him you’re bringing chicken sushi, but then they see it and they get it and they light up.
I made this dish for a potluck last year, where I stuck skewers in each roll and made “Sesame Chicken Sushi Pops w Teriyaki Glaze & Scallion Ginger Oil.” You know the effect of turning anything into something that resembles one of our favorite childhood treats, don’t you? More DELIGHT! Put a stick in it and they will come. LOL!
I love that this dish is also low-carb and gluten-free, as long as you serve it with gluten-free soy sauce.
- 4 - 6 Nori sheets
- 1 pound of chicken breast, boneless
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Cooked Vegetables For Stuffing Suggestions (about 4 ounces total)asparagus, steamed and chilled
- green beans, steamed and chilled
- carrots, sliced in long strips, steamed and chilled
- red or yellow or orange pepper strips, steamed
- mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in sesame oil
- zucchini, sliced in long strips, steamed and chilled
- spinach, blanched, cooled, chopped, seasoned and squeezed
- daikon radish, sliced in long strips, steamed and chilled
- jicama, sliced in long strips, steamed and chilled
- collards, kale, swiss chard, blanched, cooled, chopped, seasoned and squeezed
- Special Equipment: sushi mat
- meat tenderizer or hammer
- Preheat oven to 350 °.
- Spray a small sheet pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Prepare sushi mat by wrapping it in plastic wrap.
- Prepare chicken breasts by slicing them thinly, placing them between two pieces of waxed paper or a heavy duty plastic bag and banging them out with the flat side of a meat tenderizer or meat hammer to make them flat, about 1/4” thick.
- Have your vegetables for the stuffing ready.
- Place a nori sheet lengthwise on the sushi mat with the shiny side down.
- Starting from the bottom, lay the chicken breast, evenly, on the nori leaving a 1” band of the nori uncovered on the top of the sheet. Season chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place contrasting colored vegetables one third up from the bottom of the nori sheet which is the side closest to you. I use three types of vegetables for each roll, making sure they extend from one side to the other with a little overhang. Don’t overstuff them.
- Being careful to keep the vegetables in place, lift the mat and roll the nori over the vegetables and squeeze the curve so it’s tight. Using the mat to guide you, roll the rest of the nori up tightly, slightly dampening the nori edge if necessary to seal it, but you may not need to because the chicken is sticky.
- Line sushi rolls on sheet pan seam side down.
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the rolls are firm and cooked through.
- Cool, slice into eight pieces. Serve with Gingered Soy Sauce
Use whatever vegetables you like for stuffing your chicken sushi. I like to use contrasting colors so it looks pretty.
I usually serve them as an appetizer, but you could also serve them as part of the salad with greens.
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (low-sodium is best)
- 1 tablespoon white sugar melted in 2 tablespoons of boiling water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 scallions peeled, sliced thinly
- 1 Thai chili, seeded and sliced (optional)
- Mix together all ingredients.