Sushi burrito or sushirrito is apparently “a thing.” I generally don’t like things that are trendy or “all the rage,” sometimes for good reason, but usually just because I like to buck the trends and go against the masses. But this particular fad caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First off, I love sushi. Second, I love sushi.
I certainly can’t take credit for the inception of the sushirrito, that goes to Peter Yen, founder of the Sushirrito chain in San Francisco, California. Feeling constrained by pricey, time-consuming sit-down sushi restaurants and pre-made options lacking quality and originality, Yen came up with the concept of the sushi burrito. Slowly, his idea caught the attention of others and the concept of the sushi burrito spread across the country. While there is no doubt some crazy iterations of sushirrittos, I prefer ones that are more akin to a healthy, overstuffed, portable maki roll and less to that of a burrito.
Unlike a burrito, which is wrapped in a flour tortilla, a sushi burrito is encased in umami-rich nori. Nori are dried seaweed sheets made from a species of red seaweed. As is the case with other types of seaweed, nori offers one of the broadest ranges of minerals of any food, containing virtually all the minerals found in the ocean (calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium, and zinc — to name a few). It’s also been touted for its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anticoagulant, antithrombotic, and antiviral properties. One might even say seaweed is a “superfood.”
No need to seek out a Sushiritto when you can easily make one at home. I bought some sushi grade tuna from my local fishmonger, whipped up a spicy mayo (mayo + a good amount of sambal), and julienned an assortment of vegetables — carrots, bell pepper, daikon and watermelon radish, cucumber, and avocado. I also added microgreens (sunflower and radish). And for a little crunch, quickly sautéed some smoked applewood dulse – aka bacon of the sea — until just crispy. From there it’s pretty easy, just spread a layer of sushi rice over the nori (two sheets to make it oversized), layer on your ingredients, roll, and enjoy. This version of the sushi burrito checks all the boxes for me: healthy, check; quick and easy to make, check; and, most importantly, delicious, check.
You can freely alter/adjust the type and ratio of sushi burrito fillings to suit your preference. That’s the great thing about a sushi burrito; it’s completely customizable. Don’t have access to sushi-grade fish, no problem, perhaps seared tuna or canned tuna, some hot or cold-smoked salmon, crab meat, or shrimp. Or, omit the seafood and make it vegan or vegetarian. In the end, the sushi burrito is a handheld creation of your own design that may become your go-to for flavorful and satisfying eating.
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Spicy Tuna Sushi Burrito
Makes 2 sushi burritos
4 to 6 ounces raw, sushi-grade tuna, cubed
spicy mayo (sambal plus mayo, add sambal to taste)
4 sheets toasted nori
1 thinly sliced avocado
1 julienned carrot
1 julienned bell pepper
1 small bunch julienned radish
1 small seedless cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
A handful of microgreens (such as sunflower or radish)
A few tablespoons of smoked Applewood dulse, crisped in a hot skillet with a little oil
1. Mix the cubed tuna with the spicy mayo to taste.
2. Attach two sheets of nori together wetting one inch of one side with water, keeping rough sides facing up, so you have one long sheet. Using your fingers, cover the nori with a layer of rice, about 1 cup per sushi burrito.
3. Layer spicy tuna, avocado, carrots, avocado, bell peppers, radish, cucumbers, microgreens and smoked dulse in the center of the rice. Gently roll it up, wetting the last inch of the nori (with water) to seal. Place seam side down. Slice in half. Repeat.
To Make the Rice
2 cups cooked Japanese short grain rice, cooked according to rice cooker manufacturer directions
3 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1. In a large bowl, spread warm rice out. Combine together vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
2. Pour the mixture over the still warm rice.
Photo Credit: Linda Schneider