Recipe: Italian Sushi Roll

Aug 20, 2011 by     3 Comments    Posted under: Appetizer Recipes, Recipes
Italian Sushi Roll

Italian Sushi Roll

This incredible concoction of flavors was inspired by the Moriawase dish I had at Ozeki Tokyo Cuisine in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  I took their idea of combining the Italian flavors of basil and olive oil with sashimi, and twisted it into a prosciutto wrapped sushi roll with sweet port and balsamic grapes.  This is what traveling to food destinations is all about; inspiration to make something unique and out of this world delicious that perhaps hasn’t been seen before.

This awesome roll was the hit of the sushi party I took it to, and I know it will be for your party as well.  Vegetables instead of fish, prosciutto instead of nori, basil oil instead of wasabi, and sweet grape instead of salty soy sauce…..wow!  This will be on my restaurant menu when I open it’s doors someday for sure.

For this dish you will need:

  • Port Wine Balsamic Grapes (couple spoonfuls per roll)
  • Fried Garlic Chips (one per piece, roughly 8 per roll)
  • Sliced Red Bell Pepper (roughly 4 slices per roll)
  • Blanched Asparagus (2-3 spears per roll, depending on asparagus size)
  • Baby Spinach (8-10 leaves per roll)
  • Sliced Scallions, green part only
  • Basil oil
  • Micro Greens (sprouts), optional
  • Sushi Rice (roughly 1/3 – 1/2 cup per roll)
  • Prosciutto (roughly 6 slices per roll)

Prepare your favorite sushi rice recipe ahead of time, or purchase some from your local sushi restaurant.  Prepare the rest of your ingredients ahead of time as well, so that when it’s time to feed your guests all you have to do is assemble the roll.

When choosing the asparagus to use in this recipe, choose small, skinny stalked asparagus.  They are easier to bite and provide more interest in the final roll because you can add 2 or 3 stalks per roll instead of just 1.  Blanch them in boiling water until bright green, roughly 2 minutes.  Promptly remove from boiling water and place in an ice water bath to cool.  Once cooled, remove and set aside until ready to assemble the roll.

Blanched Asparagus in Ice Bath

Blanched Asparagus in Ice Bath

 

How to Make Basil Oil

Simply place fresh basil leaves in a food processor or blender and process with extra virgin olive oil until smooth.  Add enough olive oil to make it very loose and saucy.  Think very very runny pesto.  You can season to taste with salt and black pepper if you’d like.

Port Wine and Balsamic Grapes Recipe

  • 2 cups halved grapes
  • 1/4 cup port wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Start by cutting the grapes in half along their diameter.  Then place in a sauce pot over high heat with the remaining ingredients and bring to a rapid boil.  Cook until grapes are cooked and soft, roughly 5 minutes.

Sliced Grapes Cut in Half

Sliced Grapes Cut in Half

Cook Grapes in Port and Balsamic on High Heat

Cook Grapes in Port and Balsamic on High Heat

Strain the grapes, reserving all the liquid.

Port Balsamic Grapes

Port Balsamic Grapes

Place liquid back in sauce pot and reduce over medium-high heat until reduced to a thick sauce that coats a spoon and has the consistency of thick maple syrup.

Reduce Port Balsamic Sauce until Thick

Reduce Port Balsamic Sauce until Thick

Set aside and allow to cool.  Re-heat to warm just prior to assembling the sushi roll.

How to Make Fried Garlic Chips

Slice cloves of garlic into even thick slices.  Drop into hot oil and fry until golden brown.  Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Fry Garlic Slices in Hot Oil to Make Garlic Chips

Fry Garlic Slices in Hot Oil to Make Garlic Chips

Fried Garlic Chips

Fried Garlic Chips

 

How to Assemble Italian Sushi Roll

Start by placing plastic wrap over your bamboo sushi scroll press.  Place prosciutto, overlapping the edges, so as to cover the sushi press.  Place the sushi rice on the prosciutto and spread with moistened fingers and/or sushi paddle to cover the prosciutto, leaving a 1 inch strip of bare prosciutto on one long edge for sealing the roll later.  The rice should only be 1/4 inch or so thick.

Place baby spinach across 3/4 of the rice, then lay asparagus, red bell pepper, and a couple spoonfulls of port wine balsamic grapes, including sauce, about 1/3 of the way into the roll square.  Carefully roll up with the bamboo sushi scroll, pulling back the plastic wrap out of your way as you roll.  Once rolled up, compress with the bamboo sushi scroll press.

At this point, you can remove the plastic wrap or leave it on to cut the roll.  I find that the roll seems to hold together better with the plastic wrap on while slicing.  The prosciutto is more delicate than nori, and does not hold together as well.  Because of this, you’ll need to slice into larger pieces than typical sushi, about 1.5 inches thick.  Each roll should produce about 8 pieces.

Place the pieces on a serving plate, then spoon some basil oil on each piece.  Top with scallions, and then place a fried garlic chip on each piece.  You can optionally then garnish with some micro greens/sprouts if you’d like.

Italian Sushi Roll without Micro Greens

Italian Sushi Roll without Micro Greens

 

Recipe by Jothan Yeager, July 2011

 

The Bald Gourmet’s recipes are inspired by his food travel experiences throughout the world, like today’s recipe that was a play on a sashimi dish eaten in a Japanese restaurant in Malaysia.

 

Recipe: Italian Sushi Roll
 
This incredible concoction of flavors was inspired by the Moriawase dish I had at Ozeki Tokyo Cuisine in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I took their idea of combining Italian flavors of basil and olive oil with sashimi, and twisted it into a prosciutto wrapped sushi roll with sweet port and balsamic grapes. Vegetables instead of fish, prosciutto instead of nori, basil oil instead of wasabi, and sweet grape instead of salty soy sauce…..wow!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser, Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion

Ingredients
  • Prepared Sushi Rice; roughly ⅓ – ½ cup per roll
  • Prosciutto; roughly 6 slices per roll
  • Port Wine Balsamic Grapes (2 cups halved grapes, ¼ cup port, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, ⅛ teaspoon salt); couple spoonfuls per roll
  • Fried Garlic Chips; one per piece, roughly 8 per roll
  • Sliced Red Bell Pepper; roughly 4 slices per roll
  • Blanched Asparagus; 2-3 spears per roll, depending on asparagus size
  • Baby Spinach; 8-10 leaves per roll
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sliced Scallions, green part only
  • Basil oil
  • Micro Greens (sprouts), optional

Instructions
  1. Prepare your favorite sushi rice recipe ahead of time, or purchase some from your local sushi restaurant. Prepare the rest of your ingredients ahead of time as well, so that when it’s time to feed your guests all you have to do is assemble the roll.
  2. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water until bright green, roughly 2 minutes. Promptly remove from boiling water and place in an ice water bath to cool. Once cooled, remove and set aside until ready to assemble the roll.
  3. For the Basil Oil: Simply place fresh basil leaves in a food processor or blender and process with extra virgin olive oil until smooth. Add enough olive oil to make it very loose and saucy. Think very very runny pesto. You can season to taste with salt and black pepper if you’d like.
  4. For the Port Wine and Balsamic Grapes: Start by cutting the grapes in half along their diameter.
  5. Place in a sauce pot over high heat with the port, balsamic, and ⅛ teaspoon salt, and bring to a rapid boil. Cook until grapes are cooked and soft, roughly 5 minutes.
  6. Strain the grapes, reserving all the liquid.
  7. Place liquid back in sauce pot and reduce over medium-high heat until reduced to a thick sauce that coats a spoon and has the consistency of thick maple syrup.
  8. Set aside and allow to cool.
  9. Reheat to warm temperature just prior to assembling sushi roll.
  10. For the Garlic Chips: Slice cloves of garlic into even thick slices. Drop into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  11. To Assemble Italian Sushi Roll: Start by placing plastic wrap over your bamboo sushi scroll press.
  12. Place prosciutto, overlapping the edges, so as to cover the sushi press.
  13. Place the sushi rice on the prosciutto and spread with moistened fingers and/or sushi paddle to cover the prosciutto, leaving a 1-inch strip of bare prosciutto on one long edge for sealing the roll later. The rice should only be ¼ inch or so thick.
  14. Place baby spinach across ¾ of the rice, then lay asparagus, red bell pepper, and a couple spoonfulls of port wine balsamic grapes, including sauce, about ⅓ of the way into the roll square.
  15. Carefully roll up with the bamboo sushi scroll, pulling back the plastic wrap out of your way as you roll. Once rolled up, compress with the bamboo sushi scroll press.
  16. With the plastic wrap still on, carefully cut the roll into 1.5-inch pieces. Prosciutto is more delicate than nori and does not hold together as well, so the plastic wrap helps hold the roll together while slicing. Each roll should produce about 8 pieces.
  17. Place the pieces on a serving plate, then spoon some basil oil onto each piece.
  18. Top with scallions, and then place a fried garlic chip onto each piece.
  19. Optionally, garnish with some micro greens/sprouts.

Notes
When choosing the asparagus to use in this recipe, choose small, skinny stalked asparagus. They are easier to bite and provide more interest in the final roll because you can add 2 or 3 stalks per roll instead of just 1.

3 Comments + Add Comment

  • I’m a culinary arts student at Los Angeles Trade Tech College, and I’m assigned to coming up with a sushi dish to go with our weekly Country themed Buffet. It just so happens to be Italian week and i believe this will blow my chefs away…

    • Argusties, that’s great! Good for you for pursuing your professional cooking love. I’m sure your chefs will be impressed by this Italian inspired sushi roll. It’s a fantastic combination of flavors and fun. Let me know how it turns out. Good luck with the assignment. And if your chefs ask where you got the inspiration from, please send them my way. Happy cooking!

  • Thank you, this was a hit at my birthday party. Wonderful, delish, original and absolutely beautiful.

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I'm Jothan Yeager and I am The Bald Gourmet. After years of experimenting in my kitchen, creating delicious food and eating at amazing places around the world, I wanted a place to share my experiences with everyone. Thus the Bald Gourmet was born. I hope to open the doors of great food and great cooking to you, to inspire you to reach beyond prepared boxed meals, and to teach you of a world of deliciousness that has brought joy to me and those around me. Please enjoy the adventure which is The Bald Gourmet and share it with those you love.

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