If you love dining out or entertaining your guests with the kind of fare that tantalizes their tastebuds, then you know that you can’t go wrong with two top treats: bacon and sushi. These two foods may be polar opposites, yet take a look at top restaurants around the world — everywhere from Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in the to Gant Achatz’s Alinea — and you will find bacon in many forms. Whether the bacon is prepared in an irresistible butterscotch sauce, hanging on a ‘clothing line’ or wrapped around dates or melon, one thing that makes bacon so special is its versatility. Creative cooks are constantly dreaming up new ways to serve it. If a special dinner is coming up, why not add the wow factor to your meal with something guests will never expect: bacon sushi?
Equipment You Will Need
Even before thinking of ingredients (which can be varied to taste), you will need to have the right utensils to make professional looking sushi. Unlike traditional sushi, you won’t need a special tray or any seaweed at all (since bacon will fulfil the latter’s function). One thing you will need is the right equipment, since you will be chopping up a number of vegetables that need to look uniform and perfect to conform to Japanese standards of presentation. Japanese three-in-one chef’s knives vary from traditional knives in that they are straighter. They don’t have the gentle slope that Western chefs’ knives do because they are not mean to be rocked back and forth while chopping. Rather, their main aim is to ensure pieces are uniformly cut. You will also need a good non-stick tray and a large wooden chopping board.
Ingredients (Serves four):
- 12 slices of bacon sliced in half
- 2 avocados, chopped into uniform squares
- 8 ounces cashew cream cheese
- 2 carrots, chopped into uniform squares
- 1 zucchini, chopped into uniform squares
- Half a handful of fresh cilantro leaves, sliced finely
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnishing if desired
Heat your oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with oven/wax paper and place bacon slices on top, baking for around 15 minutes or until only slightly crisp. The bacon will need to be soft enough to roll, so check from around the 12-minute mark onwards. Cool the bacon on another tray for around 15 minutes. Start rolling the sushi, spreading each bacon slice with a little of your cashew cream cheese and adding a few of each vegetable. Sprinkle some cilantro over the vegetable mix and roll the bacon up tightly, ensuring the vegetables stay in place.
Tip: For a meatier version of this dish, add shredded meat left over from a roast, or cook your favourite slow-cooked pork and chop into tiny shreds. If you are into citric touches, mix all the vegetables together before rolling them in your bacon. Dress them with lime, a dash of olive oil, and a little Himalayan sea salt. Don’t go overboard with salt, though, since bacon is in itself packed with flavor and will probably provide the slightly salty, beautifully smoky kick you need.
At your next party, serve bacon sushi to your guests and watch every bite receive an ooh or aah. Bacon is loved by all, but so is sushi; the idea of bite-sized aperitifs always appeals. If you have guests on keto, they will be most grateful, since this treat is one they can enjoy without feeling an ounce of guilt!