How to make salmon nigiri in an ice cube tray

Today, I will show you how to make salmon nigiri sushi at home. Follow this easy step-by-step guide and enjoy the most delicious sushi in no time. This recipe is truly revolutionary. 😁

ten salmon nigiri on a wooden board

Do you like sushi? I do! And so do my kids. However, you must have noticed that the prices for sushi rolls have doubled in the last year, going from $2.50 per roll to $4.80 at my local sushi place. Which makes it rather an expensive go-to snack. So, what should we do? Make homemade sushi, of course!

I have to add a disclaimer at this point that this sushi recipe is probably not the most authentic one. The art of making sushi is a skill that requires precision, creativity, and perseverance. Becoming a really good sushi chef takes years. However, this recipe will show you how to make sushi that you and your family will enjoy without paying a fortune to dine in Japanese restaurants. Furthermore, it uses an amazing trick how to make them fast! Let’s dive in.

many different types of sushi

Why will you love this salmon nigiri recipe?

Let’s explore what makes this recipe so good:

  • Easy to make: If you’re not a sushi chef, making sushi can seem intimidating. But fear not! This cheat recipe is quick and requires no special skills, making it accessible to everyone.
  • Nourishing and well-rounded: This nigiri sushi makes for a delicious and healthy lunch or dinner option. Packed with protein from salmon, carbs from sushi rice, and fats from avocado, it’s a perfectly balanced meal.
  • Family-friendly: Kids love sushi, and they’ll enjoy being a part of making their own nigiri. This recipe is a great way to get the whole family involved in the kitchen and have fun together.
  • Gluten-free: If you have celiac disease, you know that many restaurant sushi options contain gluten. By making sushi at home, you can enjoy a gluten-free meal and eliminate any risks.
  • Budget-friendly: Making sushi at home is much more cost-efficient than ordering takeout or dining out. With this recipe, you can enjoy delicious sushi without breaking the bank.
salmon sushi ready to eat on a board

Ingredients for salmon nigiri

  • Japanese sushi rice, cooked (Refer to my how-to-make sushi rice recipe for instructions).
  • Sushi vinegar.
  • Ripe avocado.
  • Salmon fillet (Make sure to use very fresh fish).
  • Nori.
  • Mayonnaise.
  • Soy sauce (Use tamari for a gluten-free option).
  • Pickled ginger and a small dab of wasabi paste to serve.

See the full list of ingredients in the recipe card below.

ingredients needed to make salmon nigiri

Essential tools for sushi nigiri

There are many different kinds of sushi in Japanese cuisine, from sushi rolls to maki, to sashimi, to inarizushi. All of them require years of learning and practice. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t make sushi at home. To make my variation of sushi nigiri, we will need the following ingredients:

A word about salmon.

To make sushi, you will need the highest quality fish you can find. Ask your fish shop for sashimi or sushi-grade fish. If you would like to learn more about salmon and which variety is the best for our consumption, make sure to read my EASY FURIKAKE SALMON RECIPE.

How to make sushi nigiri at home

Here comes the most exciting part: we are making sushi. And as promised, this sushi recipe is a little bit of a cheat recipe. Let me explain why.

We already discussed that making sushi is an art, but our love for sushi is too strong to limit ourselves to occasional special treats. So if you, like me, don’t have any idea how to make hand-formed sushi, this recipe is for you!

How to make sushi vinegar

If you don’t have ready-to-go sushi vinegar you can easily make it yourself.

  • Simply combine 1/3 cup of rice vinegar with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir the vinegar with a spoon until the sugar has dissolved completely. Your sushi vinegar is ready to be used.

Preparing the sushi rice

  • Start by cooking sushi rice. You can use a rice cooker or use my recipe HOW TO MAKE SUSHI RICE.
  • Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large mixing bowl and add sushi rice vinegar and the shredded nori sheets. Mix the rice gently using a wooden spatula or spoon.

Making salmon nigiri

  • Line the ice cube tray with some plastic wrap and make some dips in every ice cube section.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice your salmon into small rectangles, and place a thin slice of fish into every ice cube tray section, pressing it gently to the bottom of the tray.
  • Add a little amount of your favorite mayonnaise on top of the salmon.
  • Place some smashed avocado onto the mayo.
  • Finish with a teaspoon of cooked rice. The tray should now be filled with sushi ingredients.
  • Press gently to make it flat.
  • Carefully turn the tray upside down onto a cutting board and slowly lift the ice cube tray, allowing the sushi to come out of the tray.
  • Remove the plastic wrap, carefully transfer them onto a serving plate or board, and there you go! The delicious treat is ready to be served.

Variations

  • To make tuna nigiri, simply replace the salmon with tuna fish.
  • Use smoked salmon to make smoked salmon sushi nigiri
  • Use fresh shrimp (prawns) to make shrimp nigiri.
  • You can add a small amount of wasabi to every slice of fish before placing it in the ice tray to add some heat.

How to store salmon nigiri

If you would like to make salmon nigiri in advance, you can prepare them 2 or 3 hours ahead of time. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

However, I do not recommend storing raw salmon for any longer than that to avoid the risk of food poisoning. It’s best to consume the sushi within a few hours of preparation.

How to serve salmon nigiri

You can serve salmon nigiri on a nice chopping board with the fish side up. Add a small amount of wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and some pickled ginger as accompaniments.

salmon nigiri beautifully presented on a plate with caviar and wasabi
perfect looking salmon nigiri

Frequently asked questions

Is sushi nigiri gluten-free?

Sushi nigiri, in its traditional form, is gluten-free. However, some sauces, such as soy sauce, may contain gluten. If you have celiac or are sensitive to gluten, it’s important to use gluten-free soy sauce such as tamari.

Can I freeze sushi nigiri?

I don’t recommend freezing sushi nigiri. It’s best to enjoy nigiri fresh.

Can sushi nigiri be made vegetarian or vegan?

Absolutely! Vegetarian and vegan sushi nigiri options are very popular. You can use ingredients like marinated tofu, grilled vegetables, pickled radishes, or even fruit slices to create delicious vegetarian or vegan variations.

More easy Japanese recipes to try

eight salmon nigiri on a wooden board

How to make salmon nigiri

Elena Elliott
Making sushi doesn't have to be hard. Let me show how you can make declious salmon nigiri at home in no time with one little trick.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 14 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup cooked sushi rice see my recipe how to cook sushi rice without rice cooker.
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon organic raw sugar (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons free-range mayonnaise
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 salmon fillet, aproximatelly 300 grams, sliced

To serve

  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari if glute-free
  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi
  • 1 teaspoon pickled ginger

Instructions
 

Sushi rice

  • Prepare sushi rice vinegar by combining 1/3 cup of rice vinegar with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir the vinegar with a spoon until the sugar has dissolved completely. Set aside.
  • Cook sushi rice according to instructions. Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large mixing bowl and add sushi rice vinegar followed by shredded nori sheets. Mix the rice gently using wooden spatula or spoon.
    If you need help read HOW TO MAKE SUSHI RICE.
    sushi rice mixed with shredded nori

Preparation

  • Mash ripe avocado, set aside
    mashed avocado in a bowl
  • Slice salmon fillet
    fresh salmon fillet cut into slices

Making salmon nigiri in an ice cube tray

  • Line the ice cube tray with some plastic wrap and push down the plastic wrap into each ice cube section
    ice tray lined with glad wrap
  • Add a little amount of your favorite mayonnaise on top of the salmon. Place some smashed avocado onto the mayo. Finish with a teaspoon of cooked rice. The tray now should be filled with sushi ingredients. Press gently to make it flat.
    making sushi nigiri in an ice tray
  • Carefully turn the tray around on a cutting board and slowly lift the ice cube tray.
    upside down ice cube tray
  • Remove the glad wrap, and carefully transfer salmon nigiri onto a serving plate or board. Salmon nigiri are ready to be served.
    peeling off glad wrap from sushi nigiri

Notes

Sushi nigiri, in its traditional form, is gluten-free. However, some sauces, such as soy sauce, may contain gluten. If you have celiac or are sensitive to gluten, it’s important to use gluten-free soy sauce such as tamari.

Variations

  • Make tuna nigiri, by simply replacing salmon with tuna fish.
  • Use smoked salmon to make smoked salmon sushi nigiri
  • Use fresh shrimp (prawns) to make shrimp nigiri.
  • You can add a small amount of wasabi to every slice of fish before placing it in the ice tray to add some heat.

How to store salmon nigiri

If you would like to make salmon nigiri in advance, you can make them 2 or 3 hours ahead of time. Cover them with a glad wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
I do not recommend storing raw salmon for any longer to avoid food poisoning.
Keyword salmon nigiri
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    this is a great recipe. I never imagined delicious Sushi could be so easy! Thank you for the beautiful step-by-step pictures and instructions! Yum 5 Stars!

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