Smoked Salmon Nori Rolls

Leave it to the Japanese to help me come up with a healthy version of my favorite bagel topping, lox with a schmeer (that’s Yiddish for a slathering of cream cheese). Instead of a bread bomb, I start with a wrap made of nori, the dried seaweed sheets often used to wrap sushi rolls. Nori contains nutrients that support thyroid function and provide many other health benefits. The lox—smoked wild salmon—stays the same (thank heavens!), and the schmeer is something I’m quite proud of: a creamy spread made with edamame and wasabi. It’s a lot more healthful than a chunk of cream cheese, and it tastes a lot better too. Thin slices of avocado, red bell pepper, and cucumber up the vegetable factor. Roll it up, slice it up, and eat it up and you won’t need to nap it up fifteen minutes later, which is what usually happened to me in my bagel-eating days.

Makes 4 servings

8 sheets of nori
1 cup Edamame Wasabi Spread
8 pieces (4 ounces) of smoked wild salmon, spritzed with lime juice 
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise into 16 pieces
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise into 16 pieces
2 avocados, thinly sliced length-wise into 16 pieces 
24 fresh mint leaves 
24 fresh cilantro leaves

Place a sheet of nori on a work surface with the rough side facing up. Carefully spread 2 tablespoons of the edamame wasabi mixture over the nori, leaving 11/2 inches bare along the bottom edge of the nori (the edge facing you) and 1/2 inch bare along the top edge. Place 1 piece of the salmon, 2 slices of cucumber, 2 slices of bell pep- per, and 2 slices of avocado about 11/2 inches from the bottom edge.Top with 3 mint leaves and 3 cilantro leaves. Starting with the bare edge, roll the nori around the fill- ings, pressing gently to make a compact roll. Moisten a finger with warm water and run it along the inside edge of the flap that remains at the top of the roll, then press the moistened edge against the roll to seal. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Cut each roll into eight pieces using a sharp serrated knife.

Variations: For a vegetarian nori roll, substitute thinly sliced tofu for the salmon (use baked tofu for better flavor and texture). 

Edamame wasabi Spread

Makes 1 cup

1 cup fresh or frozen shelled edamame, mixed with a spritz of lime juice and a pinch of salt
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
2 teaspoons wasabi powder mixed with 1 teaspoon water, or 2 teaspoons wasabi paste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.Taste; you may want to add a squeeze of lime juice or a pinch of salt.

Variation: If you’re up for it, go the extra mile and add another 1/4 teaspoon of wasabi powder to amp up the zowie factor in this dip.

Photo Credit: Leo Gong

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.