Dan Dan Sushi


It looks like many of the girls and ladies I speak with on my Facebook page LOVE sushi. It seems to me that they enjoy photos of sushi I upload there and I understand why. Because I also LOVE sushi!!! Growing up in a city very close to the Sea of Japan and that my family is very particular about freshness of fish, and also living in Norway, I have been fortunate to live in a society where people can enjoy really fresh fish. But the world is large, you may be living in a place where you can’t get hold of very fresh fish and sushi is something you do not entirely enjoy. But you can still create a sushi using different ingredients. In fact, in Japan we have many kinds of sushi. Not all of them use fresh raw fish, but it still tastes good. The key to make a good non-raw-fish sushi is the rice I think.  The taste of well marinated sushi rice is an addicting food…

Today we make something called Dan Dan Sushi.  Dandan means in Japanese layers or things piling up on top of each other. I am going to pile up sushi rice, smoke salmon, hard boiled egg, avocado and cheese in layers and wrap the whole sushi in lightly boiled lettuce leaves.

First, wash the lettuce well in ice cold running water.

8 large lettuce leaves

Soak them in the cold water for 10 -15 minutes before boiling them. Leaves which have absorbed water well become crisp and will not be torn easily in the hot water.  (Do not use chopsticks, use a spoon instead when boiling such a thin leaf vegetable) In order to wrap the sushi we need large whole leaves.

This is a Japanese sushi mold in wood to make OSHISUSHI. (a pressed sushi in a mold) It is made in a type of wood called Hinoki and it smells very good. If you have been to a japanese Onsen and taken a hot bath in a wooden bathtub made of the same type of wood, you will know the smell I am talking about.  If you do not have a sushi mold, you can use a squre tupper ware or a container. First, soak the whole mold in water and wet it. Not so long, just to get wet.

Spread the lettuce leaves evenly over the mold. The bottom of the mold will be
the top side of the sushi, so take a dark green colored leaf and spread it on
the bottom so that you will see the color.

I have some salmon on the very bottom and then sushi rice mixed with white and black sesame seeds. Sushi rice is the key, marinate it well with sushi rice seasoning.

I used a slice of cream cheese (do you have it?), salmon again on top of it. Layers, layers, layers…

slices of Avocado

Cooked egg

How you arrange the layers and its order is totally up to you, but I recomment that the last layer should be rice or salmon because we are going to put a weight and press the whole thing. The weight can be divided better if the last layer is a flat piece.  Then you can wrap the sushi with the lettuce leaves…. and put the lid on.

Place some weight (a pan filled with water) on to press. Leave it in a cold place for about 30 minutes. You can use some heavy books or something. My mom used telephone books.

Take it out from the mold and wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in the fridge for one hour. Be patient! Salmon’s red color looks good!

Cut it with a sharp knife. Put some water on the blade before you use it!!

Here we go!!  This is my Dan Dan Sushi. Please serve with wasabi and soy sauce. 🙂
Of course you can change the ingredients and make your own Dan Dan Sushi!!
Here is the bento version. I decorated with Salmon eggs and a cucumber Christmas Tree.


Ingredients :

2 cups of sushi rice with black and white sesame
3 large slices of smoked salmon
2 cooked eggs
2 slices of cream cheese
1 ripe large avocado
7-8 large green lettuce (iceberg) leaves



5 thoughts on “Dan Dan Sushi

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  2. Hi Rie-san !
    Where do you buy the oshisushi mold ?
    Can we use another thing ?
    Thanks for your recipes !
    Karen from French Guiana

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