Scottish sushi was developed when it was realized that Scotland needed a national sushi to offend the Japanese. (The Irish also independently come up with their own sushi, showing a strong cultural connection both cultures laugh at in private and publicly deny. Offending other cultures has a long tradition in the Celtic world. The bagpipe was introduced to the Scots as a secret joke by the Irish. The Scots carefully cultivated a love of the instrument and perfected it as their way of offending the Irish back. The Uilleann pipes and two different ways to spell whisky are outcomes of an ongoing struggle between Scotland and Ireland to try to offend the other. Sadly, more militant people have lost track of the “all in good fun” part of the equation.)
The nori wrap
In order for it to truly be Scottish, the Scots had to find their equivalents of the main ingredients. The Japanese usually use nori to wrap sushi. Nori is made from dried red algae of the genus Porphyra. The Scots eat dulse, also made of dried red algae. Palmaria palmate, the species used for making dulse is much thicker than Porphyra spp. so Scottish nori is rather sturdy. This is compensated by the fact dulse is sofened after it picks up moisture from the grain layer, the next ingredient.
The next ingredient
In Japan, cooked glutinous rice is spread on the nori before the sushi is rolled up. The nori should be placed shiny side down. Dulse nori has no shiny side, so it doesn’t matter in that case. Scotland, not noted for its rice, uses the closest thing to glutinous rice they have; cooked oat cereal. Rice is carefully spread onto the nori with dampened clean hands, leaving 2 cm at the bottom and 5 cm at the top of the sheet uncovered. The Scots use the back of a spoon, being familiar with the use of flatware for their entire lives, to spread the oat cereal over the entire nori.
The last ingredients of the sushi, the Japanese usually use something that taste good down the center, often something from the ocean, as Japan is too crowded to grow much. A common misconception is that it has to be raw fish. Actually, anything that sounds good at the time goes in, raw or cooked, much like some peoples’ sandwiches, at least according to the nice Japanese Hawaiian lady who introduced sushi to Scotland. As per custom, the Japanese use an odd number of final ingredients. Apparently, even numbers of ingredients are thought to have bad karma and to offend guests. The Scots don’t really seem to care. Many things that work in Scottish sushi include corned beef, boiled potatoes and cabbage, haggis with the sheep entrails cut into thin strips, and whatever is still palatable from the back of the fridge.
The finishing up and eating
Finally, the sushi is carefully rolled up using a traditional sushi rolling mat. The Scots find the dulse is stiff enough to not need the mat. The 2cm at the bottom of the nori sheet is dampened and tucked against the rice to hold the center of the sushi together. The final exposed 5 cm of nori is dampened and used to hold the sushi roll together. With Scottish sushi, there is no need for exposed ends on the nori, the oats being sticky enough to hold the roll together. The sushi is then allowed to rest. The sushi is then cut into thick, decorative disks with a damp knife. In Scotland, the sushi is usually picked up and eaten, unsliced, after the dulse has dampened just a bit. Because the combination of cooked oats and dulse that has soaked up too much moisture feels too much like a dead penis, it is better to eat Scottish sushi sooner than Japanese sushi, anyway.