This post is sponsored by The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) , a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.  All thoughts & opinions expressed are mine. 

Hi, friends! Today I’m so excited to be sharing with you about Beefshi! If you haven’t heard of Beefshi, this is an innovative new sushi-style concept that features convenient beef products like pastrami, roast beef, summer sausage, hot dogs, corned beef and bologna prepared in rolls with rice and vegetables. The concept was developed by a Culinary Institute of America-trained Chef. How cool is that?

As many of you know, my journey through culinary school was interrupted this past spring due to COVID-19. But before I packed up my knives for the semester, I had the chance to learn more about sushi from a real sushi chef. Last spring I had the opportunity to take an international culinary class and we spent an entire day learning about sushi and how to roll it. It was one of my favorite classes because I learned so much!

Now I know what you’re thinking…sushi should include raw fish, right? Well, sushi actually refers rice that is cooked and flavored with sweetened rice vinegar. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to include raw fish in your rolls, which is why I’ve really fallen in love with the concept of using prepared meats like roast beef in a sushi roll. In fact, a recent online survey showed that consumers said this novel food concept is just as appealing as traditional and familiar Sushi, suggesting that millions of potential fans are eager to sample Beefshi. And what I love most is that Beefshi recipes taste as good as they look and can be enjoyed individually as an appetizer or grouped together as a full meal.

Another thing that I really appreciate about using prepared meats like pastrami or pepperoni is that they a great way to prevent food waste by utilizing as much of the animal as possible. And because prepared meats are pre-cooked, they offer so much convenience in terms of nutrient density.The iron and zinc in meats, including processed beef products, are also more bioavailable to the body than when derived from vegetarian sources.

Now let’s talk about the recipe and how the Nebraska roll came to be.

The Nebraska Roll

I created this recipe as a nod to my Nebraska roots because after all, Nebraska is known for beef. I wanted to include ingredients that are not only popular here in the state but also reflect my love for Nebraska food. Every summer I love eating beef with grilled asparagus and carrots, so it only felt natural to include them in my Beefshi roll. And since I’m a huge fan of Philadelphia rolls, I added some cream cheese which tastes great when combined with the grilled asparagus, carrots and roast beef. For the dipping sauce, I created a honey mustard sauce with a kick because Nebraskans love their honey mustard.

Pro Tips:

Rice: Choose a short grain rice for your sushi rice. You will need to throughly wash the rice before you cook because this rice is super starchy! The more starch, the stickier your rice will be and that doesn’t work very well when you’re trying to spread the rice on the nori before rolling.

Hangiri: This is a special bowl that is used for preparing the rice. Once the rice is cooked, it is then transferred to the hanigiri which is a large shallow bowl made of wood that it is meant to cool the rice and absorb moisture. In order to prevent the rice from drying out too much, you might want to cover the bowl with a towel. If you don’t have a hangiri, don’t worry because you can still use a mixing bowl. But if you plan on rolling lots of sushi in the future, it might be a good investment.

Bamboo mat: This is traditionally called a makisu. The makisu is super helpful when rolling your sushi, but make sure to wrap it in plastic wrap and that will help make clean up easier and your mat will last longer.

Use a sharp knife: Did you know there are specific knives you can get for cutting sushi? If you already have one, good for you. If you don’t have one, a sharp Chef’s knife will do. However, make sure you WET THE KNIFE before cutting your rolls. This will make it easier to cut and produce better looking rolls.

Nori: This is the seaweed wrap that you use for sushi. You only need a half sheet of Nori per sushi roll. Make sure to place the shiny side down on your bamboo mat if you plan on putting the rice on the outside of your roll as pictured below.

Don’t overstuff: I know it’s tempting to stuff as much as you can in the roll, but trust me, that’s not a good idea. The roll might not hold together very well and it will fall apart. I only used 1 spear of asparagus for each roll with thinly sliced matchstick carrots and a thin layer of cream cheese.

If you’re looking for more recipes, be sure to check out!

Nebraska Roll with Spicy Honey Mustard

  • 75 minutes
  • 15 ingredients
  • 9 steps


  • 3 cups Short Grain Sushi Rice
  • 3 + 1/3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TB rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup + 1/2 TB sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 sheets nori (seaweed wraps)
  • 8 asparagus spears (seasoned and grilled)
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots or julienne carrots
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 oz. Thinly sliced roast beef
  • 4 Tb Dijon mustard
  • 2 TB mayonnaise
  • 3 TB honey
  • 1 tsp Chili oil
  • salt to taste


  1. Begin the process by preparing the rice. Rinse rice under cold water until the water runs clear and then drain in a sieve for an hour.
  2. Place the rice in saucepan and cover. Without lifting the lid, bring to a full boil and then lower heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and remove the lid and immediately cover with a towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Combine wine vinegar, sugar and sat and warm over medium heat until dissolved.
  4. Transfer rice to a bowl and toss with vinegar mixture being careful not to crush the rice. Let the rice cool before placing on nori.
  5. Using a bamboo mat that has been wrapped in plastic wrap, place a half sheet of nori at the bottom of the mat with the shiny side down. Take a handful of rice and spread over the top of the nori creating a nice even layer. Pull the top portion of the bamboo mat down to flatten the rice, flip and rotate so that the rice layer is now on the bottom.
  6. Place 1-2 slices of roast beef on top of the nori and then add 1 spear of asparagus, a thin slice of cream cheese and carrots in the middle of the roll.
  7. Use the bamboo mat to carefully roll the sushi making sure all ingredients stay intact and that the roll remains firm.
  8. Using a sharp knife, wet the knife before cutting. You should be able to get 6-8 rolls for each. Serve with spicy honey mustard.
  9. For the honey mustard, combine dijon mustard, mayonnaise, honey and chili oil. Adjust seasonings as needed.

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