We’re big fans of chef Justin Warner and his former Brooklyn restaurant Do or Dine, which once served up things like dumpling nachos and foie gras doughnuts. So we’re especially excited about his new book, The Laws of Cooking, which includes even more inventive recipes, like this simple but significant hybrid of a New York–style bagel with lox and classic salmon nigiri sushi. 

When I was learning about sushi, I wanted everything to be correct and proper. I wouldn’t be caught dead with a California roll between my chopsticks — not only because it’s proper to eat sushi with your hands, but also because I thought the California roll was some sort of Americanized bastard product created for wusses and rookies. I also turned my nose up at its cream cheese–laden cousin, the Philadelphia roll. Frat boys would do sake bombs and cheer at how delicious these zany rolls were while I quietly pondered the subtlety of a chewy piece of highly prized flounder fin.

While my desire to eat with the utmost of authenticity was a great way to learn, it wasn’t always very fun. Somewhere along the way, I realized that “fun” is just as important as “fine” when it comes to eating and even more so in cooking. With this in mind, I present the highly sacrilegious snack below, a tricked-out sushi-bar version of a bagel and lox.

Non-Japanese Concessions

You’ll see I’ve made some concessions to accommodate a non-Japanese kitchen. A hangiri is the traditional raw cypress bowl used to cool sushi rice. The raw wood of the bowl absorbs the excess moisture. Plus, it is never washed, so the seasoning of it affects the seasoning of the rice. If you want to be authentic, I’d highly recommend buying one of these from any number of online sources. Also, electric fans are used these days to cool the rice. You can instead go the old-fashioned route and convince a friend to fan the rice by hand, ideally with the November 2012 edition of Food Network Magazine.

Reprinted with permission from The Laws of Cooking