Iowa “Sushi” Roll


Think Sushi… but Iowa Style!

Okay, so it’s not actually Sushi… in fact, there are absolutely no raw components, no rice, and no nori…. so basically it just looks and is served like a Sushi roll, but tell me that doesn’t look appetizing!! I bet you can’t.


If you love a good pickle roll-up, you NEED to try this variation on the classic appetizer. Addicting to eat, and incredibly fun to make!


We’re dubbing it the Iowa Sushi Roll because it’s got everything we love here in our home state: Pigs, cheese, pickles and something fried! It’s tasty, crunchy, crisp and delicious and will make for a great midnight snack!


What you will need:

  • Jumbo Dill Pickles (Or the fattest you can find)
  • Cream Cheese
  • Sliced Deli Ham (you don’t want thinly sliced, but you also don’t want thick-cut ham the likes of which you’d see at Easter time- find a good medium cut)
  • Takis Chips (or any hot chip you prefer)
  • Mayo
  • Chili/Chipolte Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • Lime Juice


Iowa "Sushi" Roll

Think Pickle Roll-Up meets Sushi and you've got a scrumptious appetizer or midnight snack!
Course Appetizer, hors d'oeuvres, Party Dish, Snack
Servings 18 Pieces


  • Immersion Blender/Regular Blender


  • 3 Jumbo Dill Pickles
  • Cream Cheese As much as you need to spread throughout the roll-up
  • 6 Slices Sliced Deli Ham (Medium thickness- we used Fricks)
  • Crushed Up Takis Chips (or chips of choice) to top the roll-ups
  • 1 cup Mayo
  • 2 oz Chilis in Adobo


  • To create your Ancho Chili Mayo that you will use to top the roll, blend your mayo and chilis together with an immersion (handheld) blender or in your regular blender until all the chilis are incorporated and no large chunks are present. Set aside.
  • Crush up your Takis chips into a fine crumble, as you will use this as the "roe" topping that is usually enjoyed atop sushi. We placed ours in a quart-sized ziplock bag and used a rolling pin to crush.
  • Place your ham on your clean surface, overlapping two pieces (pictured above) per roll. Make sure to add a dab of cream cheese in between the overlapped portions, to help the ham stick together. This will help the ham roll as one long, cohesive piece later.
  • Smear cream cheese over all of the ham, making sure to reach all the way to the edges. Place your pickle at the bottom of each roll (pictured).
  • Roll your pickle as tightly as you can, you should end up with a pickle-ham burrito-looking roll. At this point, you want to use a chefs knife (not serrated) and slice your pickles into sushi-sized pieces.
  • Arrange your pieces however you would like, top with the Chili Mayo and finish with the crushed takis. We used a pasty bag to pipe the Chili Mayo, but you can always use a spoon!
  • Serve with pickled onion and enjoy with chopsticks. Or eat them with your fingers... no judgement here!
Keyword Ham, Pickles, Sushi

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