With all the force and fury of the sun beating down on our heads every day of this scorcher of a summer, sometimes a hearty meat-and-potatoes meal in not what we’re craving at the end of the day. Even the most stalwart bacon lovers (such as myself) have to admit that, after a day at the beach or running errands on the blistering sidewalk, while I am ravenously hungry I still feel like having something light and refreshing rather than hot, heavy and too filling. While it can be tempting to just eat fruit, veggies and popsicles all summer, it’s important to remember that when we’re more active (and especially under such hot conditions) that energy is important, and that means protein. But what if there was a way to get a meal that was both substantial and nutritious while still cool and refreshing? That’s where bacon sushi comes in.

Ah, bacon sushi. One of the best mash-ups of all time, this light-yet-flavourful Japanese style of cuisine has been the starting place for many delectable North American variations, including this one. The glutinous sushi rice provides an excellent textural foil for the crispy bacon, and the heat of wasabi was made for bacon’s subtle sweetness. Also, bacon pairs incredible well with a lot of Japanese sauces, teriyaki in particular.

Here are some of the most delicious ways that you can enjoy bacon sushi this summer!

1. Bacon Sushi Roll

I totally have a thing for maki, also known as sushi rolls. This style of making sushi involves placing delicious fillings (like fried shrimp, spicy salmon, cucumber or roe) inside of the sushi rice, rolling the whole thing up in a sheet of seaweed. Bacon can be used as one of the tasty fillings – or, if you are feeling really adventurous, several strip of bacon can be used in place of the seaweed to hold your sushi together. Either way, delicious!

2. Bacon Sushi Hand Roll

Hand rolls are a slightly more rustic form of sushi. Instead of a large sheet of seaweed that is tightly rolled up with the fillings and then cut into bite-sized little pieces, the smaller roll is formed instead into a cone. The results are a little messier, as the nibbly delicacy of the average piece of sushi is traded for a multi-bite item, but on the plus side you can cram way more delicious fillings inside!

3. Bacon Nigiri

This traditional sushi presentation is a great way to show off the simplicity and beauty of your bacon sushi. You really cant beat this presentation. Be sure to give it a try?