Sushi is one of my favorite foods. Eating Sushi was a regular thing for me before starting Keto diet, so it was one of the things I missed most.
I was thinking about how many things can be made Keto-friendly these days. Keto Pizza, burgers, and desserts you can think, so why not keto sushi rolls? That is when it hit me, the only thing I would need to replace is the rice.
As most of you may know, cauliflower is a versatile substitute for a lot of carbs, rice included. Hence, Keto Sushi! There are a few tricks to getting it to become more pliable like real sushi rice which I will discuss below.
You will love this combination of salmon, avocado, and cucumber that makes this recipe full of flavor. To top the keto sushi recipe off, you can use fresh cilantro and sesame seeds as I did.
For the sauce, gluten-free soy sauce and sriracha are delicious. Of course, you can always make some spicy mayo by adding your favorite hot sauce to some avocado mayo.
Also, my husband came up with the idea of putting wasabi in the soy sauce for an extra kick which is one way to get your nostrils burning (if you are into that kind of thing.)
The world is your oyster when it comes to how you want to garnish and serve your low-carb sushi rolls.
Is sushi keto-friendly?
The ketogenic (keto) diet has gained immense popularity over the past few years, thanks to its potential benefits for weight loss, mental clarity, and overall health.
As people try to maintain a low-carb lifestyle, one question that often arises is whether or not sushi can fit into this dietary plan. In this blog post, we will explore the possibilities of enjoying sushi while staying true to your keto diet.
Traditional Sushi and Keto: Sushi is a Japanese dish typically made with vinegared rice, fish or seafood, and other ingredients such as vegetables and seaweed.
At first glance, it might seem like sushi could easily fit into a keto diet; however, the main issue lies in the rice. Traditional sushi rice is high in carbohydrates, which can interfere with maintaining ketosis, the metabolic state where the body burns fat for fuel.
Sushi Alternatives for Keto Dieters: Luckily, there are several ways to enjoy sushi while keeping your carb intake low:
- Sashimi: This is a great option for keto dieters, as sashimi consists of thinly sliced, fresh raw fish or seafood without rice. It is low in carbs and high in protein, making it a perfect keto-friendly choice.
- Naruto rolls: These sushi rolls are wrapped in cucumber slices instead of rice. Naruto rolls are not only low in carbs but also provide a refreshing and crisp texture.
- Cauliflower rice sushi: Replace traditional sushi rice with cauliflower rice, which is made by grating or processing cauliflower florets into small, rice-like granules. This low-carb alternative still offers the familiar texture of sushi rice without hindering your progress on the keto diet.
- Temaki (hand rolls): You can also opt for hand rolls made without rice, which consist of a cone-shaped seaweed (nori) wrap filled with fish, vegetables, and other keto-friendly ingredients. Simply ask for no rice when ordering at a sushi restaurant or make them at home.
how can I make sushi fit into my keto diet?
Sushi is a beloved cuisine for many, but it may seem off-limits if you’re following a ketogenic diet. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up sushi completely!
With a few modifications and substitutions, you can create delicious keto-friendly sushi that satisfies your cravings while keeping you on track with your low-carb, high-fat lifestyle.
In this guide, we will walk you through the process of making sushi keto-friendly and provide you with some innovative recipe ideas.
What Makes Traditional Sushi Non-Keto?
Traditional sushi is made with rice, fish, vegetables, and sometimes fruit. The rice, typically seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, is a significant source of carbohydrates, making it unsuitable for a ketogenic diet.
Additionally, the sauces and condiments that often accompany sushi, like soy sauce and eel sauce, can also be high in carbs.
How to Make Sushi Keto-Friendly
Substitute the Rice
To make your sushi keto-friendly, you’ll need to replace the rice with a low-carb alternative. Here are a few options to consider:
- Cauliflower rice: This is the most popular rice substitute in the keto community. Simply pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until they reach a rice-like consistency, then sauté with a bit of oil until tender.
- Shirataki rice: Made from konjac root, shirataki rice is low in calories and carbs. Rinse and drain it well before using, as it can have an off-putting odor straight from the package.
- Chopped vegetables: Instead of rice, use finely chopped cucumber, zucchini, or even avocado to provide a similar texture.
Choose Low-Carb Fillings
When it comes to fillings, select fish and vegetables that are low in carbohydrates. Some great options include:
- Fish: Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, or any other sashimi-grade fish
- Shellfish: Shrimp, crab, or scallops
- Vegetables: Cucumber, avocado, bell pepper, or asparagus
Modify Sauces and Condiments
To keep your sushi keto-friendly, opt for low-carb sauces and condiments:
- Soy sauce: Choose a gluten-free, low-sodium version, or try coconut aminos as a soy-free alternative.
- Wasabi: Make sure it’s sugar-free, or use freshly grated wasabi root if available.
- Pickled ginger: Opt for a sugar-free version, or make your own by pickling thinly sliced ginger in a mixture of rice vinegar, salt, and a keto-friendly sweetener.
How do I prevent my keto sushi rolls from falling apart?
Swap the Rice:
Traditional sushi rice is a no-go on a keto diet due to its high carbohydrate content. Instead, opt for cauliflower rice as a low-carb alternative.
To ensure that the cauliflower rice doesn’t make the roll soggy, cook it thoroughly and let it cool before using it in your sushi rolls.
Additionally, squeeze out any excess moisture from the cooked cauliflower rice using a clean kitchen towel to prevent the rolls from falling apart.
Choose the Right Nori Sheets:
The nori sheets used to wrap sushi rolls can sometimes be fragile and prone to tearing. To avoid this issue, select high-quality nori sheets that are fresh and pliable.
Look for nori sheets that are slightly thicker and more substantial, as they will be less likely to break or crumble during the rolling process.
Use a Sushi Mat:
Investing in a sushi mat, also known as a makisu, is essential for creating well-rolled sushi. Place the sushi mat on a clean, flat surface and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap.
This will prevent the ingredients from sticking to the mat and make it easier to roll the sushi tightly.
One of the main reasons sushi rolls fall apart is due to overstuffing.
Keep the fillings minimal and choose ingredients that are easy to handle. Good options for keto-friendly sushi fillings include avocado, cucumber, thinly sliced cooked meat or seafood, cream cheese, and various low-carb vegetables.
By maintaining a proper balance between the fillings and the rice substitute, you’ll have a greater chance of keeping the roll intact.
Master the Rolling Technique:
Rolling sushi can be a bit tricky, but with practice, you’ll soon get the hang of it. Spread a thin layer of cauliflower rice evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a small border at the top.
Arrange your fillings in a neat line across the bottom edge of the nori sheet.
Using the sushi mat, gently but firmly roll the nori sheet up and over the fillings, applying consistent pressure to ensure a tight roll.
Wetting the border of the nori sheet lightly with water will help seal the roll.
Chill and Slice:
Once your keto sushi roll is tightly rolled and sealed, place it in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.
Chilling the roll will allow it to firm up, making it easier to slice without falling apart.
Use a sharp, wet knife to cut the roll into bite-sized pieces, wiping the blade clean between each slice for cleaner cuts.
Serve and Enjoy:
Present your beautifully crafted keto sushi rolls on a platter or a traditional sushi board. Serve with gluten-free soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi for an authentic sushi experience. Enjoy your delicious, low-carb creation without worrying about it falling apart.
How many carbs are in sushi?
Traditional sushi rice is high in carbs, with approximately 40 grams of carbs per 100 grams of cooked rice.
Therefore, it is not recommended for those following a low-carb diet.
However, some sushi restaurants offer low-carb options, such as using cauliflower rice instead of traditional sushi rice, which can bring the carb count down significantly.
Fish is a primary ingredient in most sushi rolls, and it is generally low in carbs.
For example, a standard 4-ounce serving of raw salmon contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrates.
Other low-carb fish options include tuna, eel, and crab.
Vegetables are another common ingredient in sushi rolls and are generally low in carbs. Examples of low-carb vegetables used in sushi include cucumber, avocado, and lettuce.
These ingredients add flavor, texture, and nutritional value to your sushi rolls without significantly increasing the carb count.
Sauces used in sushi can vary widely in carb content, depending on the ingredients used. Soy sauce is a staple in sushi, but it contains a significant amount of carbs.
One tablespoon of soy sauce contains approximately 1 gram of carbs.
Other sauces used in sushi, such as teriyaki and eel sauce, are also high in carbs and should be used in moderation.
The carb content of sushi rolls can vary significantly depending on the ingredients used.
For example, a California roll typically contains around 30 grams of carbs per roll, while a spicy tuna roll contains around 26 grams of carbs per roll.
To reduce the carb count, opt for sushi rolls that use low-carb ingredients such as cucumber, avocado, and fish.
what is the difference between sushi and sashimi?
Sushi and sashimi are two popular Japanese dishes, but they are different in terms of their ingredients and preparation methods.
Sushi is a dish that typically consists of cooked or raw fish, vegetables, and vinegar-seasoned rice, all rolled together in a sheet of nori seaweed.
Sushi can be served in various forms, including nigiri (a small ball of rice topped with fish), maki (rolled sushi), and temaki (hand-rolled sushi).
Sashimi, on the other hand, is a dish that consists of thinly sliced raw fish or seafood, served without any rice or other ingredients.
The fish or seafood used in sashimi is often served on a bed of shredded daikon radish or garnished with shredded radish, shiso leaves, or other herbs.
The primary difference between sushi and sashimi is the presence or absence of rice. Sushi always includes rice, while sashimi does not.
Additionally, sushi often includes vegetables, while sashimi is typically served with minimal or no garnishes.
In terms of preparation, sushi rice is typically seasoned with vinegar and sugar and cooked before being used in sushi rolls.
The raw fish or seafood used in sushi is often thinly sliced and served either raw or cooked, depending on the type of sushi.
Sashimi, on the other hand, is typically served as raw fish or seafood that has been sliced into thin, bite-sized pieces and served on its own.
Both sushi and sashimi are popular Japanese dishes that offer unique and delicious flavor profiles.
Sushi is often enjoyed as a meal or snack, while sashimi is typically served as an appetizer or part of a larger meal. Whether you prefer sushi or sashimi, these Japanese delicacies offer a delightful dining experience that should not be missed.
Here are some detailed tips for the instructions:
- Get your fish from a reliable source. We got ours from a local Asian store. You can also call a Sushi restaurant and ask them to sell you some sushi-grade fish. For the love of God, please don’t buy your fish from a gas station or a stand down the street.
- Slice the fish properly, with a sharp knife, against the grain.
- It’s imperative to make the keto sushi rice correctly, so it sticks to the Nori. Place the rice in a skillet and warm it up, then add 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum and cook it for a few minutes. Xanthan gum acts as a thickening agent to make the cauliflower rice more like sushi rice. After that, place it in the refrigerator to cool before you use it.
- When you are ready to make the roll make sure all your ingredients are ready to go.
- Make sure the rice covers most of the nori roll otherwise, it will fall apart in the end.
- Watch a YouTube video on how to roll sushi if this is your first time.
- Ensure that the knife (this is the one I use) is sharp enough so the sushi roll doesn’t break.
how to order sushi on keto
Opt for Sashimi:
One of the easiest ways to enjoy sushi while on keto is to choose sashimi.
Sashimi consists of slices of raw fish or seafood served without rice.
It is naturally low in carbs and high in protein and healthy fats. Look for options like salmon, tuna, yellowtail, or shrimp sashimi, and enjoy their fresh flavors without any worry about excess carbs.
Embrace Nori-Wrapped Rolls:
If you’re in the mood for rolls, opt for nori-wrapped rolls instead of traditional rice-filled rolls.
Nori is a type of seaweed that serves as a flavorful wrapper for various ingredients.
Popular choices include cucumber-wrapped rolls, seaweed-wrapped hand rolls (temaki), or even collard green-wrapped rolls.
These options provide the satisfying texture of sushi while keeping the carb count low.
When ordering sushi rolls, don’t hesitate to request substitutions to make them keto-friendly. Ask for cauliflower rice instead of traditional sushi rice in your rolls.
Many sushi restaurants now offer this low-carb alternative, and it can make a significant difference in reducing your carb intake.
You can also request extra vegetables, such as avocado, cucumber, or lettuce, to add more fiber and nutrients to your rolls.
Be Mindful of Sauces:
Sushi rolls often come with various sauces that can be high in sugar and carbs.
Opt for simpler sauces like soy sauce or ask for them on the side, allowing you to control the amount you consume.
Alternatively, you can enjoy your rolls without sauce or drizzle them with a small number of low-carb options like tamari or sesame oil for added flavor.
Avoid Tempura and Crunchy Fillings:
Tempura batter and crunchy fillings are common in many sushi rolls but are high in carbs due to the flour coating.
Avoid rolls with tempura shrimp or vegetables, as well as those with crunchy toppings like tempura flakes or panko crumbs.
Instead, focus on rolls with fresh, keto-friendly ingredients to keep your carb intake in check.
Enjoy Keto-Friendly Additions:
Enhance your sushi experience by adding keto-friendly extras. Order a side of sashimi-grade fish or seafood to supplement your rolls, providing a boost of healthy fats and protein.
You can also indulge in edamame (lightly salted steamed soybeans), seaweed salad, or miso soup as low-carb, flavorful accompaniments to your sushi meal.
More Keto Recipes to Try: