This keto sushi uses vinegared cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice and tastes just as good! Easily customizable, it takes minutes to prep! 3 grams net carbs per serving.
Picking a favorite food is like choosing a favorite child (not that I would know) but if I had to narrow things down, it would have to be sushi. Coming from a mixed-race background, I grew up enjoying foods from all over the world. My dad took me to try sushi for my eighth birthday, and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Is sushi keto?
By definition, sushi is vinegared rice, with added sugar and salt, that has a variety of toppings added to it. The key ingredient is the rice itself, which is not keto friendly. While there are keto sushi options like sashimi and sashimi salads, they aren’t the same thing.
Fortunately, as someone who used to enjoy sushi on a weekly basis before starting a keto diet, I’ve found my way around it using a sneaky little trick!
What can you put in sushi instead of rice?
As traditional rice is not allowed on a keto diet, you can swap it out with the next best thing, cauliflower rice! For my keto sushi recipe, I flavored the cauliflower rice with vinegar and keto powdered sugar, two key ingredients needed for traditional sushi rice.
Now, this cauliflower rice sushi may look incredibly fancy but I promise you, it is a foolproof and simple recipe that requires very little prep. It looks and tastes just like real sushi, and can be customized with your favorite sushi fillings!
Giving up sushi was something I was NOT looking forward to before I started a keto but with this recipe, I never feel deprived and my sushi cravings are always satisfied!
Ingredients to make this recipe
For the keto sushi rice
- Cauliflower rice– I prefer using fresh cauliflower that has been hand grated. Most grocery stores sell packaged cauliflower rice which can also be used. Do not use frozen cauliflower rice as it will make the sushi soggy and less ‘rice’ like.
- Salt– Just a pinch to balance the flavors.
- Vinegar– Traditional sushi calls for rice wine vinegar. Unfortunately, rice wine vinegar is loaded with sugar (it’s essentially a sour sugar syrup) so we’ll be using a dash of white vinegar instead.
- Keto powdered sugar– Balances out the tanginess of the vinegar and the salt. Skip the store bought kind and make your own powdered sugar.
- Nori sheets– Also known as seaweed sheets. These are needed to roll everything up!
For the fillings-
- Mayonnaise– A must for any good sushi hand roll. It not only adds flavor and creaminess but helps bind the ingredients together. I used homemade keto mayonnaise.
- Vegetables– I always include cucumber in all my rolls and sometimes romaine lettuce, but any vegetables can be used.
- Protein– Sliced egg, smoked salmon, sushi-grade salmon, tuna fish, or even tofu are all fantastic additions.
- Sesame seeds– Optional, but I love sprinkling some sesame seeds inside.
- Wasabi– Optional, but what is sushi without a tiny smear of wasabi in the middle!
How do you make keto sushi rolls?
Start by preparing the cauliflower rice filling. In a food processor, add your chopped cauliflower and pulse until it has the consistency of rice. Squeeze out any extra moisture and transfer it to a microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until soft and tender. Let the cauliflower ‘rice’ cool completely. Once the rice has cooled, stir through the vinegar and keto powdered sugar.
To assemble the sushi rolls, place the sheets of nori on a flat surface. Divide the keto sushi rice amongst the two sheets of nori, reserving around 1/4-inch around each side. Add the mayonnaise, vegetables, and protein of choice, before sprinkling with sesame seeds. If using wasabi, spread a thin layer at the end. Roll them up very tightly, discarding any filling that falls out. Use a slightly wet knife to slice them into pieces.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Your sushi rice must be room temperature before rolling them up. If they are still warm, you risk them ‘cooking’ the nori rolls and they will fall apart when you try and roll them up.
- Remove excess liquid from the cauliflower rice before adding the vinegar. This will help keep the ‘rice’ light and fluffy instead of soggy.
- The ingredient used in this recipe can easily be swapped out for other proteins or vegetables of choice.
The beauty of cauliflower rice sushi is how you can customize it with your favorite sushi rolls!
- Philadelphia roll– Replace the mayonnaise with cream cheese and add salmon and cucumber.
- Cucumber roll– Double the mayonnaise and cucumber.
- Spicy tuna roll– Sushi grade tuna, cucumber, and sriracha mixed into the mayonnaise.
- California roll– Skip the imitation crab (which isn’t keto friendly) and use real crab mixed with mayonnaise.
- Shrimp roll– Broiled or boiled shrimp (tails removed), cucumber, and mayonnaise.
Storing and freezing low carb sushi
- To store: Leftover sushi can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.
- To freeze: Place sushi in a shallow container and store it in the freezer and it will keep well for up to 2 months. You must let it thaw completely before serving.
For the keto sushi rice
- 4 cups cauliflower florets chopped, approximately half a large cauliflower
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 tablespoon sugar free powdered sugar
For the sushi rolls
- 2 sheets Nori
- 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sushi grade salmon or protein of choice
- 1/2 small cucumber sliced into strips
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 serving wasabi optional
- In a food processor, add your chopped cauliflower florets and pulse until it reaches the consistency of rice.
- Transfer the rice into a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle with salt. Microwave for 4-5 minutes, until soft and tender. Remove excess moisture and let it cool completely. Once cool, add the vinegar and powdered sugar and mix until combined.
- Place your nori sheets on a flat surface. Divide the cauliflower sushi rice amongst the two sheets, reserving 1/4 of an inch around the perimeter of it.
- Spread the mayonnaise on each roll, followed by the salmon and cucumber, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. If using wasabi, spread a thin layer down the side.
- Roll up each roll very tightly, removing any of the filling that seeps out. Using a sharp and slightly wet knife, slice the sushi into pieces.