Tuesday, 17 June 2014

International Sushi Day!

I LOVE sushi! But I hate the guilt that comes with consuming the load of carbs and high sodium and sugar content of the sushi you get from the restaurants/food courts etc.

For some advise on choosing the best option when eating sushi out, check this guide out.

I thought I would share my tasty crowd-pleasing 'clean' sushi and even throw in a completely rice free option if you are on a raw/paleo diet. These recipes are flexible to dietary requirements and personal tastes - all fillings are optional and interchangeable.

I took the quinoa brown rice sushi to a party last week and they were a hit with all types! I promise they are delicious and so easy to make.

Happy Sushi Day!

Be brave and give these a go...


Quinoa and Brown Rice Sushi:

Makes 4 vegetable rolls and 2 salmon rolls

§  1/2 cup long grain brown rice
§  1/3 cup any colour quinoa
§  2 tablespoons rice vinegar*
§  1 teaspoon sugar/stevia
§  3 nori sheets
§  1 teaspoon wasabi, optional
§  1 small Lebanese cucumber, sliced
§  3/4 medium avocado, sliced
§  1 carrot, peeled and grated
§  1 medium beetroot (120g), peeled and grated or roasted and sliced
§  1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds/tamari roasted seeds
§  50g (approx.) raw/smoked salmon (use sushi grade salmon if available)


  1. Start by cooking both the quinoa and brown rice.
  2. To cook brown rice, measure out, put into a sieve and rinse.  Transfer into a small saucepan with 2 cups water, place lid on saucepan and bring to the boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes (check packet for cooking time as it varies greatly with brown rice from 25-50 minutes).
  3. To cook quinoa, measure out and place in a sieve and rinse well.  Transfer into a small saucepan with 2/3 cup water, place lid on saucepan and bring to the boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-18 minutes.  When cooked, fluff with a fork.
  4. Mix together hot rice, hot quinoa, rice vinegar and sugar.  Set aside to cool.
  5. While you are waiting for the rice mixture to cool, prepare the fillings.
  6. Place a sushi bamboo mat down on your bench with the slats running horizontally.  Have a small bowl of water close by.
  7. Place nori sheet on sushi mat with the shiny side down. Option: using the back of a teaspoon, spread a small amount of wasabi along the front edge of the nori sheet.
  8. Measure out approx. 1 cup of the quinoa and rice mix and using wet hands, spread it evenly over the front ¾ of the nori sheet, leaving at least a 3cm-wide border along the edge furthest from you.
  9. For the vegetable sushi:  Place cucumber along the front edge on top of the quinoa and rice, then follow with avocado, carrot, beetroot and lastly sprinkle with seeds
  10. Roll nori sheet up.  Use your thumbs and forefingers to pick up the edge of the mat closest to you. Use your other fingers to hold the filling while rolling the mat over to enclose the nori sheet around the filling. Gently pull the mat as you go to create a firm roll.
  11. When it is half rolled up, dip one of your hands in water and wet the end of the nori sheet. Continue rolling until all the quinoa is covered with the nori and you should have a neat roll.
  12. Repeat with vegetable filling, then with salmon filling.
  13. When complete, you will have 2 very long vegie rolls and 1 long salmon roll.  Cut the rolls in half (to make 4 vegie rolls and 2 salmon rolls) or in bite sized pieces.
  14. Serve with soy dipping sauce. 

Per Serve (vegetable roll):  674kJ or 160 calories; P 5g Fat 6.8g SFat 1.3g CHO 25g Fibre 4g
Per Serve (salmon roll):  742kJ or 177 calories; P 9g Fat 8.5g SFat 1.7g CHO 22g Fibre 3g
*Rice vinegar and Sushi bamboo mats are available from the supermarket in the Asian section or at any specialty Asian supermarket (e.g. Kosco).

Paleo Rolls:

Makes 8 maki rolls, feeds 4

For  the cauliflower sushi rice
  •  650g fresh cauliflower
  • 2 tbs (about) white vinegar
  • 1/2 tbs stevia or honey (optional)
  • 1/4 tbs salt

For the filling
  • 200g fresh sashimi-grade salmon or other fish or cooked chicken, sliced thinly (Tofu for vegetarian)
  • Omelette (2 eggs + Tbsp soy/tamari)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Cabbage
  • 1 Carrot, julienned
  • Radishes, sliced thinly
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 2 spring onions, julienned

·         8 sheets of nori


  1. Rice your cauliflower in a food processor by pulsing several times until it breaks down into small particles that look like rice. Alternatively, grate carefully and avoid cauliflower missiles.
  2. Sautee your cauliflower on gentle heat with the vinegar, sweetener (if using), and salt. Adjust to your liking. Set aside to cool.
  3. Lay your nori sheet over a bamboo mat with the shiny side facing down (because it’s prettier that way). If you don’t have a bamboo mat, a moistened tea towel works fine.
  4. Arrange about 3 tablespoons of cauliflower rice over the nori, leaving a gap on all sides. Have a bowl of water handy to get the rice off your fingers.
  5. Arrange a line of your filling over the 'rice'. Salmon first, then cucumber, then avocado and any other of the options you may like. Do not overfill.
  6. Start to roll your sushi by turning the bamboo mat or tea towel in on itself once, push down and outwards all along the length of the roll. Pulling the mat or towel straight across the roll like along the wheels of a tank, repeat the securing. Then rolling. Securing and rolling. Secure and roll.
  7. Slice with a sharp knife and serve with Tahini sauce

Tahini sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 2 tablespoons peeled ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar/honey
  • 1/8 cup water (more or less)

Things I'm loving this month:

  • Henry Langdon Cocoa and Chai Spice is sugar free and delicious! I have it with some vanilla extract and a slosh of trim milk…so warming on these cold Winter days. Buy from Traiteur in Merivale Christchurch.