Sushi has always been one of my favourite foods. I’ve had a long love affair with the Japanese language, culture and cuisine, which I have studied for many years.
Traditional sushi is considered a health food by many. Indeed it certainly contains healthful ingredients, such as the nutritious properties of the nori seaweed. However, whilst it may be one of the best choices when it comes to choosing what to eat in a fast food court, the white rice used in most sushi is unfortunately processed, stripped of fibre and nutrients. This results in it becoming a high GI, high calorie and largely nutritionally void food. Prepared sushi rice also often contains sugar, ugh. I’m not saying don’t eat it again, all I’m suggesting is that there are other tasty and nourishing ways to enjoy sushi too. For example, why not try swapping white rice for brown? Or using quinoa instead? Or for something a little different you could even try this… (my new favourite):
Introducing raw sushi!
I’d seen the idea before in various raw books and blogs and made a mental note to try it. The other night I noticed I had a cauliflower sitting in my fridge which needed to be used, and I knew it was fate. The time had come to get out my sushi matt and roll away at some nori rolls.
Now I know what you’re thinking… cauliflower? What does a cauliflower have to do with fate or sushi? Let me explain:
Super Sushi Rolls (raw, vegan, gluten-free)
Raw Cauliflower “Sushi Rice” (ahh, now it makes sense ;) )
- 1 small or 1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
- 2 T organic apple cider vinegar
- handful of almonds or brazil nuts (i used a mixture of both)
- 1 T organic flaxseed oil
- 1 T raw organic agave
- touch of sea salt, to taste
- a little squeeze of lemon juice
Put the cauliflower, vinegar and oil into the food processor and process until roughly mixed. Add in other ingredients and process until it resembles the consistency of cooked rice. Set aside and prepare to get rolling! Note: if you make this ahead of time in can simply be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Nori Rolls (makes two large rolls which can be cut into 8 pieces each)
- 1 bamboo sushi mat
- 2 nori sheets (if you want to keep it 100% raw make sure you get un-toasted)
- 2 cups cauliflower “rice”
- 1/2 large avocado or 1 small, sliced length ways
- choice of vegetables, finely sliced and/or grated (I used sliced carrot, red capsicum and cucumber, plus grated beetroot)
- sprouts of choice (I like sunflower or alfalfa)
- sesame seeds for garnishing
- low sodium gluten-free tamari or nam shoyu sauce, to serve
1) Prepare your work station with all ingredients ready to go into the nori rolls.
2) Lie the nori sheet on your bamboo mat, with the smoother side face down and spread 1 cup of “rice” evenly over a section of it so that it looks like this:
3) Press the rice down firmly and top with veggies, avocado and sprouts in layers down the centre:
4) Take the side of the mat closest to you with only the small bit of seaweed explosed and gently roll over the mound of filling, squeezing lightly. Then continue to roll up tightly until you meet the other edge of the nori. Wet a thin strip at the far end to seal the roll together. You will end up with this:
5) Take a sharp knife with a serrated blade and carefully slice the roll into 8 pieces. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy with tamari or shoyu dipping sauce.
Oishii! (that’s delicious for you in Japanese :) )
These are incredibly easy to make and amazing to eat. And yes, they taste like sushi!
For some further inspiration here are a couple of the other raw sushi rolls I’ve made with my batch of cauliflower rice.
Cucumber, red capsicum (bell pepper), carrot, avocado and dip.
Sliced beetroot, carrot, avocado, alfalfa sprouts and almond butter.