Want to enjoy sushi without the rice? You have tasty options!
If you’re cutting carbs or following a keto diet, don’t worry – you can still get your sushi fix. Simply order sashimi, naruto rolls, or request keto-friendly sushi. You can also swap rice for healthy alternatives like quinoa or couscous.
With a few adjustments, you can satisfy your sushi craving while skipping the rice. Keep reading to discover all the delicious ways to order rice-free sushi. We’ll cover the best meal options, from sashimi to low-carb sushi rolls. Just because you’re limiting carbs doesn’t mean you have to miss out!
Order Sashimi for Zero-Carb Fish
Sashimi is the easiest way to get your sushi fix without any starchy rice. It’s simply thin slices of the freshest raw fish.
Sashimi allows you to enjoy the pure, clean taste of quality seafood. It typically comes arranged artfully on a plate or in a bowl. Options usually include tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and more.
Don’t be afraid to order a sashimi platter as your entree. Many sushi restaurants offer large combo plates packed with sliced fish. It makes for a visually stunning and totally keto-friendly meal.
Skip the Soy Sauce
One tip with sashimi: go easy on the soy sauce, which contains carbs. Instead, try a drizzle of lemon, ponzu, or spicy mayo for flavor.
Try Naruto Rolls in Cucumber Wrap
If you’re craving the look of a sushi roll, go for naruto rolls. These swap cucumber for the rice, while keeping the fish or other fillings.
The thin cucumber slices make a solid low-carb wrapper to contain all your favorite sushi ingredients. And they add a nice crunch!
Ask for naruto rolls stuffed with salmon, yellowtail, avocado, crab salad, or other keto-approved fillings. It satisfies the sushi experience without the carby rice.
Specify No Rice
Some places will try slipping rice inside unless you specify otherwise. Make it clear you want your naruto roll 100% rice-free in cucumber wrap only.
Request Keto Sushi Roll Modifications
Don’t see naruto rolls on the menu? No problem! Ask for any standard sushi rolls to be modified into low-carb versions.
Items like the California roll, spicy tuna roll, or shrimp tempura roll can all be remade without rice. Simply request them rice-free with thin cucumber wrap.
You can also ask for rolls made with soy paper instead of rice. It works great to contain all the fillings while keeping carbs minimal.
Get Creative with Fillings
When ordering modified rolls, feel free to get creative with keto fillings like avocado, cucumber, crabmeat, seared tuna or salmon, and more. The possibilities are delicious!
Swap Rice for Cauliflower Rice
Another strategy is ordering sushi rolls made with cauliflower rice instead of regular rice.
Simply riced and seasoned cauliflower works well as a rice substitute. Ask your server if they offer cauliflower rice substitutions.
Some places even use “riced” vegetables like zucchini or sweet potato in lieu of regular rice, so ask about available options.
Beware Heavy Sauces
One caution with cauliflower rice sushi: double check the sauces and mayo used. Some places add sugary sauces that hike up the carbs. Opt for sushi rolls with lighter sauces to keep it keto.
Try Quinoa Sushi for a Low-Glycemic Option
Quinoa makes an excellent grain substitute for sushi rice. It’s lower glycemic than white rice and adds nutrients like fiber, protein, and minerals.
See if any sushi restaurants in your area offer quinoa sushi rolls. This allows you to still enjoy the look of rice while reducing the carbs.
Or find recipes to make quinoa sushi rolls at home. Simply season and roll quinoa to substitute for rice in your favorite rolls.
Look for Quinoa Blends
Some quinoa sushi blends add cauliflower or konjac rice to cut carbs even further. Opt for a 50/50 quinoa blend if you want to slash more carbs.
Opt for Couscous Sushi Rolls
Like quinoa, couscous is another great whole grain substitute for sushi rice. Pearl couscous gives a similar look and feel to rice grains.
Check menus to see if any sushi restaurants near you offer couscous sushi rolls. If not, try making them at home with your choice of keto fillings.
Seasoned, cooled couscous makes the perfect low-carb vehicle for sushi fillings. It satisfies the sushi craving with a fraction of the carbs.
Maximize Filling, Minimize Couscous
When ordering couscous sushi, opt for rolls heavy on fillings but light on the actual couscous. Load it up with plenty of fish, avocado, cucumbers, etc.
Fill Up on Sushi Appetizers
If you can’t bear to skip sushi rice entirely, fill up on low-carb sushi appetizers to limit rice intake.
Options like edamame, seaweed salad, and miso soup make tasty starters. You can also order a small sashimi appetizer before your main roll.
Starting with lighter items prevents overdoing it on rice-heavy rolls. Balance is key for fitting in sushi.
Snack First If Needed
Some find having a keto-friendly snack before sushi helps curb rice cravings. A few nuts, celery with ghee, or avocado can help take the edge off appetite.
Tips for Ordering Rice-Free Sushi
Making special requests at restaurants can feel awkward. Here are some tips for smoothly ordering no-rice sushi:
Check the Menu Carefully
Before asking for substitutions, take a careful look at the menu. Many modern sushi restaurants already offer rice-free options like sashimi, naruto rolls, or cauliflower rice rolls.
If you see keto-friendly choices already listed, ordering is easy! Go for those items instead of making modifications.
Can’t Find It? Just Ask!
If you don’t see low-carb options on the menu, don’t be shy about asking. Most sushi chefs are happy to accommodate requests. Speak up!
Explain Your Dietary Needs
To avoid confusion or pushback, politely explain your gluten-free or keto diet when requesting no rice. This helps the staff understand it’s for medical reasons.
Say something like: “I’m doing a keto diet and can’t have rice. Could I get that roll wrapped in cucumber instead?” Simple communication goes a long way.
Keep the conversation upbeat. A frustrated or demanding tone makes chefs less likely to want to help. A smile and polite request will be most effective.
Suggest Easy Swaps
Instead of leaving it fully open, offer simple solution suggestions like:
- Cucumber wrap instead of rice
- Cauliflower rice instead of regular
- No rice with extra veggies
Giving options makes it easy for the chef to accommodate you. Leaving it wide open can be confusing.
Keep Requests Simple
Start with small modifications before getting overly complicated. Elaborate, multi-step requests may get denied. Keep it simple.
Thank Them for Accommodating
Expressing gratitude helps create a positive experience for chefs when you make special requests.
Let them know you appreciate their efforts to accommodate your diet. Thank them sincerely, and leave an extra generous tip!
Leave Positive Reviews
When you have a great rice-free sushi experience, call that out in your online reviews. This gives the restaurant recognition for their low-carb offerings and flexibility.
Creative at-Home Options
Can’t find sushi without rice locally? Make it at home! With a little creativity, you can craft clever low-carb sushi options:
Cucumber Planks for No-Rice Rolls
Wide cucumber planks make the perfect edible wrapper. Simply slice cucumbers lengthwise into long planks and use in place of nori.
Fill with sashimi-grade fish, avocado, cream cheese, etc. and roll up. Slice and enjoy!
Upgrade Your Cucumbers
English or hothouse cucumbers have thinner skin and smaller seeds for rolling. Peel if desired.
Use Cauliflower Rice
Riced and seasoned cauliflower works great as a rice substitute. Make sushi rolls by spreading cauliflower in a nori sheet before adding fillings and rolling up.
Mix in rice vinegar and coconut aminos to give cauliflower “rice” an authentic taste.
Wring Out All Moisture
Be sure to press out all water from riced cauliflower before using. Too much moisture will fall apart when rolling.
Try Palmini “Noodles”
For an ingenious carb-free rice, use Palmini hearts of palm noodles! Rinse, then chop into rice-sized pieces.
Season the Palmini, then use it as a base for rolling sushi or pressing into sushi molds. Get creative with mango, mint, and salmon.
Look for Hearts of Palm
Find Palmini in the refrigerated pasta section or substitute other hearts of palm “noodles”. Just chop them smaller.
Wrap Asparagus Spears
Whole skinny asparagus spears can replace rice-filled nori sheets. Top with tuna, salmon, or egg.
Roll up in nori and slice. The asparagus becomes both filling and binder.
Roast First for Flavor
For the best flavor, roast asparagus at 400 degrees 10 minutes before using. Rice vinegar dresses it up.
Make Rice-Free Sushi Work
With the right mindset and strategies, you can still enjoy sushi while avoiding the rice. Keep these tips in mind:
- Scan menus for low-carb options or ask for modifications
- Start with sashimi or naruto cucumber rolls
- Suggest easy, straightforward rice swaps
- Fill up on sushi appetizers first
- Get creative making no-rice sushi rolls at home
- Focus on the delicious fish and toppings
Ditching sushi rice doesn’t mean the end of sushi. You have plenty of tasty ways to keep enjoying your favorite flavors, from DIY sushi bowls to modified rolls.
Now you can still join friends for sushi, hit up your local joint, or craft rice-free rolls at home. With a few simple adjustments, the sushi fun never has to stop!