Rice-Free Paleo Sushi
Grab your coconut aminos and get ready to roll… it’s time for paleo sushi! You may have seen other paleo sushi recipes calling for the ubiquitous cauliflower rice. On a whim, I rolled up my first batch of homemade sushi with parsnip rice, prepared in a similar manner to my Parsnip Rice Risotto. The texture worked perfectly, and the sweet flavor of parsnips echoed the sweetness of traditional sushi rice.
I know that many people who follow a grain-free lifestyle can tolerate white rice. White rice (not brown rice, however) is a traditional food that provided the foundation for many thriving cultures, and it is one of the easiest grains to digest. My body, currently, doesn’t tolerate white rice well so I created a rice-free sushi to fulfill a sushi craving.
How to roll paleo sushi
I found the instructions and diagrams on the back of the sheet of Nori helpful. Sushi calls for a bamboo sushi mat, which is not one of my staple kitchen tools. So, I made due with a sheet of heavy-duty paper towel to roll up the sushi. It worked well for me, surprisingly!
The below video provides a quick primer on the sushi rolling process:
- 4 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped (to measure about 5 cups riced parsnips, see instructions)
- 2 Tbs. ghee or coconut oil
- ⅔ cup broth of choice
- Pinch of salt
- 3 sheets nori (sushi seaweed, available at many health food stores)
- Avocado slices
- Cucumber slices
- Grated carrots or thin carrot sticks (I used fermented ginger carrots)
- Smoked salmon
- Optional: coconut aminos (a gluten-free, paleo alternative to soy sauce), available here
- Peel and chop the parsnips before placing them in a food processor (I use my beloved Ninja with the food processor attachment). Pulse until it resembles rice-sized granules. You should have 5 cups of riced parsnips.
- In a skillet or wide saucepan with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the riced parsnips with a pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes, until the parsnips color slightly.
- Add the broth, cover, and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until the parsnips have softened. Remove the cover and cook briefly to evaporate some of the moisture. The parsnip rice should be tender, slightly sticky, and not mushy. Let cool completely before rolling the sushi.
- To roll the sushi, place a sushi mat on your work surface (see my note below) and put a nori sheet on it. Place about ⅓ of the parsnip rice on the nori, and spread it so that it covers ¾ of the sheet. Place the filling so that it is centered in the portion of the parsnip rice. There will likely be a helpful image on your package of nori, and also I recommend watching the video I've put in this blog post. Roll up the sushi and seal it by wetting the edge of the nori. Use a sharp knife, cleaned between each slice, to slice the sushi.
Do you have a suggestion on how I could make a keto version. Thanks! Love your blog.
I cannot have Nori or any kind of seaweed products because of thyroid, but this looks so good. I will make with the cucumber slices as the wrap.
Love this idea! Here’s what I do to avoid rice when going out for sushi…I order a hand roll without rice. Most places accommodate me, especially once they get to know me. And I’m actually fine eating a little bit of white rice, but to me it’s such a nothing food I pretty much try to avoid it.
Leticia Molera Vasquez
With all the espct in the world. I say this as a sociobiological anthropologist with a specialism in human ecology through evolution…i am wondering a) how this is paleo and how anyone would think a Paleolithic diet is one that would include cow’s milk unless it came from animals that were cared of in a roaming nomadic way…which is how any animals would have been used at the time of the Paleolithic through wild animal herding practices. A few traditional indigenous cultures may have used the milk from these animals but there is little evidence of it other than through cultures that currently do so and may give us a window to the past such as the Lap people and other Siberian cultures that herd reindeer and may use their milk or for example desert nomads who use Camel milk etc. To say this automatically means that we should drink raw milk as you suggest in other posts…is confusing to me…and if you then seem to promote a Paleo diet, yet this excludes dairy products, it is further confusing to me. As much as I agree that food should be non processed and clean, and agree that alot of vegetarian and vegan options including some milks are over processed and contain additives, I do not see it as a reason to promote drinking of another mammals milk, which humans would have only done under extreme sustenance need circumstances and for ease…homo sapiens are contradictive, lazy as a species, finding the path of least resistance always. Much of what you say makes sense but some does not. Using super ethical dairy cow and meat animal raising methods is not possible in order to feed ALL the population of Earth sustainably…in fact we cannot do it without intensive animal farming which is not ethical even if youre not vegan. How do you balance that from a consciousness perspective? Having a healthy body is very important but also a healthy mind and very much so a healthy spirit. I can no longer do this as an omnivore. I cannot afford even if i wanted to free range,organic,grass fed animals, I cannot kill and butcher an animal. So I do not feel i should eat it. In a zombie apocalypse or if my very life depended on it…yes I could. Necessity would force me to, as it has our ancestors in the past. But having cruelty free options, I choose those. I know this is not a vegan site nor is this a vegan comment. I just dont like seeing people use human evolution to defend their dietary choices and believe that the whole Paleo craze does this and i have issue with it from an evolutionary scientist perspective of course not as a vegan…. I’ve been all sorts in the past , omni,blood type, pescatarian,macrobiotic,ovolactovegetarian,ovovegetarian and now vegan so I speak from experience as far as having tried different diets. Blood type diet of all was the one that made me feel the best but like the vegan was a bit hard to balance everything. Omni was the easiest to do all round except ethically and spiritually. So I can see why people choose omni. It is much easier to sacrifice ethics and spirituality,lol.
I have looked into the GAPS diet though as was quite curious as I struggle with Candida, less so since being vegan perhaps. And it seems an impossible diet to follow if vegan! Shame 🙁
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
Did you even read the recipe??????? There is no mention of any kind of milk. Hope you enjoyed your rant for nothing.
I made the Paleo sushi with parsnip rice and it was absolutely delicious. I really didn’t know what to expect but the parsnip rice had a very pleasing sweet taste, similar to the sticky white rice that is normally used for sushi. I added some seared tuna and simply used low sodium soy sauce to dip. So now I am thinking what other vegetables can I used as a rice substitute? Of course cauliflower comes to mind but may be too tender unless not cooked as much. Have you experimented with any other “vegetable rice” ideas? Thank you so much. Anxious to try another of your recipes!
another genius recipe-idea from you, Lauren! can’t wait to give this a try. Sushi is something I have really missed since going GAPS/AIP