“Temaki” – Easy Grain-Free Sushi

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Easy Grain-free sushi recipe - Make this temaki sushi - great for a family dinner or for a large party

{Our family loves ethnic foods.  And some of our favorites are on this blog – Pakistani Kima (ground beef curry), Moroccan Carrots, Moroccan Vinaigrette and Chat Masala, my version an Indian spice that goes great with almost anything. I lived in Japan for a year and sushi was one of the foods I was treated to frequently.  I'm thrilled that now to have a grain-free sushi recipe that fits the grain-free lifestyle that some of us in my home are following.  Here's Naomi from Almost Bananas with a fabulous sushi recipe even paleo folk can eat.}

It's interesting how our childhood foods can become our comfort foods. For me, how my parents ate and cooked heavily influences how I eat and cook. My mom comes from a solid meat and potatoes pioneer-like farm; my father is from Japan.

When my parents were newly married, my mother was feeling nauseous as she was pregnant with me. My thoughtful father cooked for her what his mother cooked for him when he didn't feel well: miso soup. One whiff of boiling fish stock and poor Mom bolted outside.

How Temaki Became a Favorite Meal

Mom soon learned to cook Japanese food as well. As kids, we were as likely to get a bowl of miso soup as a bowl of homemade yogurt when we weren't feeling well.

When I was pregnant, I craved Japanese food. Unfortunately, I didn't often get it as such foods were just starting to come to Slovakia then.

With a real food mom and Japanese dad, all us kids enjoyed beef tongue, thought fermented radish tops were normal, and wouldn't have blinked an eye at Sweet Beef Heart Curry.

One meal all us four kids enjoyed was sushi. With four hungry teens to feed, however, my parents didn't have time to roll beautiful little sliced bites of sushi, as sushi is usually pictured.

Instead, they served a style of sushi called temaki, hand rolls. In our house, that meant a buffet style of sushi.

Easy Grain-free sushi recipe - Make this temaki sushi - great for a family dinner or for a large party

Mom or Dad would prepare the rice, slice up the fillings, and cut some nori. We would then all sit around the table and choose what we wanted, making our own temaki.

Now that I have my own table of hungry kids, temaki is an easy and fast way to feed the hoards, while still getting a sushi fix.

For the fillings, pretty much anything goes. Japanese descendants in Brazil make sushi with fruit, like mangoes, strawberries, and kiwi. I've included a list of ones I like, with instructions for preparation. Choose whichever ones you like and feel free to add your own.

For those not eating grains, cauliflower makes a pretty good substitute.

I've seen some recipes that saute the cauliflower rice in oil but I prefer to steam or boil it, as rice for sushi is never cooked with oil.
Easy Grain-free sushi recipe - Make this temaki sushi - great for a family dinner or for a large party

 

 

"Temaki" - Easy Grain-Free Sushi
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer, Entree, Snack
Cuisine: low-carb, grain-free, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, AIP
Serves: 2 servings
 
Temaki - An Easy Grain-free Sushi Recipe you can make for a crowd. Made with cauliflower rice, it's a lower carb version of a Japanese delicacy.
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cauliflower will serve about 2 people
  • nori (sheets of seaweed)
  • wasabi
  • pickled ginger (optional, we never really had it at home)
  • tamari or coconut aminos (for AIP)
  • For Cauliflower Rice
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar (or other light vinegar, I've used wine vinegars before)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice - maple syrup, coconut sugar, or honey for AIP) For a low-carb option use a dash of stevia extract. Read my post on what stevia is here.)
  • ¼ tsp salt (Adrienne recommends Real Salt)
  • Filling Options:
  • English cucumber
  • carrots
  • grilled asparagus
  • egg
  • pickled fish (like pickled herring or sardines)
  • smoked fish (salmon, mackerel, trout, etc.)
  • raw fish (I don't have much experience with raw fish, but you can try a trusted source of salmon, tuna, or mackerel)
  • canned fish (salmon or tuna, mix with mayo) or flaked cooked fish
  • fermented radish tops
  • avocado
  • cream cheese (great with smoked fish)
  • sprouts (small seeds like radish or clover)
  • mango
  • crab
  • grilled tenderloin
Instructions
  1. For Nori:
  2. fold one sheet in quarters (half, then half again).
  3. Unfold and lay over a stack of seven or so sheets, cut along the fold lines with scissors to make nori squares.
  4. For Cauliflower Rice:
  5. In a blender or food processor, mix cauliflower with water until it resembles rice.
  6. Pour both cauliflower and water into a pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer until soft, about 15 min.
  7. Drain through a sieve.
  8. Mix together vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. If using other types of vinegar or sweetener, what you are aiming for is a mixture that is slightly acidic, slightly sweet, and slightly salty. Different areas of Japan prefer different proportions of each.
  9. Stir until salt dissolves, then pour into the cauliflower rice and mix well. With real rice you would fan it as you lightly tossed the rice so that it shines, but I don't think cauliflower will do that.
  10. Put the cauliflower rice into a serving bowl.
  11. Cucumber[/b}:
  12. Slice cucumber in half lengthwise, then from the centre out, making long triangles (see picture). The reason for this is so that each cucumber piece has green skin, important for aesthetics.
  13. [b]Carrot:
  14. Julienne carrot (cut thinly into long strips) and steam until just softened. It shouldn't be crispy, but not mushy either.
  15. Egg:
  16. Whisk two or three eggs with a pinch of salt. Technically tamago (Japanese style egg for sushi) should have a little sweetener and dashi (a fish stock), but I rarely do that. The easy way is to make an omelette and cut it into strips.
  17. The proper way is to make a thin crepe in a minimally oiled small frying pan, when it's cooked on one side but still soft on the upside, roll it to one side and, leaving it there, pour more egg to make another crepe. When cooked on one side but still a bit liquidy on the top, roll the original rolled egg crepe to the other side, repeat for all the egg.
  18. Other Ingredients:
  19. For all the other ingredients, cut into two to three inch strips.
  20. Place chosen fillings on a plate.
  21. Temaki Assembly:
  22. To assemble, lay a square of nori on a plate or in your hand.
  23. Put some cauliflower rice on the plate, lay your chosen ingredients across, close it up, and dip it in tamari/coconut aminos.
  24. If desired, you can mix a little wasabi on the side of the dish with the coconut aminos/tamari.
  25. To cleanse the palate between sushi rolls, you can have a piece of pickled ginger.

This recipe is great for a family meal, or large gathering. It's fun for kids (and adults) to eat with their hands and makes the sushi preparation super simple for the cook, which is always nice.

It's also a great way to introduce your children to food from other cultures.

Have you ever had temaki?

Naomi Huzovicova - Writer at Whole New MomNaomi is originally from Canada but is now a wife and mom in Slovakia. She tries to live each day as a follower of Christ in the chaos of caring for children. Using real food and creating an environmentally-friendly surrounding for her family is a priority. She dreams of a little farm while living in an apartment, enjoys handmade creations, and still doesn’t like brussels sprouts. Naomi shares her food creations and photos of Slovakia at Almost Bananas. She looks forward to connecting with you on PinterestGoogle+, and Facebook.

 

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

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  1. Sushi IS grains because sushi is rice. Most people in the us think it is fish or rolls. It is not. Grain-free sushi is a big misnomer. Grain-free sushi-style rolls is more accurate: it’s a distinction with a significant difference in meaning.

    • Sushi does refer to sourness, assumingly of rice, but if it is named ‘grain-free’ then obviously there must be some change to the original. I am of the belief that food evolves (sometimes for better or worse), especially as various cultures and diet regimes adopt them. Technically, the original sushi was fermented fish and rice, and they didn’t even eat the rice. Then they ate the rice fermented after a few days, then not fermented at all but soured with vinegar. Ketchup wasn’t originally tomato based, we make hummus from black beans and avocado.
      Grain-free sushi-style rolls is more accurate, but also rather more cumbersome. I don’t think anybody will be deceived by the lack of distinction.

    • SwampMom says:

      Most folks who cannot have grains are not concerned with what a more accurate name would be. We are grateful to have folks that share options that allow us to eat some of our favorite comfort foods again. I, for one, am grateful as my little craving brought me here, and now I know what I am making for supper tomorrow. 🙂

  2. This sound ridic awesome. I love sushi but often feel pretty guilty for eating mostly RICE so this is a new twist on sushi!