“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.

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

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.

What is YOUR comfort food?

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!