When the craving for sushi hits, we usually have our go-to take-out spot on speed dial ready to order our fave maki and hand rolls. But sometimes the desire to save a few dollars and get creative in the kitchen wins out and DIY sushi making happens. Enter this totally delicious, super healthy recipe for sushi made with cauliflower rice. Yeah, you read that right! Cauliflower has become a surprise superhero of the veggie world, and we’re loving all of the tasty ways you can cook and eat it at home — especially as a low-carb, paleo-friendly rice or grain alternative. It works perfectly to fill up your sushi rolls with fresh and light veggie goodness that tastes (and looks) incredibly like the real thing and, most importantly, is super simple to make. Let’s get rolling!
Ingredients + Tools:
– 1 half head of cauliflower
– 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 3-4 sheets nori
– assorted veggies and fruit for filling (we used a couple carrots, half of a cucumber, half a mango and an avocado, but use any of your faves you have on hand)
– bamboo sushi rolling mat
– food processor
1. Start by preparing the cauliflower rice. Cut the cauliflower in half (a second time) and remove the thick center stem. Cut or break each half into smaller pieces, trimming off any thicker bits of stem that remain.
2. Place all of the cauliflower pieces into a food processor fit with an S blade and pulse several times until the cauliflower is a small, crumbly texture.
3. Transfer the cauliflower crumble to a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap (poke a few holes to allow some steam to escape) and cook on high for three minutes. Remove from microwave and uncover. Mix the sugar with rice vinegar until the sugar starts to dissolve and pour into cauliflower. Stir to combine then set aside to cool while you prepare your fillings.
4. Prepare your veggie and fruit fillings. Remove any unwanted peels or seeds and slice the carrots, cucumber and mango into thin, matchstick-like pieces for easy rolling. Halve and remove the pit and shell of the avocado and cut it into thin slices. Set aside all fillings on a plate to have ready when you assemble the sushi.
5. Lay a sheet of nori on the sushi rolling mat and start to scoop and spread the cauliflower rice onto the nori. You want to cover the nori from edge to edge with a thin even layer of rice, but leave a one-inch space at one end of the nori without rice.
6. Add your fillings, placing them close to the end of the nori where the rice comes all the way to the edge. Lay the pieces in a thin row, and try not to add too much filling as it will make it harder to roll.
7. Now you’re ready to start rolling your sushi. Grab a small bowl or glass of water to keep on hand. Place the sushi mat so that the side of the nori with the filling is facing you. Start to roll by pulling up the mat slightly and tucking the row of filling into the first complete roll. Press down with the mat around this to help make a nice tight roll. Continue rolling with the help of the mat and pressing/tucking as you go to keep the roll tight until you get to the end of the nori sheet with the one-inch section without rice. Dab a bit of water on the end of the nori to help it stick to itself and then complete your final roll.
8. Using a clean, sharp knife, cut the sushi into pieces. If your ends are looking a little messy, you can trim these off first to have a nice clean edge. It also helps to wipe off your knife after every one to two slices so that you keep the cuts clean and without bits of cauliflower rice getting onto the nori.
Continue this sushi prep and rolling process until you have finished up all of your rice and filling. A half head of cauliflower rice will make about three to four rolls depending on how much you fill them. Then you can dig in!
Start by removing the core and cut the cauliflower into smaller florets.
Pulse the cauliflower in the food processor until it’s a small, crumbly texture.
Quickly cook the cauliflower in the microwave, then season with the rice wine vinegar and sugar.
Prep all your veggies into thin slices and matchstick pieces so that they are easy to roll into sushi.
Lay a sheet of nori on the sushi rolling mat and spread the cauliflower rice onto the nori.
Add your fillings, placing them on the bottom end of the nori close to where the rice comes all the way to the end.
Roll the sushi using the bamboo mat, trying to get a tight, even roll — kind of like rolling a sleeping bag!
Use a clean, sharp knife to cut the sushi into bite-size pieces.
Then it’s time to eat! An optional sprinkle of sesame seeds is a nice finishing touch. Serve the sushi alongside some store-bought pickled ginger, wasabi paste and soy sauce for a real restaurant-at-home feel.
An at-home sushi-making party may be in order once you give this a go! Next time a craving hits for some delish sushi, drop the take-out menu and pick up the cauliflower!
Tell us your fave sushi fillings to try out with this DIY in the comments below.