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Temaki Sushi – Paleo Style

February 14, 2014

My salmon & avocado paleo hand roll

My salmon & avocado paleo hand roll

My kids have always loved sushi. When they were little, we used to perch up at the sushi train and it was a mad grab for the coloured plates as they whizzed by! I used to take them to a place where they charged by the age of the child. One day, the restaurant manager very apologetically explained that she couldn’t charge me $2 for my 2-year-old because he ate too much!!!

They loved it then and now as grown men, still love any sushi – maki sushi, chirashi sushi, nigiri sushi. But their favourite (and I don’t know whether it’s because of the size) is temaki sushi, or hand-roll.

The last time I went to a local sushi train restaurant, having not been for ages, my tastebuds were shocked with the cloying syrupiness of the rice. Although it delighted my sons, I was amazed at how my palate had changed since quitting sugar. My previous visit to a sushi restaurant was in Tokyo and I don’t remember being assaulted with such sweet vigour.

Interestingly, sushi train restaurants are a rarity in Japan. Sushi restaurants are commonplace though, and expensive, but you don’t see  sushi bars dotted on every corner as is fast food fashion here.

What you do see is udon bars, bright and glaring. Manned by a machine at the doorway, you order your udon by the press of a button, paying in coin, akin to an old-fashioned cigarette machine. The machine issues you with a ticket and you take a seat.

Thankfully, your udon is cooked to order by a real person who scurries at your arrival with a refresher towel and water. (I love how they give you refresher towels everywhere in Japan and they are not scented with a cocktail of perfumes & chemicals.) These udon bars are busy! And noisy – slurping is obligatory! Ahh, I digress, back to my hand roll…..

The way the Japanese typically eat their sushi at home.

The way the Japanese typically eat their sushi at home.

Traditionally sushi rice is dressed with a mix of rice vinegar and sugar and cooled quickly whilst stirring vigorously. The making of sushi rice is quite an art and taken very seriously. I have completely bastardised this by using paleo-friendly cauliflower! It works remarkably well.

I have still used some rice vinegar and salt to season the rice and even a little sweetener. To enrich it, you can also stir through a tablespoon of mayonnaise after cooling.  I don’t do this for hand rolls but do when making rolled sushi. My paleo version even had the tick of approval from my rice loving husband, which is saying something! I have added a little gelatine in the cauliflower mix to add some protein binder. You can use agar agar if you wish or just omit it but I do think it improves the texture though.

350g cauliflower
25g water
2 teas maple syrup or brown rice syrup (I used Natvia)
1 tab rice vinegar
1/2 teas salt
1 teas gelatine
2 tabs toasted sesame seeds
1 tab mayonnaise (optional)
Rice the cauliflower on SP 4 for approximately 8 seconds until the size of rice.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except the seeds, and cook for 8 minutes at 100ºC on SP 1 REVERSE. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then stir through the sesame seeds and mayo, if using.
6 nori sheets, cut in half
1/2 large avocado, sliced
2 tabs pickled ginger
wasabi to taste
1 small cucumber cut in batons
snow pea sprouts
8 slices of smoked salmon or fresh sushi grade salmon, cut in strips
mayonnaise to garnish
Assemble the hand rolls by wiping a little wasabi down the centre of the nori.
Add a tablespoon or two of cauliflower rice and fill with a slice of avocado, salmon, sprouts, cucumber and ginger. Roll up into a cone and seal the edge with a little rice vinegar.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2014 4:48 am

    Am I allowed to promote this on my twitter?

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