Quite a while back when we entered the new Millennium sushi swept in and pretty much became the new black – a very exotic and very fancy eating in the Western world. Today it has become a favourite take away choice and it is considered a healthy type of fast food. And yes, sushi is delicious, and I love how some sushi restaurants can make so many different variations and make every little single piece taste absolutely amazing.
Even though I love love sushi I still feel a bit ambivalent towards the fact that it is considered healthy. We can’t argue the fact that consuming raw, fresh and fatty fish and seasweed is very healthy. But for every little bite of fish you get the triple amount of plain white rice. And unless you are an athlete or bodybuilder you might not need those amounts of rice. I have seen plenty of healthier option for sushi, where white rice has been replaced with other kinds of whole grain, including quinoa and buckwheat, but in my opinion your main meals should mainly consist of vegetables and not starchy carbohydrates. So how do we resolve the issue of wanting to eat sushi once a week without overdosing on grains…. well we turn to my favourite substitute solution – Cauliflower!
I love how cauliflower always saves the day! Cauliflower rice is something I have made quite some times before and they are great, but in order to use these as sushi rice we need to add a little something to get the right flavour and texture. Therefor I added cream cheese to give them that sticky texture we know from sushi rice, and in order to get the taste accordingly I added rice vinegar and a little bit of sugar, and I swear as soon as you wrap it inside that beautiful black nori your almost doesn’t notice the magical swap you’ve made.
In the written recipe I went with some of my favourite ingredients for filling – but you can vary it as crazy as you please, both vegetables, spreads and fish – same goes with side servings. And I made the recipe fit 8 Maki rolls, enough for 4 hungry people including sides, but we actually normally make around 6 maki rolls and use the rest of the cauliflower sushi rice to make nigiri (rice with a pieces of fish on top) or small rice stuffed fried tofu bags (these tofu bags can be bought in asian stores).
Well the recipe can be varied, adapted and used as you please, but if you haven’t tried making sushi before, get going, now! Buy a little bamboo mat, some nori and get going!
Magic Maki Rolls with Cauliflower Rice
Makes 8 maki rolls – feeds four
2 medium/large Cauliflower heads
200 g cream cheese
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar, or another type granulated sweetener
8 sheets of Nori Seaweed
200-250 g fresh, raw sushi fish (salmon, tuna or white fish)
1 small cucumber
1 large avoado
1/2 ripe mango
2 tbsp Chili mayo (make your own, by mixing chili paste into mayo)
Wakame, marinated seaweed salad
Edamame beans in pods, steamed and sprinkled with salt and lime juice
Grate the cauliflower on a grater or use a food processor. Boil cauliflower rice in a pot for 5 min. Pour cauliflower rice into a strainer, pour cold water onto it until it seems cooler, let excess water drain. Now wrap all the cauliflower rice in a dishtowel (I divide into two portions) and squeeze all the water out of the cauliflower, so youll end up with dry cauliflower rice. In a bowl mix cauliflower rice with cream cheese, rice vinegar and sugar.
Cut fish, vegetables and mango into suiting long and slim pieces. Grab your little bamboo mat and place a piece of nori with the rough side facing upwards. Add 4-5 tbsp of cauliflower rice, divide it evenly onto the nori sheet, leaving only 0,5 inch/1-1,5 cm free in the top (see picture). In the bottom part of the nori sheet you place your filling in a straight slim line (see picture). I use all ingredients into each roll.
Then you use the bamboo mat and your hands to tuck in the filling, rolling up around half of the roll, and gently press it firm. Keep using the bamboo mat to gently roll up the rest of the maki roll and ‘close’ it by adding a little water on the free tip of nori weed and roll it all the way up. It is important that you keep rolling it tight in order for the roll to be firm and keep together.
Store your maki rolls in fridge until dinner time. When read to eat, you cut them into pieces of around 2,5 cm/1 inch and serve them along with your preferred sushi accessories!