Marks Daily Apple
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13 Feb

Sushi with a Twist

SushiWhile most people eat sushi for a meal, we think it also makes a great snack. Bite-sized portions packed with protein and veggies, rolled up in one of the most nutrient-rich foods around, seaweed. What could be a better between-meal snack than that?

We know what you’re thinking…what about the rice? Well, what about it? Rice isn’t known for its bold flavor. When you taste sushi without rice you’re going to find that the sushi doesn’t taste much different. Rice, however, is great filler and glue, which is the main reason it’s used in sushi rolls. Sushi rolls without rice don’t always hold together quite as well, but there are a few solutions for this. One is to use a sushi mat and take care to roll the sushi slowly and tightly. Two, add something besides rice as filler, like egg. Whisk one egg, fry it into a thin circle, and use it as the first layer in your roll. Third, and probably most importantly, get over the idea that pieces of sushi must be perfectly round, perfectly secure little bundles. Even if the sushi roll is a little loose, it tastes just the same.

Reader Marissa Davidson makes rice-less sushi as a snack all the time, and then she puts yet another twist on the recipe by using thinly sliced roast beef instead of raw fish. The rich flavor of beef paired with the nori seaweed creates that elusive and thrilling flavor combination known as umami. For the same affect, you can also try thin slices of seared flank steak. Raw fish, of course, is always an option as long as your seafood is fresh.

As for other fillings, use any vegetables you like. Avocado, cucumber and carrot are most typical, but consider greens like watercress or spinach to add flavor and nutrients. Take Marissa’s lead and be creative – and let us know what you come up with!


Sushi Ingredients

  • Sheets of nori seaweed
  • 1/4 lb (or more) of favorite sliced meat or fish
  • Avocado
  • Thinly sliced cucumbers
  • Thinly sliced carrots
  • Any other veggies of choice


Lay the nori shiny side down on a sushi mat. Place sliced meat on top of the nori. (If you’re using an egg, lay it down first).

Sushi with Egg

Spread avocado over meat in a thin layer or lay slices lengthwise about an inch from the bottom of the nori. Add a small pile of thinly sliced veggies at the bottom of the nori, too.

Sushi Roll

Fold the front edge of the nori over the toppings. After each fold, squeeze the roll to secure it tightly. Slice the roll into bite-sized pieces.


You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. I know this is an old post but what the hell. I just made these the other night, and OH MY GOD! They are amazing! I don’t own a sushi mat so I used a piece of wax papper, worked pretty well.

    Dharma_Punk wrote on April 7th, 2011
  2. I had this for dinner tonight! What a wonderful sushi recipe! I misread the instructions and messed up while filling my roll, but after I got it right, what a mouthgasm!

    This is my second day on the Primal Blueprint (although I’m giving myself time to “test the waters” before I go completely primal), and this definitely gives me incentive to keep going! Will definitely try more recipes in the future!

    Thanks Mark!

    Aly wrote on May 16th, 2011
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  4. I like the egg idea, but I am going to try chopping up cooked egg white to rice sized pieces and mixing it with paleo friendly mayo made with vinegar. The egg whites have very little flavor, and the vinegar in the mayo will mimick the vinegared rice flavor. A lot of sushi rolls include mayo anyway, though I’m not sure how traditional it is!

    Ashley wrote on February 28th, 2012
  5. Just tried this with egg, spring lettuce, julienne green peppers and some roe (the only ingredients I had in my fridge). It was excellent! For me, the flavor in sushi is from the wasabi, ginger, soy sauce, and nori. I loved it!

    Amber wrote on March 31st, 2012
  6. Oh, dear, I am realizing that this post to which I’m responding is 4 years old! I have for years asked various sushi bar people to make riceless nori rolls for me. Now I make my own, sooooo simple and I have dispensed with the rolling mat as well: Lay a roasted nori sheet on your plate. On one end smear some salted plum, little avocado chunks, a few slender slices of red pepper and cucumber, some gently cooked fatty salmon and a few pieces of good quality pickled ginger. Roll it up and eat it. It’s beautiful! It’s delicious! And simple! Enjoy!

    Suzanne wrote on March 28th, 2014
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    Queenie Burdi wrote on February 17th, 2015

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