The 5 Healthiest Sushi Rolls and Low Calorie Sushi Options
I love ze sush. Where I live, in Sydney, Aussie-straya, you cannot walk 5 centimetres (that’s less than 2 inches) without falling over a sushi stand. For two horrible years, I lived in a place called Perth. It’s actually Australia’s 4th biggest city with over 2 million people. How they got there and why they don’t leave is beyond me.
But the worst thing about Perth is – they don’t have a lot of sushi there. On the weekends I would roam in circles, squinting at shopfronts of Asiany-looking food joints, rubbing my nose on the glass, looking for a damn hand roll. None was to be found. For a start, if you google “sushi restaurants in Perth” TripAdvisor listed 10*. That’s 10 sushi joints for 2 million people. Sad.
I had to learn how to make my own hand rolls, and this was a good thing, because it was before I met my husband so I was usually bored. Plus, he doesn’t like sushi, so I don’t make it now. Sushi comes in many forms and is always served with rice. Another common ingredient is seaweed, or nori paper, which is used to hold all the ingredients together – but we all know that, right?
Can I make my own sushi and nori rolls?
Sometimes called “hand rolls”, or “nori rolls”, sushi rolls are just Japanese sushi rice, wrapped in nori paper, with included filling. Want to make your own? Yes! Of course you can learn to make your own nori rolls but this is not a post about how to make sushi, it’s a post about the healthiest sushi rolls, or the healthiest nori rolls you can buy, but I will give you a few tips on how to prepare your own sushi below. How healthy are sushi rolls, really? Can I lose weight eating sushi rolls?
Alyce’s top 5 healthiest sushi rolls
If you are trying to be healthy, then sushi is a great option. It’s light, enjoyable, filling and you can mix and match depending on your mood. Don’t be worried about people that suggest white carbs are the devil – this is baloney – but if you prefer there are many sushi places that make nori rolls with brown rice now. So, here are the top 5 healthiest sushi rolls for you to try, or make yourself.
#1: Cucumber nori roll
This is a very low fat, healthy option as it’s just cucumber, nori paper, white sushi rice and perhaps a few favours like pickled ginger, or Gari (which is slightly sweet) or toasted sesame seeds. If you aren’t concerned with salt intake, liberally douse your cucumber nori rolls in soy sauce as I do for a salty, sweet, crunchy taste.
#2: Vegetable sushi roll
Choose all your fave veggies. Try avocado, capsicum (peppers), cucumber, bean sprouts, snow pea sprouts and carrot. Add some pickled ginger for flavour. Add some light mayo or wasabi for an extra kick!
#3: Seaweed nori roll
Yes, your nori is made of seaweed which is great for weight loss and has many amazing health properties but there is a different kind you can use inside (or on top of) your nori rolls called dried wakame seaweed salad. It’s bought from Asian supermarkets dried and is soaked in boiling water. Sprinkle it with vinegar, add toasted black sesame seeds or caviar as in the photo, and you are ready to go!
#4: Tuna sushi roll
I adore tuna and it’s so convenient. However, one of the things that makes tuna very delicious is mayonnaise. The Japanese love Kewpie brand mayo and in Australia, it’s everywhere. It has a very creamy, subtle taste and it very fattening – so it has no place on this list. Choose low fat mayo instead, add some lemon juice and grated carrot to add some flavour.
#5: Chicken and veggie sushi roll
Poached chicken is a great, flavoursome alternative to fried or crumbed chicken. Poach your chicken in a bath of chicken stock or filtered water (here’s a recipe). It is low in fat, a great source of protein and very filling. It also travels well if you’re going on a picnic or camping. Roll it up with some spring onions (scallions) and some teriyaki sauce.
How to make your own sushi rolls, or nori rolls
Buy nori rolls from many supermarkets, or Asian grocery stores. You will also need a sushi roller, and to prepare your sushi rice.
Sushi rice is short grain, glutinous and sticky as well as white. Cook the rice as directed on the packet, normally 20 minutes until water is absorbed.
You’ll need to add a couple of things to it, specifically sugar, salt and rice vinegar. Get a saucepan, add 2 teaspoons of white sugar, one of salt and ¼ cup of rice vinegar. Bring to the boil. Add to the cooked rice.
Rolling your nori rolls takes a bit of practice, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. There are many tutorials online. There are so many low-calorie sushi options out there,