As the popularity of the Ketogenic diet has skyrocketed, so too have the number of restaurants, cafes and takeout options catering to those who follow it. Keto-friendly versions of all your favorite foods have been popping up everywhere — including sushi restaurants. Sushi is typically made with vinegar rice, which makes it a no-go for those following a Keto diet. However, there are ways to eat this delicious food while keeping your carb intake low.
Knowing how to order keto sushi is one thing, and actually finding it on a menu is another. Sushi restaurants that offer low-carb options are few and far between, making ordering keto sushi as much of a challenge as eating it. But with the right plan of attack, you can enjoy your favorite brand of raw fish without the carbs. Here’s what to look for and what to avoid when ordering keto sushi.
Here’s what you need to know about getting into that raw fish while on a Keto diet…
What is Keto Sushi?
In the age of internet memes, it’s easy to forget that the sushi roll is its own legitimate food item. Depending on where you live, sushi might be a staple at every casual dining spot, or a rare treat reserved for special occasions. The dish has a long history as a part of Japanese cuisine and it’s undergone quite a transformation since it first appeared on the scene in the 19th century.
The sushi we know and love today was created in the 20th century by Hanaya Yohei, who began serving it as nigiri. I’m sure you have seen this at any sushi restaurant as strips of fish laid over a pad of vinegared rice. Today, sushi comes in all shapes, sizes, and flavors — and all kinds of seafood have been pressed into service as sushi fillings.
What is a Keto Sushi Bowl?
A sushi bowl is a low-carb take on the traditional sushi roll. Instead of using rice as the base, sushi bowls are served over a bed of greens, with the toppings and fish served on top of the greens rather than inside the rice. This is a great option for keto dieters and vegetarians alike, when you order a Keto Sushi bowl it eliminates the need for the rice altogether.
A sushi bowl usually consists of brown rice, sesame seeds, edamame, avocados, cucumbers, carrots, and your choice of protein, served with a Japanese-inspired dressing. Sushi bowls are available at many restaurants and can also be easily and inexpensively made at home.
How Many Carbs Are in Sushi?
Sushi rice is typically made with a base of white rice and vinegared water. It’s a dish that can quickly become full of carbohydrates. One cup of sushi rice can have as many as 46 grams of carbs. That’s just one cup, too. That’s why you need to order Keto sushi if you are on this paritcular diet.
You’ll find even more carbs in the sushi rice at most restaurants. Sashimi, on the other hand, is a low-carb option. It’s best to go with a sashimi-only combo if you’re trying to follow a keto diet. Most types of seafood in sushi contain low amounts of carbohydrates. This includes seafood like tuna, salmon, red snapper, eel, octopus, crab, shrimp, scallops and squid.
The rice in sushi is what can rack up the carbs, but there are ways to enjoy sushi without the rice.
Healthy Fats and Proteins to Look for When Ordering Keto Sushi
When it comes to how to order keto sushi, the first thing to consider is what type of sushi you want. It’s important to understand the basics behind sushi types before making your selection. Sushi is typically broken down into categories based on the type of fish it contains.
There are four main types of sushi that are popular with keto eaters:
- Nigiri – This is traditional sushi with a hand-formed rice ball on the bottom and a piece of fish laid across the top.
- Temaki – Also known as a hand roll, is a cone of seaweed with a variety of fillings like raw fish, vegetables or both.
- Maki – This consists of a thin strip of seaweed rolled around a portion of rice and one or more fillings.
- Sashimi – Raw fish without the rice, served alongside soy sauce, wasabi and other garnishes.
How to Order Keto Sushi Without Going Off Track
If you’re new to keto, jumping straight into ordering sushi with rice can be a bit of a gamble. It’s hard to know how much rice each piece contains, and how many pieces will be enough to satisfy your hunger without going overboard. The best way to get started is to keep things simple.
Order sashimi with a side of edamame or salad, or a California roll. The California roll is a surprisingly keto-friendly option. It’s typically made with a soy paper wrap, imitation crab meat, avocado and cucumber. If your sushi restaurant uses soy sauce, ask them to give you a side of wasabi and soy sauce instead. This way, you can season your sushi as you like it.
How to make your own keto sushi?
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try out some sushi at home, that might even be better then if you order keto sushi. There are a few ways to make it happen. The easiest way is to buy a bag of pre-made sushi rice. Most supermarkets now carry sushi rice. You can also make your own sushi rice by cooking a batch of white rice, then steaming it with a little bit of water to get it sticky.
Use a shamoji, a rice paddle, to form the rice into sushi “bowls” to hold your fillings. You can also try experimenting with Mexican rice, which is also made with white rice and can be used in place of traditional sushi rice. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try out some sushi at home, there are a few ways to make it happen. Plus, you will be saving cash instead of placing your order Keto sushi, you can enjoy it at home!
What are good rice substitutes for Keto Sushi
Rice is out for keto sushi, but what are some good alternatives? You can try:
- Cauliflower rice – This is one of the best substitutions for traditional rice. It has a similar texture and flavor and can be seasoned in many different ways to suit any dish. Since cauliflower is low-carb, it’s a great choice for keto sushi.
- Zoodles – Zoodles are the carb-free, noodle-free alternative to rice. They work exceptionally well when made into a bed for your sushi.
- Shirataki noodles – Also called “Asian noodles,” shirataki noodles are made from yam and very low in carbs. They’re also very low in calories and have virtually no fat. Shirataki noodles are not only delicious in keto sushi, but they can be used in place of traditional pasta in many dishes.
Ask for Soy Sauce, Wasabi on the Side
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If you’re dining at a restaurant that serves keto sushi, you may want to ask that the soy sauce be served on the side. Soy sauce is a common ingredient in sushi sauces, so it’s good to be safe and ask for a side. The same goes for wasabi. Many sushi chefs will happily serve it on the side so you can control how much goes into your meal. This simple request ,when you order keto sushi, will help you control your diet.
Best Keto Sushi Options
The best keto sushi options are sashimi, sashimi rolls, or sushi rolls made with lettuce instead of rice.
- Sashimi – Raw fish without the rice, sashimi is often served alongside soy sauce, wasabi and other garnishes.
- California Roll – This is a surprisingly keto-friendly option. It’s typically made with a soy paper wrap, imitation crab meat, avocado and cucumber. There is only a small amount of rice in this roll.
- Spicy Tuna Roll – The tuna in this roll is often made with mayo, which is full of hidden carbs. Instead, ask for plain tuna.
- Salmon Roll – Salmon is a great option for a keto sushi roll. Salmon does contain some carbs, but it’s much lower in them than tuna.
Next time you order Keto sushi, you won’t have to order a bow, the most popular keto items on the menu, unless you want to. It’s also one of the most versatile. Whether you go for a roll or sashimi, there are plenty of ways to work sushi into a low-carb diet. The best part about sushi is that you can eat it at almost any restaurant. Whether you’re looking for a cheap meal or a special treat, there’s sure to be a sushi option that fits your budget and carb needs.