These Paleo Vegan Sushi Rolls are made with cauliflower ‘rice’ and filled with vegetables. This low carb sushi is so good and it looks and tastes just like the real thing. Fun to make, great as an appetizer, or serve for lunch or light dinner.
I love sushi but since I eat a paleo diet right now I made this sushi with ‘cauliflower sushi rice’. This ‘rice’ is low carb, made with the cleansing super nutritious, cruciferous vegetable cauliflower. To my delight it is every bit as delicious.
It tastes so much like the real thing nobody will notice the difference.
If your sushi rolling skills aren’t quite there, that’s totally okay — these taste fantastic even if they’re not perfect. You’ll become a pro very quickly, just have fun with it.
Ingredients You’ll Need To Make This Paleo Vegan Sushi
This paleo, vegan sushi is filled with delicious, nourishing vegetables. The ‘cauliflower rice’ is easy to make and sticks together really well, just like rice.
To Make the Cauliflower Sushi Rice
- cauliflower to make the ‘rice’
- unseasoned rice vinegar – to season the sushi rice.
- honey or sugar – to season the sushi rice (optional)
- tapioca starch – to make the ‘cauliflower sushi rice’ sticky
- Sea salt
For the Sushi Rolls
- nori – toasted is best, get full sheets not snacking nori
- avocado – cut into slices
- carrot – peeled and julienned, use a mandoline or julienne peeler
- organic English seedless cucumber – julienned, unpeeled, if using a regular cucumber remove the seeds
- fresh basil leaves, mint or shiso leaves*
- wheat free tamari or coconut aminos
- wasabi powder – mix with water and use to seal the nori and as a condiment (optional)
- pickled ginger for serving (optional)
*Shiso leaves are an aromatic herb with an incredibly great taste similar to mint and basil. We used shiso leaves in our Sushi Rolls at Arnold’s Turtle, they are divine. If you can find them, use them instead of the basil.
How To Make Cauliflower Sushi Rice
The first step is making the cauliflower sushi rice.
Cut your cauliflower into small florets removing as much of the stem as possible.
Add the cauliflower to a food processor using an S blade and pulse until it looks like short grain rice.
Place the processed cauliflower into a saute pan and cook on medium high, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. There is no oil since you want the rice to be sticky. Don’t let it brown, lower your heat if necessary.
Traditionally sushi rice is flavored with sugar but I prefer honey. If you’re eating keto, AIP or Whole30 leave out the sweetener, it will taste just fine.
To make the rice sticky, add tapioca starch and stir until dissolved about 1 minute.
Next pour the rice onto a large plate covered with a kitchen towel. Spread the rice out to cool. Bring up the sides of the kitchen towel and pat the rice to remove any moisture.
Let cool 20 minutes or if you’re in a hurry 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
How To Roll the Sushi
Once the rice is cool you’re ready to roll the sushi!
If you can, use a sushi mat. It’s good for rolling your sushi into a tight roll that holds together well. If you don’t have a mat, use a kitchen towel covered with a piece of plastic wrap.
Begin by placing one sheet of nori centered on your mat. Sheets of nori have a rough side and a smooth side. Place the nori so that the rough side is facing up.
Spread an even layer of cauliflower rice, leaving a 1-inch boarder on the top of the nori without any rice. Use about 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower rice per roll. Use the back of a wet spoon to spread and press the rice into an even compact layer. The more the rice is stuck together, the better the roll with hold together when cut.
On the side closest to you, about ¼ of the way up the roll, lay a line of cucumbers, carrots, avocado and basil on top of the rice.
Using your fingers, wet the 1-inch boarder at the far side of nori with water or wasabi – this helps the nori stick to itself and seal the roll. I like using wasabi to give it extra flavor.
Grab the edge of the mat closest to you. Use the mat to lift the nori and fold it over the vegetables. Use your fingers to keep the vegetables in place. Tuck the front edge of the nori into the roll as you continue to roll the sushi. Roll slowly so that you ensure that the sushi is coming out evenly.
Use the mat to tightly roll the sushi into log and seal it. Tighten the roll with your sushi mat as you roll.
Use a very sharp knife to cut in half, then cut each half into 3 pieces. If you’re cutting more than one roll clean off your knife for each roll.
Once you make cauliflower sushi a few times, you’ll get really good at rolling it.
- Any crunchy veggies like carrot, cucumber, radish, and bell pepper.
- Sauerkraut or kimchi has a nice flavor, squeeze out the liquid.
- Protein like smoked salmon, sushi grade tuna, baked tofu, or sauteed tempeh.
- Greens like arugula, sprouts, and micro greens.
Paleo sushi tastes best fresh or at least within 1 day. Store the roll uncut, wrapped in plastic, in an air tight container. After a day the nori will get a bit soggy.
The cauliflower sushi rice can be made in advance and stored for 3 days in the refrigerator.
You’ll love making this grain free, paleo, vegan sushi at home. It’s so good and the cauliflower rice keeps it paleo friendly and low carb.
If you give this recipe a try, please let us know what you think! Give it some stars or leave a comment. ♥
If you like this recipe, try these other delicious little bites:
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These Paleo Sushi Rolls are made with cauliflower rice & filled with vegetables. This low carb, grain free sushi is so good you won’t believe it’s not rice.
Cauliflower Sushi Rice
- 3 1/2 cups cauliflower rice
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon light honey (optional)
- 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
- 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
Vegan Paleo Sushi
Caulilfower Sushi Rice
- First, rice your cauliflower. I use the S blade of my food processor. Remove as much of the stem as possible. Process until you have very small pieces that look like short grain rice. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a cheese grater then chop the larger pieces.
- Take a large plate and place a kitchen towel on it. You’ll use this to dry and cool the rice.
- Place cauliflower rice in skillet and turn to medium high.(there is no oil).
- Start moving the cauliflower around constantly with a wooden spoon, letting it cook for about 3 minutes. Don’t let it get brown, lower the heat if necessary.
- Add rice vinegar, honey (if using) and salt.
- Continue to stir constantly, letting the vinegar coat the cauliflower – about 2 minutes.
- Add the tapioca starch and stir for about 1 minute until dissolved.
- Remove ‘rice’ from heat and pour onto the kitchen towel, spreading it out to cool.
- Bring up the sides of the towel and pat dry.
- Let cool 20 minutes, or 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Proceed with rolling the sushi.
Vegan Paleo Sushi
- Once the rice is cooled, take a sheet of nori and place it shiny side down on your sushi mat.
- Take half the rice and spread it out on the nori, leaving a 1-inch strip along the top edge without any rice. Use the back of a spoon to press the rice down and get it into an even compact layer. The more the rice is stuck together, the better the roll will stay together. Be sure to get the rice all the way to the side edges.
- On the side closest to you, about ¼ of the way up the roll, on top of the rice, lay a line of cucumbers, carrots, avocado and basil.
- Lightly wet the strip of nori that is exposed on the top with water or wasabi paste (this helps the sushi to seal). I like using wasabi to give it extra flavor.
- Grab the edge of the mat closest to you. Use the mat to lift the nori and fold it over the vegetables. Use your fingers to keep the vegetables in place. Tuck the front edge of the nori into the roll as you continue to roll the sushi. Roll slowly so that you ensure the sushi is coming out evenly.
- Use the mat to tightly roll the sushi into a log and seal it. Tighten the roll with your sushi mat as you roll.
- Repeat with the remaining rolls.
- Use a very sharp knife to cut each roll in half, then cut each half into 3 pieces.
- Serve with wheat free tamari, wasabi and pickled ginger.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Main Dish, Side Dish
- Cuisine: Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Whole30
Keywords: vegan sushi, paleo sushi, cauliflower sushi rice