Paleo Sushi Night

A Paleo sushi night is an absolute must.  Not the kind where you go out and order unlimited sushi rolls from a restaurant.  I’m talking about the kind you make at home, where you can be creative and spend quality time with friends and family.

Josh and I rarely have dates.  We prefer family time over spouse alone-time, and we enjoy it that way.  However, once in a while, as a special treat, we do have date nights.  One of the best date nights we’ve had in a while was our Paleo sushi night.  I’m still smiling about it as I recall the events.

Prior to this sushi night, Josh and I had no experience making sushi.  We didn’t grow up in a family or a community that made sushi and it wasn’t a typical meal for us.  Prior to our Paleo lifestyle, we often when out to sushi restaurants and ordered it, but we never tried making sushi rolls and sashimi ourselves – it never even crossed our minds.

The desire for a sushi meal was tempting us now.  We thought about going to a local sushi bar and ordering rolls there, but most sushi restaurants don’t have a Paleo-approved soy sauce, which drastically limits our options.

This desire for sushi coupled with our creative spirit and our joy for cooking, compelled us to experiment on our own and make homemade sushi rolls.  What started out as cautious-fear, slowly morphed into creative-fun.  It was a lovely experience.  We had so much fun getting creative with the rolls, mixing different types of fish together, and topping them with a Paleo-approved soy sauce that rocked our worlds.

If you haven’t made sushi at home before, I urge you to give it a try; you’ll love it.  By following these four simple steps, you can create homemade sushi rolls at home too.

Find a Market

First, find a reputable seafood market that sells “sushi-grade” fish.  If you’re not familiar, ask around, or simply search the web for “seafood markets” and check them out.

I found a great local seafood market where I could buy sushi-grade fish as well as all the other ingredients for the sushi rolls.  I found a sales-person willing to help me and asked her a few questions on fish selection and fish type.  It wasn’t just your ordinary salmon and tuna, there were multiple fish options and some I’ve never even heard of before.

Sushi-Grade Fish from the Seafood Market

As I was standing there trying to decide on what type of fish to buy a woman and her son came up next to me.  I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation.  The son asked, “What can I get here?”  His mom replied, “You need to find something that you’ve never tried before and something that you’ve never seen before.”

Excellent advice!  I decided to do that as well.  I chose a salmon and tuna filet, since those are our favorites for sushi, but I also chose a few more that we had never tried before.  I was getting excited already.

Load up on Vegetables

Large Vegetable Selection at the Seafood Market

After selecting the fish I moved to the vegetables.  One section of the market had all the vegetables you needed, some refrigerated and some not.  I went for the typical mushrooms, cucumbers and avocados; however, I also selected some vegetables I had never seen before like certain varieties of peppers and sprouts.  It was quite fun looking and selecting these new vegetables.

Don’t forget the nori wrap.  There were a few different options and I selected one that looked about the right size for rolls.

Make Paleo-Approved Sauce

Soy-Free Soy Sauce

Finding a Paleo-approved soy sauce is a must for all Asian dishes, especially sushi.  This soy-free soy sauce is a great replacement; I can’t even tell a difference between this sauce and regular soy sauce.  It compliments the fish and vegetables well and the salt highlights the flavor and finishes the roll.  This one is perfect for dipping and super simple to make.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Optional: pinch of wasabi

Directions:

  1. Combine the Coconut Aminos, fresh lemon juice, sesame oil and wasabi, if desired, into a shallow bowl.
  2. Mix well.

Have Fun

All we have left to do now is put it all together.

Josh made the first roll.  He put the nori wrap down on top of a bamboo mat, cut up a few slices of fish and placed the slices on top of an assortment of vegetables and avocado slices.  When we were happy with the ingredients, he took the edges of the nori wrap and rolled inward, using the bamboo mat to assist.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a bamboo mat, a fresh, clean towel will do the trick too.

Handmade Sushi Roll

Since we didn’t add rice to the roll, the end of the nori wrap didn’t stick as well as we wanted.  Smearing a little avocado on the end of the nori wrap did the trick.  Water would have worked too, but we couldn’t resist adding more avocado.  I mean, do you really need an excuse to add more avocado?  I think not.

We sliced the roll, admired its beautiful colors attributed by the mixture of fish and vegetables, dipped it into the sauce, and tested our creation.  It was great; we were delighted.  Not bad for a couple of first-timers.

We continued this way for the remainder of the evening.  Experimenting with different combinations of fish and vegetables, making different rolls, and enjoying every minute of it.

Handmade Sushi Rolls with Paleo Sauce

Some rolls were spicy with hot peppers, some rolls were fresh and crisp with cucumber, and some rolls were rich and creamy with avocado.

It was quite interesting how this sushi night transpired.  Since we prepared the rolls and ate them at the same time, we never sat down like we would have for a typical dinner.

We remained standing at the kitchen island with the fish, vegetables and nori wrap spread out around us.  The most recent roll, sliced on the cutting board for us to sample, judge and comment on.

We socialized and laughed while making jokes about Josh’s sushi-rolling skills.  It was quite nice to vary from our typical routine.  Overall, we had a wonderful sushi night.

I would love to hear from you, especially you seasoned sushi makers.  What is your favorite sushi fish?  What do you put in your sushi rolls?  How do you get the nori wrap to stick without using rice in the roll?  Please comment below and join the conversation.

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