No need to miss sushi on your keto diet! This low carb California Roll features thinly sliced cucumber, cauliflower rice, and plenty of fresh avocado. A healthy and fresh appetizer or snack in honour of California Avocado Month. This post is sponsored by California Avocados.
Okay confession time. Until now, I have never made any sort of sushi from scratch, let alone keto sushi. And you might argue that this isn’t really sushi at all, since it contains no rice. But I say don’t be silly. It’s fun to try to re-make classic foods in ways that I can enjoy and I am going to call them whatever I want to call them. So there you have it. Low carb grain-free sushi!
How to Make Keto Sushi
I decided to take on this faux sushi thing because June is California Avocado Month and we are trying to show avocados in their most classic California form. And what, my friends, could be more classic Cali than California rolls? Even if they aren’t quite made in the “traditional” fashion. I’d long had an idea to make low carb sushi using thin strips of cucumber to wrap it all up. And I figured if I laid the cucumber strips side by side, overlapping each other a bit, I could make it into one long roll rather than individual pieces, just like a traditional California Roll. I know this idea probably isn’t original to me, but I was pretty pleased with the effect and it worked perfectly.
Now, mixing cream cheese into the cauliflower rice to help it stick is definitely not my original idea. I’ve seen other keto bloggers do this as well but I am not sure who originally came up with it. I kept the cream cheese to a minimum so as not to override the other delicious and more delicate flavors. California Rolls shouldn’t taste like cream cheese.
I did skip the artificial crab because that is typically made with a lot of added starch. We just don’t need that on a keto diet! I cheated a bit and used smoked salmon, primarily for the gorgeous color, but you could easily use canned lump crab meat or fresh crab meat.
What a great low carb way to showcase California avocados, when they are in the peak of their season! They are perfection right now and I want to use them in just about everything. And local chefs here in Portland are using them in some incredibly creative ways as well. I was invited to a local dinner at Pine Street Market, and vendors like Bless Your Heart Burgers and the famous Olympia Provisions were dishing up avocado slaw and other toppings. And a special shout out to WizBangBar (by the peeps behind the famous Salt & Straw) for getting super creative on dessert. I couldn’t eat any but they made white chocolate avocado mousse. Wowza! I may need to find a way to low carbify that one.
So the moral of the story is don’t feel you need to miss out on sushi on your keto diet. There are fun ways to get creative with your ingredients and make your own low carb version. Just be sure it includes some California Avocado!
Tips for Low Carb California Rolls
- Use finely ground cauliflower rice. I chose Trader Joe’s frozen because it’s typically cut into very small grains. This time, however, it was definitely cut in bigger pieces. I am not sure if they have changed how they make it or if I just randomly got a weird bag. But I know that the smaller the “grain”, the better your keto sushi will hold together.
- Dry out the cucumber slices and the cauliflower rice very well. They both contain a lot of water and patting the cucumber slices dry and draining the cooked cauliflower rice helps the california rolls be less watery.
- Don’t use imitation crab. Ugh, that stuff is surprisingly high carb. I know it’s standard in California Rolls but it’s fish and added starches pressed into crab-leg like shapes. Very odd stuff indeed and why wouldn’t you use something real and more fresh? You can easily use canned crab. I totally cheated and used smoked salmon.
- Roll it as tightly as you can. This isn’t easy but it makes a difference. My first roll was a little floppy and loose but I got the hang of it as I went.
- Chilling the rolls helps the cream cheese firm up and they will hold together better when you cut them. Use a very sharp knife and cut down, don’t saw back and forth.
Other Delicious Keto Avocado Recipes
Avocado Tuna Cakes – swap the breadcrumbs for almond flour or crushed pork rinds!
Keto California Rolls
- Using a mandolin, slice the whole cucumber lengthwise very thinly (about ⅛ inch or thinner). You should get about 20 paper thin slices. Lay the slices out on paper towels to dry out a bit. Chop any leftover pieces into matchsticks for the inside of the sushi (optional).
- Cook the cauliflower rice until just tender and drain very well to eliminate excess moisture. Stir in the cream cheese and toasted sesame oil until well combined. Sprinkle with a little salt if desired.
- In a medium bowl, mix the crab meat or smoked salmon with the mayo.
- Cut a square of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Lay 5 of the paper thin cucumber slices side by side with slightly overlapping edges. Spread with ¼ of the cauliflower rice mixture.
- Along one side where the ends of the cucumber slices are, lay some cucumber matchsticks, ¼ of the avocado slices and ¼ of the crab meat. Using the plastic wrap or waxed paper to help lift it, roll as tightly as possible. Tuck in the ends of the plastic wrap or paper. Repeat with remaining ingredients. You should be able to make 4 sushi rolls.
- Chill the rolls one hour to allow the cauliflower mixture to firm up. Cut the rolls with a very sharp knife into 6 pieces each. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve with wasabi and soy sauce or coconut aminos.